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Help for single moms in Michigan: 28 assistance programs

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

Statistically, families benefit most with cash assistance (vs through benefits programs).1 Here is our guide to single mom grant programs, including our own.

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 Michigan

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

Michigan Family Independence Program

The Family Independence Program (FIP) — also known as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) — provides temporary cash assistance to families with children to help them pay for living expenses such as rent, heat, utilities, clothing, food and other items.

These are the benefit amounts per family size: 

Household sizeBenefit Amount

*Add $80 for each additional person

FIP recipients may also be assigned to the Partnership. Accountability. Training. Hope. (PATH) program to get help finding a job or to get job training. 

Cash assistance is available for a lifetime total of 48 months for adults. Children under the care of a relative may be able to receive assistance for a longer period of time. 


  • U.S. citizen or a qualified non-citizen
  • Michigan resident
  • Have children under 18 or under 19 if still enrolled in high school
  • Pregnant women in third trimester if unable to work or in 9th month of pregnancy
  • Family must have $15,000 or less in countable liquid assets and the total assessed value of real property must be $200,000 or less
  • Family’s income must be less than the maximum monthly benefit amount for the household size

How to get help:

  • Apply for TANF on the MI Bridges website
  • Call the Michigan’s TANF office at 855-275-6424

More emergency cash help in Michigan: 

Single moms in Michigan 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 Michigan

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

  • Apply for Section 8  
  • Contact your local public housing agency and ask how to apply for assistance
  • Call 800-955-2232

Mortgage assistance in Michigan 

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

Michigan Homeowner Assistance Fund (MIHAF)

Established under the American Rescue Plan Act, MIHAF provides relief to Michigan homeowners who have endured financial hardship due to the pandemic. Payouts are up to $25,000 per household.


  • Household income less than 150% of AMI
  • Own and occupy the property as their primary residence
  • Must have and explain a financial hardship directly related to COVID-19 on or after January 21, 2020

How to get help: 

Michigan Home Loan Program

MI Home Loan is a program that helps first-time homebuyers make their down payment by working with a participating lender.


  • First-time homebuyer (must not have owned a home in the past three years)
  • Minimum credit score of 640 required or 660 for multiple-section manufactured homes
  • Meet county income limits

How to get help: 

Check today's mortgage loan rates >>

Homeless Assistance in Michigan 

The Michigan Department of Housing and Homeless Services offers many resources to residents experiencing homelessness through the MI Bridges portal. MDHHS works across departments to provide those in need with as many resources as possible, including Medicaid, food services, children’s services, and job training.

How to get help:

Dial 2-1-1 or visit MI Bridges.

More housing help: 

Electric bill assistance in Michigan

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

Michigan Energy Assistance Program (MEAP)

MEAP administers energy assistance to help low-income households pay for their utilities and budget for their future energy expenses.


  • U.S. citizen or legally admitted immigrant
  • Michigan resident
  • Meet income guidelines — $37,290/year for a family of three

How to get help:

Call 2-1-1 or visit to connect with a MEAP provider

Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)

WAP makes home improvements to help lower qualifying families’ energy bills and promote energy efficiency. Types of assistance include:

  • Weather-stripping, caulking, general air sealing
  • Attic, foundation, wall, or sill box insulation
  • Programmable thermostat installation
  • Furnace or water heater tune-up or replacement
  • Refrigerator replacement
  • Light bulb replacement

How to get help:

Contact your local Weatherization Operator.

More electric bill help: 

Free money to help pay bills

Medical insurance and dental help for single moms in Michigan

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

Michigan Dental Association Foundation (MDAF)

The charitable branch of the Michigan Dental Association, MDAF is an organization of licensed professionals who provide free dental services to uninsured veterans, low-income individuals, and elderly Michigan residents. 


Each individual clinic sets its own eligibility requirements.

How to get help: 

Search for your nearest clinic on the Smile Michigan website.

Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) in Michigan

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

Michigan Medicaid

Medicaid provides medical coverage for low-income individuals and families. Michigan offers different programs for families, children, individuals and pregnant women.


  • Michigan resident
  • Meet annual household income requirements — $33,064/year for a family of three

How to get help:

  • Apply for coverage through the MI Bridges portal
  • Call 800-642-3195 with any questions


MIChild — part of the national Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) — provides health coverage to uninsured children under the age of 19 whose families do not qualify for Medicaid. Qualifying families pay a $10 monthly premium that also covers children for vision, dental, and mental health services.


  • Children Under age 19
  • Have no other health insurance
  • Have a Social Security Number
  • Live in Michigan
  • Be a U.S. citizen or qualified immigrant
  • Meet gross income limits — $33,064/year for a family of three

How to get help: 

More medical/dental help: 

Food help for low-income families in Michigan

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

Michigan Food Assistance Program (FAP)

FAP is a federally funded program that helps low-income families purchase healthy groceries from Food and Nutrition Service-authorized retail food stores, including:

  • Breads
  • Cereals
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Meats
  • Fish
  • Poultry
  • Dairy
  • Non-alcoholic beverages
  • Plants and seeds to grow food 

Click here for a list of what you can and cannot buy


  • Michigan resident
  • Current bank balance under $2,000 OR
  • Current bank balance under $3,251 and share a household with one of the following:
    • Person or persons age 60+ 
    • Person with a disability 
  • Meet annual household income requirements — $32,318/year for a family of three

How to get help: 

Apply on the MIBridges portal

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: 

  • Find your local WIC clinic
  • Call WIC customer service at 888-678-8914

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. 


How to get help: 

Contact your child’s school to enroll.

Michigan Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)

SFSP ensures that low-income children have access to healthy meals even when school is out of session. Meet Up and Eat Up Sites such as local schools, libraries, and parks across the state distribute food during the summer months.


Children already enrolled in the National School Lunch Program and/or School Breakfast Program are eligible to receive free summer meals. 

How to get help: 

Michigan food banks

Food banks in Michigan 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: 

Find your local food bank on the Food Bank Council of Michigan’s directory.

More food help: 

Child care help for low-income families in Michigan

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

Michigan 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 — $24,860/year for a family of three
  • 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: 

Child Care Assistance

If you cannot afford child care, payment assistance is available through the Child Development and Care (CDC) Program. Families are responsible for paying any amount over the benefit amount directly to their care provider. 


Meet income limits (also lists payouts) for your household size. 

How to apply: 

Apply through MIBridges.

More child care help

Education help for single moms in Michigan

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

Get a GED in Michigan

If you are at least 18 years old in Michigan, you can take the GED test. You may also be able to take the test at 16 or 17 with special permission from the school district where you live. 

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 Michigan: 

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

Grants and scholarships in Michigan

The following programs are available in Michigan: 

Tuition Incentive Program (TIP)

TIP encourages Medicaid recipients to complete high school by providing tuition assistance after graduation.


  • Michigan resident
  • U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or approved refugee
  • Students must have (or have had) Medicaid coverage for 24 months within a 36-month period between the ages of nine and high school graduation
  • File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Obtain a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent prior to age 20
  • Begin using TIP at a participating institution within four years of high school graduation
  • Not be in default on a Federal student loan
  • Be enrolled at least half-time in accredited institution

How to get help:

  • Search all state scholarship programs here
  • Call 888-447-2687 for information
  • Read the TIP fact sheet

Michigan Tuition Grant

This grant awards up to $3,000 per academic year to undergraduate Michigan students who need financial help to attend college. 


  • Michigan resident since July 1 of the previous calendar year
  • U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or approved refugee
  • Demonstrate financial need
  • Enroll at least half-time in accredited institution
  • Possess a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent
  • Not be incarcerate
  • Cannot be enrolled in a course of study leading to a degree in theology, divinity, or religious education
  • Not be in default on a Federal student loan

How to get help:

More education help: 

Employment help for single moms in Michigan

Workforce programs in Michigan provide training and assist with employment:

MichiganWorks! Association

MichiganWorks! strives to connect Michigan job searchers with local businesses. The association facilitates networking events, job training, and job placement assistance to its members.

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: 

Charity organizations in Michigan

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

Single Family Living (SFL)

SFL is a volunteer organization that seeks to empower both children and parents in single parent families. They provide resources and services including mentorship, counseling, and housing assistance. 

How to get help: 

  • Fill out the contact form on their website
  • Call 586-843-9678 for more information

The Salvation Army of Michigan

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 Michigan

Catholic Charities assists with:

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

There are numerous locations across Michigan.


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

How to get help: 

United Way of Michigan

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

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

How to get help: 


  1. “The Long-Term Impacts of Cash Assistance to Families,” by Kevin Werner, The Urban Institute, Jan. 31, 2024

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