Maryland is said to be ‘America in miniature’, so varied are its landscapes. From the vibrancy of Baltimore to the wild beauty of Chesapeake Bay, Maryland has got it all. Which is all very well, if you are one of those lucky people who doesn’t have to worry about the expense of life. However, if you are a single mother, it’s very likely that your budget is tight, and the money worries are a constant concern.
Fortunately, the state of Maryland is a state that helps its single moms and struggling families with a number of programs and schemes that make life that bit easier.
Take a look at Maryland’s TANF program. The acronym stands for Temporary Financial Assistance for Needy Families, and it might provide the assistance that will set you back on the road to self sufficiency. It is only intended to be a temporary help, and each person is only able to avail themselves of TANF aid for up to 2 years, but it can really help you in a variety of ways. Check it out!
You may also have heard of Payday Loans. These are short term loans designed to be taken out for just a week or so, to tide you over until the next pay check arrives if unexpected bills or expenses arrive. It sounds good, but be very careful. These types of loan can be terribly costly, and can end up making a bad situation into a nightmare. If you are looking at taking out a short term loan, first check out the APR (rate of interest) and also the repayment terms. Look to see what fines are applicable if you can’t pay it back dead on time. If it seems expensive, or if you aren’t 100% certain you can meet the terms, don’t do it!
Part of a mother’s job is to feed her kids, and you want to do that to the very best of your ability of course. Growing kids need fresh fruit and vegetables, dairy products, fish and all the foods that make up a healthy nutrition. Mothers also need feeding well, as being pregnant, breastfeeding and caring for infants takes it out of you and you need to put all that energy back in!
If you are having problems buying good food for your family, and you live in Maryland, here’s what to do. First, look at the supplemental Nutrition program.
The above link tells you all about this, but also takes you to contacts to find out about other programs. One of these that could be of interest is
the WIC program, for women who have recently given birth, are pregnant or have children under the age of 5. Another link on that site worth following will give information about free school lunches for your children.
Maryland’s Food banks and Food Pantries can also be a great help. Here’s how to find a service near you:
However tight money is, another expense you need to spare some cash for is Child Care. If you don’t have reliable childcare, you can’t go out to work or college to earn a living or get those vital exams. There are state programs in Maryland to help with childcare, so see if you might be eligible.
The CCS (Child Care Subsidy program in Maryland is a really broad based program that offers help to pay for childcare in a setting of your choosing. So, whether you want to send your child to a day care centre, to have someone come to your home to care for him/her or set up a less formal arrangement with someone you know, the help is there. To find out more, click the link!
It’s one of the best state child care program around, but if for some reason it can’t help you, consider the following options. Make friends with other single parents in your neighborhood. Sharing child care might be a possibility, especially if you work part time and have different shifts.
Check too, to see if there could be a crèche run by your local church, or another religious or community group.
Nothing worries a mom more than her child becoming ill. It’s bad enough, just being frightened about your child’s health, but having to worry about how to pay for treatment as well is a reality that single moms have to face up to every day in the US. Healthcare policies can cost the earth, and are often out of reach for single moms. If your child becomes seriously ill, or has a disability, you really need to get some help.
That help can often come through Medicaid. All the details you need are found on the link below:
If, however, you don’t qualify for Medicaid, there are other possibilities. You can find the contacts for the Maryland Children’s Health Program on the above link too, in addition to various other health related services.
Single mothers can find it very tough getting affordable housing of a good standard and in a safe neighbourhood…but it’s essential to have such a home when you are bringing up kids alone. It’s the sort of problem you seem to meet in every area of your life as a single mom. So, where to turn for help in Maryland? The state has housing assistnce to offer to various groups of people, single moms among them, on the following link to Maryland Transitional Housing.
Other programs that may help with housing and rent or mortgage problems can be found here:
If you need help to pay the utility bills, take a look at the LIHEAP scheme.
Getting a good education is key to making a decent life for yourself and your family. It’s also vital that your kids can go to college to get the qualifications that will set them up for their own lives when they finally leave home.
You know this, of course, but paying for it all can be another matter. Luckily, there are thousands of grants, loans and scholarships out there for you to take advantage of. Scholarships range from those given to exceptional students with talents in an academic, arts or sporting sphere to those awarded to kids who have been outstanding in helping in the community. Colleges and schools have their own grants and scholarships, as do many employers.
Start by looking at FAFSA. This is a Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
Be aware too that if, for example, you want to study for a professional qualification such as nursing, there could be grants available to help.
If you or your kids have a disability or illness, search the internet to see if there is any specific assistance available associated with the condition. There are loads of special needs awards made across the US every year. Some churches or religious groups offer scholarships to their members. Just ask!
Although single moms often dismiss the idea of being able to buy a car, thinking it beyond their means, there is actually a scheme that allocates a number of cars to needy people every year…free of charge! You can’t guarantee your application will be successful, but it’s surely worth checking out. Do a search for the donate car program offered by TANF.
Check out Maryland’s public transportation as well, as if you live in a big town or city in Maryland there will be well established and affordable systems you can use. The link takes you to more information about public transportation in the state.
Transportation problems may also be solvable by car sharing within your local community, with other single moms or co employees or fellow students.
Maryland’s state programs are among the best in the US, so make the most of them.