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Help for single moms in Idaho: 34 assistance programs

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If you’re a single mom in Idaho 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 Idaho

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

Temporary Assistance for Families in Idaho

TAFI gives in-need families monthly cash to use for food, housing, and other necessities. A family of three can be paid $389/month for a limit of 24 months. Check out the full list of monthly payouts.

Relatives caring for children who aren’t their own may also be eligible for TAFI benefits if the child’s income and resources meet the program guidelines.


  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Participate in an employment and training program for job readiness
  • Cooperate with child support services to collect child support payments, if applicable
  • Not have resources above the program’s limits
  • Income can’t exceed the monthly payout for each family size

How to get help:

  • Call 877-456-1233
  • Download an application from the Idaho Department of Health & Welfare website and email it to [email protected]
  • Visit your Idaho Department of Health & Welfare office

More emergency cash help in Idaho: 

Single moms in Idaho 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 Idaho

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

Rental assistance in Idaho

There are multiple programs in Idaho to help renters find housing and pay their rent:

Idaho Emergency Rental Assistance

Families can receive up to 18 months of emergency assistance to help them pay their rent. The amount a family can receive varies based on their situation. The program prioritizes applicants who:

  • Lost a job
  • On the verge of eviction
  • Have less than 50% of the median area income


  • Renter who is unable to afford their rent
  • Idaho resident
  • Not related to the landlord
  • Qualify based on income (no limits given, but priority given to lower-income households)

How to get help: 

Public Housing and Housing Choice Vouchers (Section 8) in Idaho

Low-income families in Idaho can get vouchers from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to help them pay rent.

Families receiving Section 8 vouchers can also qualify for the Family Self-Sufficiency Program, which helps adults set goals to become financially independent and achieve homeownership. 

The program is free and provides steps single parents can take to own a home.


Families must meet income requirements for their area based on household size.

How to get help: 

  • Contact your local public housing agency for information on how to apply/income eligibility.
  • Call 800-569-4287

Mortgage assistance in Idaho

If you need help buying a home in Idaho, these programs can help: 

Homeowner Assistance Fund

Homeowners who can’t afford their mortgage payments can get help from the Homeowner Assistance Fund. Payments can be for:

  • Mortgages
  • Property taxes
  • Insurance premiums
  • Some utility payments
  • HOA fees 


  • Idaho homeowner
  • Experienced a financial hardship due to the pandemic
  • Meet income guidelines, which vary by county                            

How to get help: 

Apply online through the Idaho Housing and Finance Association.

Down Payment Assistance for Idaho Homeowners

Idaho homebuyers can get up to 10% of the sale price of a home they want to buy to pay their down payment or closing costs. The program only requires homebuyers to pay a minimum of 0.5% down.


  • Household income less than $150,000
  • Must take a financial course for home buyers

How to get help: 

Contact a participating lender.

Check today's mortgage loan rates >>

Homeless assistance in Idaho

Idaho Care Line

The Idaho Care Line helps Idahoans who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless find emergency shelter, food, and other necessities.

How to get help: 


CATCH Idaho places homeless persons to find and maintain housing. Then, the nonprofit provides support services like job placement and counseling to help residents remain in homes. CATCH programs serve Ada County and/or Canyon County as follows:

  • Our Path Home Connect (Ada): Offers financial assistance to get and keep housing
  • Our Path Home Outreach (Ada): Outreach workers go out in the community to engage homeless persons who have no shelter and are experiencing a severe mental illness
  • Linda Fund (Ada): Helps homeless families with a consistent income to find housing and may offer help with the deposit and first month’s rent
  • Taking Root (Ada and Canyon): Helps homeless families in shelters and on streets find a rental and sponsors the application fee, security deposit, and a monthly rental and utility allowance up to six months


  • Homeless persons and families living in Ada County or Canyon County are eligible to receive help

How to get help:

  • Call 208-495-4240 in Ada County
  • Call 208-495-5688 in Canyon County

Continuum of Care Program and Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG)

The Continuum of Care Program (CoC) rehomes individuals and families who are homeless and connects them to community resources for additional help getting back on their feet.

ESG gives money to agencies that help homeless people and families or those at risk of being homeless in Idaho.


Each agency funded through CoC and ESG has its own guidelines for homeless program eligibility.

How to get help: 

More housing help: 

Electric bill assistance in Idaho

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

Idaho Power Energy Bill Assistance

Idaho Power connects customers to programs to help them pay energy bills when they are experiencing financial hardship, including:

  • Payment arrangements: Pay bills over time or break large bills into smaller payments
  • Winter Protection Program: If you have children at home 18 or younger, residents that are 62 and over, or residents whose health or safety require energy service, you can get a freeze on disconnection between December 1 and March 1
  • Winter Pay Program: Make small, agreed upon payments during the winter to keep energy service on even of you can’t pay your bill in full 
  • Project Share: Eligible Idaho Power customers can get a one-time payment up to $450 per household to help with energy costs
  • Energy Efficiency Programs: Programs to help increase energy efficiency to make your home comfortable and reduce energy waste


  • Idaho Power customer
  • Experiencing hardship and unable to pay energy bills in full

How to get help:

Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) in Idaho

LIHEAP helps families pay their heating bills. Families with children younger than 6 can begin applying in October, one month earlier than other applicants. The amount families get depends on which Idaho county they live in and the cost of their heating bills.

Some families can also get emergency assistance with a one-time payment to help them turn their service back on or prevent their heat from being turned off.


For LIHEAP and emergency assistance, households must:

  • Live in Idaho
  • At least one household member is a U.S. citizen or lawful resident
  • Able to show heating bill
  • Meet income guidelines — $3,414/month max income for a family of three

Emergency assistance participants must also be able to prove that they’ve lost their heating service or are at risk for losing it due to financial hardship.

How to get help:

Sign up for an account on the CaseWorthy portal to submit an online application.

Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) in Idaho

WAP in Idaho pays for repairs or upgrades to make homes more energy efficient. WAP participants can be homeowners or renters, but renters need approval from their landlords to participate. The program prioritizes applicants with children.


  • Live in Idaho
  • At least one U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident in the household
  • Proof of utility expenses
  • Proof of homeownership or landlord approval
  • Meet income guidelines — $3,838/month for a family of three

How to get help:

Visit the Idaho Department of Health & Welfare website to find a nearby agency to apply.

More electric bill help: 

Free money to help pay bills

Medical insurance and dental help for single moms in Idaho

The following programs give single moms in Idaho help with medical and dental services and costs for themselves and their children: 

Idaho Medicaid for Adults

Idaho Medicaid for Adults gives adults with low incomes free health insurance covering preventative and wellness services.

Pregnant women can also qualify for the program, and their unborn child counts as one family member.


  • Resident of Idaho
  • U.S. citizen or legal immigrant
  • Assets below program limits
  • Income under 138% of FPL — $2,649/month for a family of three

How to get help:

  • Apply online with IdaLink
  • Call 877-456-1233
  • Email your application to [email protected] 
  • Visit your nearest Idaho Department of Health & Welfare office

Idaho Children’s Medicaid

Idaho Children’s Medicaid allows children to receive affordable health coverage even if their parent or caregiver’s income is too high for Medicaid.

The program covers:

  • Preventative well-child visits
  • Visits for illness or injuries
  • Diagnostic testing
  • Immunizations
  • Vision care
  • X-rays
  • Inpatient and outpatient hospital care
  • Counseling and mental health services
  • Durable medical equipment
  • Lab tests
  • Prescriptions


  • Live in Idaho
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
  • Be under 19 years old
  • Meet income guidelines based on family size — under $4,394/month for a family of three

How to get help: 

  • Apply online with IdaLink
  • Call 877-456-1233
  • Email your application to [email protected] 
  • Visit your nearest Idaho Department of Health & Welfare office

Idaho Maternal and Child Health

This program helps pregnant women, mothers, infants, and children access quality health care services. Women and their children can get assistance through:

  • Special needs services
  • Home visits
  • Poison control help
  • Pregnancy prevention resources
  • Family planning
  • Child-to-adult transitioning assistance
  • Nutrition guidance


Each program has its own set of requirements, which you can learn about on the Idaho Maternal and Child Health website.

How to get help: 

MCNA Dental

MCNA Dental is Idaho’s Medicaid program for adult and child dental services. The program pays for:

  • Routine cleanings
  • Preventative exams
  • X-rays
  • Gum and cavity treatments
  • Root canals
  • Dental emergencies


Idaho residents who are eligible for Medicaid are automatically eligible for MCNA dental.

How to get help: 

  • Apply online with IdaLink
  • Call 855-233-6262

Idaho Community Dental Clinics

Some community dental clinics in Idaho provide free or low-cost services to families in need.  


Each individual clinic or school sets its own eligibility requirements. 

How to get help: 

Find a local clinic through the Idaho State Dental Association.

More medical/dental help: 

Food help for low-income families in Idaho

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

Idaho Food Assistance Program (SNAP)

SNAP is a federal program previously known as food stamps. Idaho families with low incomes can get money from SNAP on an electronic benefits card to buy food like: 

  • Fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Dairy products
  • Meat, poultry, and fish
  • Seeds to grow food
  • Pantry items, like cereal and rice

The amount families receive each month depends on their family size and income


  • Idaho resident
  • U.S. citizen or legal resident
  • Willing to participate in a training or employment program, if necessary
  • Meet income guidelines — $2,495/month for a family of three

How to get help: 

  • Call 877-456-1233
  • Visit your nearest Idaho Department of Health & Welfare office
  • Email an application to [email protected] 
  • Fax an application to 866-434-8278

Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) in Idaho

WIC gives pregnant women, babies, and children up to age five cards to buy nutritious foods and formula. The program also offers breastfeeding support and resources for families to learn more about eating healthy.


  • 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: 

Contact your local WIC clinic to set up an appointment.

National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program

Public school students in Idaho can get free or reduced lunches and breakfasts on school days. 


Eligible households have income within the federal income eligibility guidelines.

How to get help: 

  • Contact your child’s school for more information
  • Call the program director at 208-332-6929

Idaho Summer Meal Program

When school is not in session for the summer, children can receive free meals through the Idaho Summer Meal Program. 


  • Children must be between the ages of 1 and 18 to receive meals
  • No income requirements

How to get help: 

  • Dial 2-1-1 for the Idaho CareLine 
  • Text FOOD to 304-304

Idaho Food Banks

Food banks give food to Idaho families in need, usually on a weekly or monthly basis. 


Each food bank sets its own eligibility requirements.

How to get help: 

Visit The Idaho Foodbank to find a nearby food bank.

More food help: 

Child care help for low-income families in Idaho

Idaho single moms can get help paying for child care with the following programs:

Idaho Head Start and Early Head Start

Idaho’s Head Start and Early Head Start programs give free resources to families for child development and education. Children from birth through age 2 enter the Early Head Start program, while Head Start caters to preschool-aged children, 3 to 5 years old. 


  • Families must have a child up to 5 years old
  • Meet income eligibility requirements — $24,860 for a family of three
  • Households eligible for SNAP, Medicaid, and other federal benefits may automatically qualify
  • Families with children who are homeless or facing homelessness are eligible

How to apply: 

Contact a local Head Start program.

Idaho Child Care Program

ICCP pays some child care costs for low-income families with children under age 13. Families with children older than 13 with special needs may also qualify. 

The amount the program pays for and the family's co-pay each month is determined by the household’s income. Child care providers must be participants in ICCP to get reimbursed by the program.


  • Live in Idaho
  • Be a U.S. citizen or legal resident
  • Have a qualifying child
  • Be working, attending school, or training for a job
  • Be eligible for Idaho cash assistance (TAFI) or meet income guidelines — $2,783/month for a family of three

How to get help:

  • Call 877-456-1233
  • Visit your nearest Idaho Department of Health & Welfare office
  • Email an application to [email protected] 
  • Fax an application to 866-434-8278

More child care help

Education help for single moms in Idaho

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

Get a GED in Idaho

GED test-takers in Idaho must be at least 18 or have a youth waiver form completed if they’re 16 or 17 years old. 

The test has four subject areas, which each cost $30:

  • Reasoning Through Language Arts
  • Mathematical Reasoning
  • Science
  • Social Studies

Grants and scholarships in Idaho

Single moms going to college can find scholarships through the Idaho State Board of Education. Some scholarships are awarded based on academic achievement, while others are given based on financial need. Each scholarship has its own eligibility requirements and rules for applying.  

Empowering Parents Program

The Empowering Parents Program gives children extra educational support to fight against learning challenges resulting from the pandemic. Eligible families can receive $1,000 per student and up to $3,000 per household to pay for educational expenses, like tutoring or educational material.


  • Be an Idaho resident
  • Have a child attend kindergarten through 12th grade in an Idaho school

Although the program doesn’t have income limits, it does give priority to families earning $60,000 per year or less.

How to get help: 

Apply online with Odyssey.

More education help: 

Employment help for single moms in Idaho

Workforce programs in Idaho provide training and assist with employment:

Idaho Workforce Commission Unemployment Benefit Services

Idaho single moms who have been fired or laid off from their jobs through no fault of their own can apply for Idaho unemployment benefits. The program pays weekly cash to support the household while the recipient looks for a new job.


  • Idaho resident
  • Unemployed, laid off, or had a reduction of hours
  • Willing to actively search for a new job

How to get help: 

Apply through the Idaho Department of Labor website.


IdahoWorks is an online job portal and resource center for Idaho residents. Single moms can search for jobs and training opportunities near their homes. 

How to get help: 

Search for a job on the IdahoWorks website or use the Contact Us page to find your local IdahoWorks chapter to speak with a representative for extra help.

More employment help: 

Legal help in Idaho

Idaho Legal Aid

Idaho Legal Aid provides pro bono (free) attorney help for seniors 60 and over and low-income Idaho residents with civil matters (not criminal cases). 

The Lawyer Referral Program can provide you with the name of an attorney in your area you can talk to for 30 minutes for $35 or less.

There is also a free legal advice number to get help with topics like:

  • Custody
  • Divorce
  • Domestic Violence
  • Evictions
  • Guardianship
  • Landlord/tenant disputes
  • Medicare/Medicaid
  • Public assistance programs


  • Idaho resident
  • Aged 60 and over or annual income is at or below 125% of the federal poverty level (regardless of age)

How to get help:

Idaho Volunteer Lawyers Program

The Idaho Volunteer Lawyers Program offers free legal help on civil matters.


You must complete the online application to determine eligibility. It is based on your household income, assets, and the type of legal issue you have.

How to get help:

Charity organizations in Idaho

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

The House Next Door

The House Next Door gives single moms and their children a rent-free place to stay, at a place called Gracewood. Families pay just $80 per month to contribute to the home’s everyday costs, and they’re responsible for their own personal items and food.


  • Mothers must be at least 18 years old or emancipated
  • Children must be eight or younger at move-in time
  • Mothers must be pursuing a part-time or full-time degree and maintain at least a 2.0 GPA
  • All mothers and children must be current on vaccinations

How to get help: 

Submit an application on Gracewood’s website or call 713-988-9757.

The Salvation Army of Idaho

The Salvation Army has several locations in Idaho that help local families:

  • Pay for food
  • Pay their utility bills
  • Receive physical and mental health services
  • Get holiday gifts for their children
  • Access religious or spiritual services
  • Find after-school activities for kids
  • Get help for domestic abuse
  • Find shelter


Each Salvation Army location in Idaho has its own services and determines eligibility for each of its services and programs. 

How to get help: 

Visit the Salvation Army website to find your local chapter. 

United Way in Idaho

The United Way is a global charity that connects people with emergency aid, health care access, and financial resources.

How to get help: 

Contact your nearest United Way agency in Idaho or dial 2-1-1.

Not your state? Select yours here:

One Comment

I’ve been attempting to get info about housing assistance, as well as any financial assistance for my kiddos and I for over a month, our temporary living situation is coming to an end and it has to happen NOW. I’ve only found section 8 (currently on the waiting list for cash voucher) all other websites or links to grant opportunities have been misleading nonsense that is ads or rabbit holes of applications that don’t even result in any valid assistance or even accurate resources…. I was getting really stressed out and discouraged. Until I found you site, and the genuine assistance opportunities and real resources information.
Thank you for not making an already awful situation any worse and providing actual help.

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