Where to find help if you recently became a Solo Mom
Many of us are just one crisis away from financial instability. We do just fine with careful budgeting and regular expenses. Then someone gets sick, a car breaks down, or a beloved pet needs care, and suddenly we can’t pay our bills.
In these situations, it’s smart to seek help sooner rather than later. Many programs and places offer a small amount of financial assistance, but once things start to snowball, these programs are no longer available. Here are some resources that may be able to help.
It’s very common for people to need help paying their utility bills, such as electricity and gas. Most utility companies have some sort of “forgiveness plan” that accepts small payments toward your larger bill. The utilities won’t tell you about it, so you will need to ask.
Departments of social services
Departments of social services, often known as DSS, offer “emergency assistance” to people who need help. Different states and communities have their own department, so search for your local DSS online. The department will require you to provide documentation, such as shut-off notices or eviction notices, to receive aid, and will also ask for proof of income and other information. This department is a good place to start if you find yourself in need of emergency financial assistance.
Catholic Charities USA is a national organization with local offices that help people regardless of their religious, social, or economic background. Many Catholic Charities provide emergency financial assistance to people in need. They will require you to provide documentation of the need and of your expenses and income.
The YWCA offers numerous programs for women, including financial literacy programs to promote economic empowerment from budget basics to planning for retirement. With the support of the Allstate Foundation, every YWCA in the country has been provided with the Allstate Moving Ahead Through Financial Management Curriculum, a financial literacy course. The YWCA also offers a variety of other programs, including women’s health programs, job training, and early childhood programs.
AidForSingleMothers.net has compiled information from various sources on grants and scholarships available to Solo Moms. The numerous grants listed include those for financial help for divorced women and moms, housing grants, home energy grants, and day care financial help for working Solo Moms. On the website’s homepage, look for the Single Mother Financial Help Information section, which provides links to pertinent information.
Sometimes, despite all your careful saving and planning, life throws a curveball. These resources should be able to help.
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Julia Liu is the daughter of a Solo Mom and has a degree in professional communication. She is the mom to two sons. She has worked in early-childhood education and was the director of a nonprofit private preschool for many years. You can follow her on Twitter at @notaDNB1.
Please feel free to contact us with any comments or questions.