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Help for single moms in Maryland: 35 assistance programs

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If you’re a single mom in Maryland 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 Maryland

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

Emergency Assistance to Families with Children

Emergency Assistance to Families with Children (EAFC) provides cash assistance to families dealing with: 

  • Eviction notices
  • Mortgage foreclosures
  • Gas and electric turn-off notices
  • Delinquent water bills 

Families must agree to use their available income, contributions, and other resources like bank accounts to help resolve the emergency.


  • Must have one or more children under 21 in the household 
  • Present proof of an emergency that was not caused by a family member quitting a job
  • Present eviction notice from utility company that services have been or will be cut off or other proof of an emergency

How to get help:

You must apply in person at your local Department and Human Services office

Temporary Cash Assistance in Maryland

TCA — Maryland’s 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. 

The amount paid out varies depending on household income and family size. For example, a family of three can receive a maximum benefit of $624/month. Cash assistance is available for a lifetime total of 48 months for adults.


  • Must be a U.S. citizen or a qualified non-citizen
  • Permanent Maryland resident
  • Have children under 18 or under 19 if still enrolled in high school
  • Children and mother must have social security number
  • Cooperate with child support 
  • Participate in work activities
  • Meet financial requirements — $624/month for a family of three

How to get help:

More emergency cash help in Maryland: 

Single moms in Maryland 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 Maryland

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

Rental assistance in Maryland

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

Emergency Rental Assistance Program 

The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development helps low-income renters who were affected by COVID-19 pay their rent. 

They also offer a number of affordable housing options


Local jurisdictions determine eligibility. 

How to get help: 

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 Maryland

If you need help buying a home or paying a mortgage in Maryland, these programs can help: 

Maryland Homeowner Assistance Fund

The Maryland Homeowner Assistance Fund helps homeowners who are struggling to pay their mortgage or other housing costs after COVID-19. 

There are two types of assistance available: 

  • Maryland Homeowner Assistance Fund Grant (HAF Grant)
    • Maximum assistance of $20,000 to help residents avoid imminent displacement due to property tax delinquency, homeowner or condominium association fee delinquency, mortgage delinquency, and more 
  • Maryland Homeowner Assistance Fund Loan (HAF Loan)
    • Offers one-time payment of a delinquent mortgage amount, OR 
    • Additional funds to reduce monthly payments to an affordable level for the homeowner, ideally less than 50% of the household gross monthly income
    • Provides a maximum loan of $40,000 with 0% interest rate
    • Payment is due in full when the first mortgage ends, though the department may offer payment plans or allow full or partial forgiveness depending on the homeowner’s equity in the property
    • Loan requires a recorded lien on the property 


  • Maryland resident 
  • Eligible COVID-19 financial hardship after January 21, 2020
  • 90 days in arrears 
  • Household income must not exceed limits

How to get help: 

Maryland Mortgage Program

The Department of Housing and Community Development's Maryland Mortgage Program offers several down payment assistance programs: 

​​1st Time Advantage

  • $6,000 loan for down payment and closing costs
  • Fixed year interest rate as low as 0%

Maryland Mortgage Program Flex 

  • Flex Direct offers no down payment assistance but the most competitive interest rates for repeat homebuyers
  • Flex 5000 offers a $5,000 loan for down payment and closing costs with 0% interest, and no payments are due for the life of the first mortgage
  • Flex 3% offers a loan equal to 3% of the first mortgage with 0% interest

Partner Match 

Partner Match helps homeowners find organizations that can help with down payment and closing cost assistance. 

Qualifications for all three programs: 

  • Must meet income and purchase price limits 
  • First time homebuyer or must not have owned residential property for three years (does not apply for homebuyers purchasing in Targeted Areas)
  • Home must be in Maryland 
  • Home must be primary residence 
  • Lenders may have additional requirements 

How to get help: 

Check today's mortgage loan rates >>

Homeless assistance in Maryland 

The main goal of the Bureau of Homeless Services is to prevent Maryland residents from becoming homeless — or from having to return to homelessness. The office oversees services including:

  • Emergency shelters
  • Transitional housing
  • Permanent housing
  • Counseling to acquire the necessary life skills to maintain permanent housing

The Department of Human Services also offers a Homeless Prevention Program (HPP) to assist families facing a housing crisis. Funding is available for small one-time crisis grants to keep those facing eviction.


Requirements are set by individual Continuums of Care agencies. 

How to get help: 

More housing help: 

Utility bill assistance in Maryland

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

Fuel Fund of Maryland

The Fuel Fund of Maryland helps Marylanders who cannot pay their energy bills in full, even with help from the Maryland Office of Home Energy Programs. The nonprofit provides a one-time energy assistance payment for low-income Maryland households with past due accounts.

Recipients pay a portion of the outstanding bill and the Fuel Fund provides the funds required for a zero balance. This financial help is available once every 365 days. 


  • Maryland resident
  • Your energy service is cut off
  • Completed a state energy assistance application by July 1, 2021
  • BGE or bulk fuel customer in BGE service area
  • You have not received help from the Fuel Fund in 365 days
  • If you are a bulk fuel customer, you are almost out of fuel, it is between November and March, and you meet income requirements

How to get help:

Office of Home Energy Programs in Maryland

Maryland’s Office of Home Energy Programs helps low-income residents pay their utility bills to prevent shut offs through several programs: 

  • The Maryland Energy Assistance Program (MEAP) helps qualifying households with home heating and cooling costs. 
  • The Electric Universal Service Program (EUSP) provides cash assistance with electric bills. Eligible customers receive help that pays a portion of their current electric bills. 
  • The Utility Service Protection Program (USPP) is designed to protect low-income families from utility turn-offs during the heating season. All MEAP eligible customers may participate in USPP. 
  • The Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) is a water assistance program  to help families pay their water bills. LIHWAP will assist Maryland families who are behind on their drinking water and wastewater bills focusing on accounts that are 30 days or more past due.

You can find more utility and energy bill assistance programs in Maryland here. 


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. Types of assistance include:

  • Installing carbon monoxide detectors
  • Removing mold
  • Replacing inefficient or unsafe heating units 
  • Insulating a single family home for energy efficiency


  • U.S citizen or qualified non-citizen 
  • Maryland resident 
  • Meet annual household income guidelines
  • Automatically eligible if you are receiving SSI, TANF or Aid to Families with Dependent Children benefits

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 Maryland

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

Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) in Maryland

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 Maryland by typing in your address on HRSA’s search tool.

Maryland Medicaid

Medicaid provides medical coverage for low-income individuals and families. In Maryland, most Medicaid recipients are enrolled in the Statewide Medicaid Managed Care program, which includes:

  • Managed Medical Assistance (MMA): Covers medical services like doctor visits, hospital care, prescription drugs, mental health care, and transportation for medical needs
  • Long-term Care (LTC): Covers care in a nursing facility, assisted living, or at home (must be at least 18 years old and require nursing home-level care or hospital-level care if you have cystic fibrosis)
  • Dental: Covers all dental services for children and adults


  • Maryland resident 
  • U.S. citizen or qualified non-citizen 
  • Must provide a social security number for all applicants 
  • Income limits vary for different groups of individuals and household sizes:

How to get help:

Maryland Children’s Health Program  

The Maryland Children’s Health Program (MCHP) offers free or low-cost health coverage to uninsured children under the age of 19 whose household incomes are too high to qualify for Medicaid.

Uninsured children in higher income households may qualify for MCHP Premium, which 

requires a monthly fee per family of either $61 or $76 depending on your household income.

MCHP provides health and dental services with a choice of local doctors, dentists, hospitals, and pharmacies. Benefits include:

  • Doctor visits
  • Surgeries
  • Vaccines
  • Vision and hearing 
  • Hospital stays

You can find a full list of benefits here. 


  • Maryland resident 

How to get help: 

Maryland Maternal and Child Health Bureau 

The Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) offers: 

  • Prenatal care and parenting help
  • Family planning and reproductive health 
  • Stress management
  • Home visits 
  • Local resources and assistance


Each program sets its own eligibility requirements. 

How to get help: 

More medical/dental help: 

Food help for low-income families in Maryland

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

Maryland Supplemental Nutrition 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 


  • Maryland resident
  • Must provide a social security number for all applicants 
  • Able-bodied adults between 16 and 60 years of age must register for work, accept an offer of suitable work, and take part in an employment and training program when referred to one by the local department of social services
  • Meet income requirements

How to get help: 

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 or 877-463-3464 and say you want to apply for WIC. 

National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program

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. Schools with at least 80% of the students eligible for free or reduced-price meals must provide breakfast at no cost to all students. 


Household income must fall at or below the limits of the federal income eligibility guidelines.

How to get help: 

Apply online or contact your child’s school to enroll. 

Maryland’s Summer Food Service Program

The Maryland Department of Education serves nutritious meals at no cost to children during summer break. Food is distributed at local schools, nonprofits, parks, and libraries. 


These are the current income and eligibility guidelines for the Summer Food Service Program: 

How to get help: 

Find a location near you at the USDA Summer Food Service Program website.

Maryland food banks

Food banks in Maryland 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 Maryland Food Bank website.

More food help: 

Child care help for low-income families in Maryland

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

Maryland Child Care Scholarship (CCS)

The Maryland CCS (formerly known as the Child Care Subsidy) provides funds to help pay for child care in working families with low-to-moderate income. You must use a child care provider in the Maryland EXCELS program

There are two types of scholarship:

  • Formal: Helps pay for care at registered Maryland family home or a state-licensed child care provider
  • Informal: Helps pay for child care from a relative at the child’s home or at the relative’s home or for a non-relative in the child’s home

The scholarship is valid for one year from the date of issue. 


  • Maryland resident with a valid photo I.D. and able to provide identification proof for all household members
  • Employed, in an approved training program, or going to school
  • A family with children younger than 13 years old (younger than 19 with a disability)
  • Meet income guidelines or receives Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits
  • You can show proof of your child’s immunization or you have a plan to get immunizations that meet Maryland requirements
  • If raising children in a single-parent home, must have or pursue child support or have good cause for not doing so
  • Children must be U.S. citizens or qualified non-citizens (U.S. citizenship is not required for parents)

Families have a co-payment and the amount decreases when you have multiple children using the CCS benefit. Families with TCA and SSI benefits do not have a co-payment.

How to get help:

Maryland 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 apply: 

More child care help

Education help for single moms in Maryland

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

Get a GED in Maryland

If you are at least 19 years old in Maryland, you can take the GED test. All applicants under age 19 must provide proof of official school withdrawal or verification of home instruction. 

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 Maryland: 

  • Online at-home test – $17.25 per subject
  • In person at a test center – $11.25 per subject

Grants and scholarships in Maryland

The Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA) connects students and prospective students with grants and scholarships available in Maryland. To find out which scholarships and grants you may be eligible for, create a student profile on the OSFA website

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. 

More education help: 

Employment help for single moms in Maryland

Workforce programs in Maryland provide training and assist with employment:

Maryland Reemployment Assistance (Insurance) Program

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


  • Maryland resident 
  • Unemployed
  • Previously employed for the past 12 months
  • Earned a certain amount of wages
  • Actively looking for another job

How to get help: 

American Job Centers

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

How to get help: 

More employment help: 

Legal help for single moms in Maryland

Maryland Legal Aid

Maryland Legal Aid provides free legal help for civil issues such as matters of child custody, housing, and consumer law to low-income residents in Maryland.


  • U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or qualified non-citizen
  • Must meet income and asset guidelines for your household based on the federal poverty guidelines
  • Needs legal help for a civil matter

How to get help:

Charity organizations in Maryland

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

The Salvation Army of Maryland

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


Each Salvation Army branch determines its own eligibility criteria for different programs. 

How to get help: 

Visit the Salvation Army website to find your local chapter. 

Catholic Charities of Maryland

Catholic Charities offers 80 programs to assist those in need. Services include:

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


Each Catholic Charities program determines its own eligibility criteria for different programs. 

How to get help: 

United Way of Maryland

The United Way of Maryland 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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