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Help for single moms in Colorado: 32 assistance programs

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If you’re a single mom in Colorado struggling to make ends meet, keep reading for resources that help with: 

Every month, I give out $500 cash to one single mom struggling with money, health, stress, child care, illness or loneliness — no strings attached. 

Qualifications are simple:

1. You're a single mom.

2. You need the money right now.

Fill out this form to apply:

(Note that the figures and information in this post are current as of publication date.)

Many of the programs on this list determine eligibility as a percentage of the federal poverty level (FPL). These are the 2024 federal poverty guidelines:

Number of people in family/householdAnnual income

* For families/households with more than 8 people, add $5,380 for each additional person.

You can also look up your area median income (AMI) here.

Emergency cash for low-income families in Colorado

If you need cash to pay bills, buy gas, feed your family, or for any other reason, these programs can help: 

Temporary Cash Assistance in Colorado

Colorado Works — Colorado’s name for its Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program — provides cash assistance for qualifying families with children or to relatives who have court-ordered custody of a child placed in their home. Recipients must be committed to finding employment.

The amount paid out varies depending on household income and number of household members. The maximum grant amount is $439 for a household of three.

Cash assistance is available for a lifetime total of 60 months for adults. This may be extended if you are caring for someone with a disability or you ask for a hardship extension.


  • U.S. citizen, naturalized citizen, or a qualified non-citizen
  • Permanent Colorado resident
  • Pregnant or have children 18 or younger
  • Must meet income guidelines 
  • Partnered with child support

How to get help:

  • Apply online on the Colorado PEAK website
  • Contact the Colorado Department of Human Services (DHS) at 303-866-5700
  • In-person at your local DHS office

More emergency cash help in Colorado: 

Single moms in Colorado can visit or dial 2-1-1 to ask for assistance.

Check out these posts for more ways to get emergency cash: 

These are some more tips for getting cash quickly: 

Housing help for single moms in Colorado

If you need help finding a place to live or paying your rent/mortgage, these programs can help: 

Rental assistance in Colorado

There are multiple programs in Colorado to help renters find housing and pay their rent. In many cases, they are specific to the county you live in. Check with your local DHS office for county-specific programs.

Here are some statewide rental assistance resources:

Colorado Housing Connects

Supported by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA), Colorado Housing Connects helps Coloradans who are: 

  • Looking for affordable housing
  • Facing eviction
  • Dealing with rent/landlord issues or discriminatory rental practices


Any resident of Colorado with rental concerns can get help. This is a referral service that prepares you to reach out to local programs, educating you on paperwork and eligibility requirements.

How to get help: 

Contact Colorado Housing Connects at 844-926-6632.

Public Housing and Housing Choice Vouchers (Section 8)

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) offers affordable housing and vouchers to help low-income households pay their rent.


Vouchers and housing are based on household income and family size. You can find your county’s income limits on the HUD website

How to get help: 

Mortgage assistance in Colorado 

If you need help buying or keeping a home in Colorado, check out these programs: 

Colorado Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program

If you have missed mortgage payments or you’re behind on property taxes, insurance, or utility payments, the Colorado Emergency Mortgage Assistance program provides help through federal funding from the Homeowners Assistance Fund (HAF).

You can get up to $40,000 for help with qualified expenses, if approved. You can only apply once for this benefit.

Qualified expenses include:

  • Mortgage payments (on-time or delinquent)
  • Cost of mortgage reinstatement
  • Homeowner or condo association fees or liens
  • Utility payments (electric, gas, energy, etc.)
  • Late or delinquent property tax payments
  • Homeowner’s insurance payments


  • COVID-19 impacted your income and ability to provide financially for your home on or after January 2020
  • Own your home and live in a single family home, condo, or a 2-, 3-, or 4-family home in Colorado as a primary residence
  • Income does not exceed 100% of the AMI for your county or city
  • Loan limit meets program guidelines

How to get help:

Colorado Housing and Finance Authority Programs

The Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) provides downpayment assistance through grants or second mortgage loans, affordable home loans, homebuyer education, and guidance throughout the home-buying process.


  • 620 credit score or higher
  • Attend CHFA-approved homebuyer education class before closing 
  • Income must fall within CHFA income limits
  • Pay at least $1,000 toward the home purchase

These are general qualifications across all CHFA programs. Depending on the program, there may be additional eligibility requirements.

Programs include:

  • CHFA Downpayment Assistance Grant – Get up to 3% of your home’s cost as a downpayment with no repayment required
  • CHFA Downpayment Loan – A second mortgage loan where you can borrow up to 4% of the home’s purchase price as a downpayment with deferred payments
  • CHFA FirstStep and FirstStep Plus – 30-year fixed FHA loan for first-time homebuyers and qualified veterans for homes in specific areas, downpayment assistance available
  • CHFA HomeAccess – 30-year fixed FHA, USDA-RD, or VA loan with downpayment second loan assistance up to $25,000, open to borrower who have or care for a dependent with a permanent disability
  • CHFA Preferred and Preferred Plus – 30-year fixed conventional loan (Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac) not restricted to first-time homebuyers, downpayment assistance option
  • CHFA Preferred Very Low Income Program (VLIP) – 30-year fixed Freddie Mac conventional loan, downpayment assistance available, open to first-time and experienced homebuyers, subject to VLIP income limits
  • CHFA SmartStep and SmartStep Plus – 30-year fixed FHA, FHA 203(k), VA, and USDA-RD loan, option for grant up to 3% of first mortgage or 4% of second mortgage for downpayment help, not restricted to first-time homebuyers
  • CHFA SectionEight and SectionEight Plus – 30-year fixed FHA or USDA-RD loan, must be a first-time homebuyer or qualified veteran, downpayment assistance available, must be receiving Section 8 assistance

How to get help:

Colorado Housing Assistance Corporation

The Colorado Housing Assistance Corporation (CHAC) provides low-interest loans to low to moderate-income first-time homebuyers for downpayment and closing cost assistance. Payments may be deferred, but the loans must be paid in full, over monthly installments.


  • First-time homebuyer, owning no other residential properties
  • The home must be your primary residence
  • Must contribute a minimum of $1,500 ($750 for disabled borrowers) toward the loan
  • Attend a CHFA/CHAC-approved first-time homebuyer class
  • Meet limits for home price and assets set by county

How to get help:

Section 502 Direct Loan Program

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Section 502 Direct Loan Program helps low to very low-income borrowers buy a home in a qualified rural area. The loan interest rate is 4% as of February 1 and there is an up to 33-year payback period (extends to 38 years for very low income applicants).


  • Meet income and loan limit requirements for the area
  • Provide proof of citizenship or qualified non-citizen status
  • Must be without decent, sanitary, and safe housing
  • Must not qualify for any other type of loan
  • Must be your primary residence
  • Must be able to make payments on the loan
  • Must be in good standing to apply for a federal program

How to get help:

Check today's mortgage loan rates >>

Homeless assistance in Colorado 

If you are homeless or facing homelessness, these resources can help you find shelter:

Colorado DOLA Office of Homeless Initiatives

The main goal of the Colorado DOLA’s Office of Homeless Initiatives (OHI) is to prevent Colorado residents from becoming homeless — or from having to return to homelessness. The office oversees multiple initiatives including:

It also connects people to programs that provide the following services:

  • Emergency shelters
  • Transitional housing
  • Permanent housing
  • Family unification
  • State housing vouchers
  • Housing help for persons with AIDS
  • Rapid re-housing
  • Homelessness prevention


Requirements are set by individual programs. 

How to get help: 

  • Call the Office of Homeless Initiatives at 303-864-7852.
  • Cal 211 or visit

More housing help: 

Electric bill assistance in Colorado

If you are struggling to pay your utility bills in Colorado, check out the following programs:

Energy Outreach Colorado

Energy Outreach Colorado (EOC) is a statewide nonprofit focused on making energy costs affordable for Coloradans. It offers multiple programs to make homes healthier, safer, and more energy-efficient, including bill payment assistance.


  • You are behind on paying your heating and/or electric bill to an energy supplier
  • You have not received bill payment help from EOC during the current program year, which runs from October 1 to September 30.
  • Your income is at or below 80% of the area median income.

How to get help:

Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) in Colorado

LEAP helps qualifying households with winter home heating costs, paid directly to utility companies like Xcel Energy or to a landlord. Applications are accepted between November 1 and April 30. The LEAP benefit can only be used once during this time period. This program also provides repairs or replacement of heating systems. 


  • Responsible for paying your home heating or cooling bills
  • Resident of Colorado
  • U.S. Citizen, qualified alien, or permanent resident of the U.S.
  • Total household income is no more than 60% of the Colorado state median income:
    • For a family of three, that means you cannot exceed an income of $4,652 per month

How to get help:

Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP)

If you need help reconnecting your water or waste/sewer services because of a past due bill, you may be eligible for help from LIHWAP.


  • An approved LEAP recipient between November 1, 2022 and April 30, 2023
  • You pay a water vendor directly and not through a landlord (if you pay through a landlord, you can get help if your rent is past due or you are facing an eviction)
  • You have disconnected service, are about to get a shut off notice, or have a past due bill
  • Complete the LIHWAP addendum on the LEAP application

How to get help:

Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)

WAP helps low-income families lower their monthly energy bills by making their homes more energy efficient and ensuring proper heating. This program does not help with cooling issues.

Types of assistance include:

  • Energy audits and energy conservation education
  • Sealing areas to reduce drafts
  • Replacing or repairing inefficient or unsafe heating units 
  • Insulating a single family home for energy efficiency
  • Installing efficient appliances and LED light bulbs
  • Connecting your home to a solar program


You are automatically eligible if you are receiving SSI, TANF, SNAP, or LEAP.

If you are not eligible for these programs, you’ll need to meet certain criteria:

  • U.S citizen or a qualified alien
  • Resident of state of Colorado
  • Meet annual household income guidelines — $49,720 for a family of three

How to get help:

Applications are not available online, so you have to visit your county’s weatherization provider.

More electric bill help: 

Free money to help pay bills

Medical insurance and dental help for single moms in Colorado

The following medical and dental services are available to qualifying individuals and families:   

Connect for Health Colorado

Connect for Health Colorado is the state’s health insurance marketplace. Open enrollment is between November 1 and January 15. If you have a qualifying life change event, such as starting a new job or recently moving to the state, you can enroll outside of this period.


  • U.S. national citizen, permanent resident, or legal alien
  • Resident of Colorado
  • Not incarcerated

If you have a low income, you may be eligible for a subsidy to lessen the cost of your health insurance premium. You can use the Quick Cost and Plan Finder to see your estimated savings (actual costs may vary, the tool only provides an estimate based on your income).

How to get help: 

Health First Colorado (Colorado Medicaid)

Health First Colorado is Colorado’s Medicaid plan, providing medical coverage for low-income individuals and families. Coverage includes physical, dental and behavioral health benefits such as:

  • Healthcare provider visits
  • Dental services
  • Emergency services and transport
  • Maternity and newborn care
  • Behavioral health
  • Pharmacy and durable medical equipment
  • Physical, occupational, or speech therapy
  • Lab services
  • Preventative and wellness services
  • Family planning


  • Resident of Colorado
  • U.S. national citizen, permanent resident, or legal alien
  • Meet income requirements:
    • For a family of three with adults aged 19 to 65, you must make up to $2,553
    • For a family of three with children aged 0 to 18, up to $2,726
    • For a family of three with a pregnant woman, up to $3,743

How to get help:

  • Apply for coverage on Colorado PEAK
  • Call your local Colorado DHS.
  • Call 800-221-3943 if you are already a member.

Colorado Child Health Plan Plus 

Colorado Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) — part of the national Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) — is for children of families who don’t qualify for Medicaid. The following services are covered: 

  • Primary care
  • Emergency care
  • Urgent care
  • Hospital services
  • Dental care (for children and for pregnant women)
  • Prescriptions
  • Immunizations
  • Maternity care (prenatal, delivery and postpartum care)
  • Mental/behavioral health care

Costs are based on your annual income for your household size. There are no copays for preventive care. You might pay small copays on other services.


  • Lawful resident of Colorado (children or pregnant women with no five-year waiting period)
  • Children age 18 and under
  • Pregnant women age 19 and older
  • Annual household income under 260% of the federal poverty level
  • Not eligible for Health First Colorado (Medicaid)
  • Has no other health insurance

How to get help: 

  • Apply through Colorado PEAK
  • Visit your local Colorado DHS
  • Call 800-359-1991 

Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA)

HRSA, an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, funds health centers that provide free or subsidized health and dental care to low-income people and those otherwise unable to access quality health care, like people living in rural areas.

HRSA also offers a 24/7 free and confidential mental health hotline for pregnant and new moms. Dial 833-943-5746 (833-9-HELP4MOMS) if you are struggling.


Each health center sets its own eligibility criteria for free or reduced cost care. 

How to get help:

Find an HRSA health center in Colorado by typing in your address on HRSA’s search tool.

More medical/dental help: 

Food help for low-income families in Colorado

A number of federal and state food and nutrition programs are available across the state:

Colorado Food Assistance Program (SNAP)

USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly known as the Food Stamp program) provides food benefits and nutrition education to low-income households. 

SNAP recipients are issued an EBT card that can be used like an ATM card in retail food stores to purchase food, including:

  • Breads
  • Cereals
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Meats
  • Fish
  • Poultry
  • Dairy
  • Plants and seeds to grow food 

As a SNAP recipient, you also have access to discounted admission at museums and cultural centers around the state. 

A program called Double Up Food Bucks doubles your SNAP benefits at participating markets and food retail locations. For a current list of markets, go to Double Up Food Bucks Colorado.


You may be eligible if you're a Colorado resident and  meet one of the following conditions:

  • Unemployed or work part-time
  • TANF, SSI or other public assistance recipient
  • Elderly or disabled and live on a small income
  • Children under 18
  • Adults ages 18 to 49 who have no children in their home

You must also have an annual household income less than 200% of the federal poverty level. For a family of three, the maximum income is $3,840 per month for a maximum monthly benefit of $740 from SNAP. 

How to get help: 

  • Apply through Colorado PEAK
  • Contact your local Colorado DHS
  • Call 303-866-5700.  

Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children is a nutrition program that provides free baby formula and nutritional food items to low-income mothers and their babies. 


  • Low-income, pregnant, breastfeeding, and postpartum women, for up to one year postpartum
  • Women up to six months postpartum who are not breastfeeding
  • Infants and children under 5 years old, including foster children
  • Low-income sole provider parents of children under age of 5 who are at nutritional risk and who are below 185% of FPL
  • If you are currently receiving Medicaid, Temporary Assistance, or Food Assistance help, you are also eligible for WIC

How to get help: 

Call your local WIC office and say you want to apply for WIC. 

National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program

The NSLP serves healthy, well-balanced, reduced-price or free meals to children in school. 

An extension of the NSLP, the School Breakfast Program provides free or low-cost breakfast to eligible students at participating schools. Schools with at least 80% of the students eligible for free or reduced-price meals must provide breakfast at no cost to all students. 

For the 2023-24 school year, all Colorado students will be able to get free school meals, as long as their school district opts into the Healthy Meals for All Program, which will reimburse participating school districts for the meals they provide.


Household income must fall at or below the limits of the Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines.

How to get help: 

Contact your child’s school to enroll. 

Colorado’s Summer Food Service Program

The Colorado Department of Education, in partnership with sponsoring organizations, serves nutritious meals at no cost to children up to age 18 during summer break. Food is distributed at community sites, such as schools, churches, rec centers, and parks.  


Anyone 18 years of age and younger is welcome to eat a meal at participating sites throughout the summer.

How to get help: 

  • Use the KidsFoodFinder
  • Text “FOOD” or “COMIDA” to 877-877
  • Call 866-348-6479 to find a location

Colorado food banks

Food banks in Colorado provide meals for individuals and families who are struggling to put food on the table. 


Each food bank sets its own eligibility and proof of need requirements. 

How to get help: 

To find a food bank near you and for additional information, visit the Hunger Free Colorado website.

More food help: 

Child care help for low-income families

There are multiple federally funded education programs and resources in Colorado:

Colorado Child Care Assistance Program

The Colorado Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) connects low-income families to free or affordable child care help. These services are available through CCAP child care providers to those enrolled in Colorado Works (the state’s TANF program) or families that meet eligibility guidelines.


  • Resident of Colorado
  • Employed, in training for a job, or actively looking for work
  • Have at least one child under 13 (or 19 if the child has a disability that requires special needs care)
  • Income is less than 85% of the state median income and less than the maximum income for household size set by each Colorado county.

How to get help:

  • Apply online through Colorado PEAK or contact your local Colorado DHS office
  • Find a CCAP child care provider through Colorado Shines

Colorado Head Start and Early Head Start

Head Start is a free federal preschool program for children aged 3 to 5 from low-income families. Early Head Start serves pregnant women and children under age 3. The programs focus on cognitive, social, and emotional development and prepare children for school. 


  • Children from birth to 5 
  • Meet federal poverty guidelines 
  • Children in foster care, homeless children, and children from families receiving public assistance (TANF, SSI, etc.) are eligible regardless of income
  • Some programs accept kids with incomes above the Poverty Guidelines
  • Pregnant women can also receive prenatal and postpartum information, education, and services through Early Head Start

How to get help: 

Universal Preschool Colorado

The state of Colorado will launch free Universal Preschool (UPK) in the 2023-2024 school year (August 1, 2023 to July 31, 2024). It provides up to 15 hours per week of educational care for 3- to 4-year-olds. 

If your child meets one of the qualifying factors, they may be eligible for up to 30 hours of care per week when combined with other benefits such as Head Start, CCAP, or other preschool funding.


  • Child will be 3 or 4 when the 2023-2024 school year begins
  • Family income is below 270% of the federal poverty guidelines, based on your household size.

How to get help:

More education help

Education help for single moms in Colorado

If you’re a single mom who wants to further her education, here are some helpful resources: 

Get a GED in Colorado

If you are at least 17 years old in Colorado and not enrolled in high school, you can take the GED test. You may also be able to take the test at 16 with approval from the Colorado High School Equivalency office. 

The GED test is broken into four exams on different subjects, which can be spaced out and taken at your own pace (though each individual exam has a time limit): 

  • Mathematical reasoning – 115 minutes
  • Reasoning through language arts – 150 minutes
  • Social studies – 70 minutes
  • Science – 90 minutes

You have two options for taking the test in Colorado: 

  • Online at-home test – $43.50 per subject
  • In person at a test center – $37.50 per subject

Grants and scholarships in Colorado

The Colorado Department of Higher Education connects students and prospective students with financial aid resources like grants and scholarships available in Colorado and nationwide.

You can start by applying for:

Individual schools also offer need-based and academic scholarships for their students. If you’ve been accepted to a higher education institution, contact their office of financial aid to learn how to apply. 

Other places to find financial aid:

Student loan forgiveness in Colorado

If you are having trouble paying back your student loans, look into these options for student loan forgiveness:

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

If you have a Direct Loan or loans that have been consolidated into a Direct Loan, you may be eligible for loan forgiveness if you meet certain requirements.


  • Full-time employee of a U.S. federal, state, local, or tribal government or not-for-profit organization (use the PSLF Help Tool if you are uncertain you work for a qualified employer)
  • Direct loan holder
  • In an income-driven repayment plan
  • Must complete 120 qualifying payments 

New qualifications will be announced July 1, 2023 (we will update them when they are released).

How to get help:

  • Call 855-265-4038

Employment help for single moms in Colorado

Workforce programs in Colorado provide training and assist with employment:

Colorado Workforce Development Council

The Colorado Workforce Development Council is an organization that connects workers to helpful career and education resources, including:

  • Workforce centers – Virtual or in-person centers to help you find work, career-related training, educational opportunities, grants, apprenticeships, and other job services
  • TalentFOUND – A portal to look for jobs, explore careers, and develop employable skills
  • My Colorado Journey – A platform to help you plan your career and look for opportunities that suit your skills


Any Colorado resident can use these resources.

How to get help:

Call 720-377-8624 or email [email protected]

Colorado Department of Labor and Unemployment

This program provides unemployment compensation to eligible Colorado workers who are out of work through no fault of their own.


  • Colorado resident 
  • Unemployed or working less than 32 hours per week and earning less than the weekly unemployment benefit
  • A traditional employee with a W-2
  • Earned at least $2,500 within 18 months
  • Able and available to work

How to get help: 

American Job Centers

The American Job Centers offer employment and training services, career counseling, and job search assistance. 

How to get help: 

More employment help: 

Charity organizations in Colorado

There are a number of charitable organizations throughout Colorado that offer support to single moms:

The Salvation Army of Colorado

The Salvation Army wears many hats. Chapters assist with:

  • Food, shelter and clothing
  • Medication costs
  • Education and job training
  • Christmas presents
  • Rent and utility bills
  • Substance abuse rehabilitation
  • Youth services
  • Emergency disaster response

How to get help: 

Visit the Salvation Army website to find your local chapter. 

Catholic Charities of Colorado

Catholic Charities assists with:

  • Housing
  • Utility assistance
  • Food assistance
  • Health care assistance

There are three chapters in Colorado:

How to get help: 

United Way of Colorado

The United Way of Colorado connects people in need with local resources like: 

  • Food
  • Shelter
  • Child care services
  • Housing
  • Health care
  • Support groups

How to get help: 

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