GRANTS AND ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS FOR SINGLE MOTHERS
Single mothers are so important in American society because they raise many of the nation's children with very little support. Single-parent households are much more likely to have a lower income than those with two parents or guardians. This situation generally makes it more difficult to pool the money and resources necessary to raise a child. To ensure that single mothers and their children have the same opportunities, many resources and programs exist to help single mothers financially. Although there are no assistance programs or grants specifically created to help only single mothers, there are still a number of resources available for parents that are not available to individuals without dependents. Here is an abbreviated list of grants and assistance programs that can benefit single mothers.
The Women, Infant, and Children Program
Regarded commonly as WIC, the Women, Infant, and Children Program is a government-funded food assistance program that helps mothers and their small children afford nutrient rich foods. This program strives to eliminate the occurrence of malnourished mothers and children. WIC operates in the interest of the overall health of mothers and children through nutrition and healthy eating. From the time of conception, a child is dependent on the health of his or her mother. For healthy development in children, it is essential that they receive the proper nutrients as their bodies are growing. Children who are younger than 5 years of age and women who are pregnant, postpartum or nursing are all eligible to receive food benefits through WIC.
Section 8 Housing, formally known as the Housing Choice Voucher Program, helps low-income families afford housing at a significantly discounted rate. The Section 8 program approves certain neighborhoods to house low-income families, though a beneficiary is always welcome to ask if a property manager accepts Section 8 vouchers. Section 8 benefits are only available to families with dependents who are able to demonstrate a financial need for housing assistance.
Medicaid is a health insurance provider that provides coverage to families who cannot afford health insurance. This program places strong emphasis on preventative health, because detecting a health condition in its infancy is an incredibly effective way to preserve one's health. Medicaid may offer medical, dental and vision benefits at little to no cost to families that qualify. The government reserves Medicaid benefits for households with elderly or disabled family members as well as those with children younger than 19 years of age.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a food assistance program that provides monthly food benefits to low income families. SNAP recently changed the eligibility parameters so that the majority of beneficiaries without dependents are conditionally eligible for only three months within a three-year period. The exceptions to this rule are disabled and elderly beneficiaries. SNAP petitioners must also meet income eligibility, as this program supplements grocery costs solely for families who have difficulty affording food.