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Help for single moms in Mississippi: 32 assistance programs

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If you’re a single mom in Mississippi 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 Mississippi

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

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) in Mississippi

The TANF Program provides cash assistance for families with children under age 18. TANF also helps with services like childcare and transportation so adults can hold a job and become self-sufficient in providing for their children. 

Recipients can receive assistance for a maximum of 60 months — sometimes longer if an adult in the household is disabled or unable to work.

Monthly payments in Mississippi are limited to no more than:

  • $200 for the first person
  • $36 for the second person
  • $24 for each additional person

Benefits are issued through a prepaid debit MasterCard. 


  • Resident of Mississippi 
  • At least one child under the age of 18 living in your house
  • Meet gross monthly income limits — $680/month for a family of three 
  • Children under 7 must meet TANF immunization requirements
  • Children ages 6-17 must attend school and have satisfactory attendance
  • Adults who receive TANF and do not meet a work exemption are required to participate in work activities such as work experience or job search

How to get help:

More emergency cash help in Mississippi: 

Single moms in Mississippi 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 Mississippi

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

Rental assistance in Mississippi

There are multiple programs in Mississippi to help renters find housing and pay their rent based off the county in which you live:

Mississippi Emergency Rental Assistance

This state emergency rental assistance program is designed for people who are behind on their rent and need help paying past-due rent and/or utility bills. 

To qualify, your household income must be below 80% of the AMI. Eligible households can receive a maximum of 15 months of assistance. 

If your household includes one or more members who have been unemployed for 90 days or longer or if your household income is below 50% of the AMI, you will be given priority.


  • Household income may not exceed 80% AMI
  • One or more members of household is at risk of homelessness or is experiencing housing instability
  • One or more members of household qualifies for unemployment benefits
  • Experienced income reduction
  • Incurred significant cost
  • Experienced some other financial hardship related to COVID-19

How to get help:

  • Apply online
  • Contact the call center at 601-533-8401 or 888-725-0063 if you need help filling out the application

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.


  • Meet income limits specified by HUD — less than 50% of median income for the county in which you live. You can find your county’s income limits on the HUD website
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or eligible immigrant
  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Mississippi resident

How to get help: 

  • Contact your local public housing agency and ask how to apply for assistance
  • Call 888-858-6085
  • To apply you will need your social security number, income documentation, application form, and signed consent forms

Emergency Rental Assistance In Mississippi:

Mortgage assistance in Mississippi

If you need help with your mortgage in Mississippi, these programs can help: 


If you have experienced financial hardship and an increase in housing-related expenses due to COVID-19, the Mississippi Home Saver Plus Program may be able to help. The financial hardship must have created a risk of mortgage delinquency, mortgage default, foreclosure, property tax lien, or loss of utilities.

*The HAF program is currently paused. Expect information to be shared in early spring 2023 on when the program will reopen.


  • Must have experienced a qualified financial hardship after January 21, 2020
  • Property must be occupied as the primary residence
  • Property located in the state of Mississippi
  • Homeowners must have a total annual household income of less than 100% of AMI
  • Documented temporary or permanent loss of income after January 21, 2020
  • Documented increase of out-of-pocket household expenses after January 21, 2020
  • Homeowner agrees to provide all necessary documentation to satisfy program guidelines established by MHC

How to get help: 

Go to HomeSaver Plus to apply.

Hope Credit Union Home Loans

Hope Credit Union Enterprise Corporation offers various loan options for first-time homebuyers, those looking to refinance, and those denied lending because of poor credit. Hope has specific loan products that cater to low- to moderate-income families:

  • FHA loan – Ideal for families with low to moderate income who cannot afford a large down payment
  • Hope loan – An affordable housing loan from Hope Credit Union you can apply for even if your credit score is as low as 580

Hope has loan options for any income level and credit standing.


  • Mississippi resident

How to get help:

Mississippi Home Corporation (MHC)

The Mississippi Home Corporation (MHC) helps families finance safe, decent, affordable housing. MHC helps with owner-occupied and rental housing targeted to moderate and lower-income working families. The program provides housing finance products that are not available from other sources. 


  • Must get pre-qualified by an approved MHC participating lender (requirements vary based on the lender you choose; 
  • Meet county income limits
  • Complete pre-purchase homebuyer education

How to get help:

Check today's mortgage loan rates >>

Homeless assistance in Mississippi

Continuum of Care agencies (CoC) help homeless individuals and families in Mississippi with emergency shelters, re-housing, and other needs.

How to get help:

Find your Continuum of Care agency in Mississippi.

More housing help: 

Electric bill assistance in Mississippi

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

Low-Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP) in Mississippi

LIHEAP helps eligible households with their home heating and cooling bills through energy bill payment assistance, energy crisis assistance, and long-term weatherization assistance. 


  • U.S. Citizen or legally admitted immigrant
  • Resident of Mississippi 
  • Total gross annual household income at or below 60% of state median income — $14,916/year for a family of three
  • A person who participates or has family members who participate in certain other benefit programs — such as SNAP, SSI, or TANF — automatically meets the eligibility requirement

How to get help:

Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)

WAP helps qualifying households lower their monthly energy bills by making their homes more energy efficient, with an average of $350 per year in energy savings. Types of assistance include:

  • Air and duct sealing
  • Wall, floor, attic insulation
  • Heating, ventilation, air conditioning system improvements
  • Lighting efficiency 
  • Hot water tank insulation
  • Water conservation devices


  • Mississippi resident
  • Income at or below 200% of FPL
  • Preference may be given to:
    • People over 60 years of age
    • Families with one or more members with a disability
    • Families with children
  • You are automatically eligible to receive weatherization assistance if you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF).

How to get help:

Low-Income Household Water Assistance (LIHWAP) in Mississippi

LIHWAP was created in response to COVID-19 and helps eligible households pay for drinking and wastewater. Payments are applied directly to the water account and paid to the vendor. Lowest income Mississippians can receive up to $1,500 in assistance.


  • Receive water through public pipelines from participating vendor
  • Total gross income at or below 60% of state median income (same as LIHEAP)
  • Responsible for paying the water bill
  • U.S. Citizen or legal immigrant

How to get help:

More electric bill help: 

Free money to help pay bills

Medical insurance and dental help for single moms in Mississippi

The following medical and dental services are available to qualifying individuals and families in the state of Mississippi:

Donated Dental Health (DDS) 

Through DDS, volunteer dentists provide treatment to eligible patients (does not include emergency services or cosmetic treatments). Applicants must have no means to afford dental care.


Must meet at least one of the following:

  • Over 65 years of age
  • Permanently disabled
  • Need medically necessary dental care

How to get help: 

  • Apply online 
  • Contact Brandon Leviton, DDS Coordinator, at 601-932-2200

Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) in Mississippi

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

Mississippi Medicaid

Medicaid is a medical assistance program that helps lower-income families pay for some or all of their medical bills. Covered services include: 

  • Office visits
  • Family planning services
  • Inpatient hospital care
  • Outpatient hospital care
  • Prescription drugs
  • Eyeglasses
  • Long-term care services
  • Inpatient psychiatric care


  • Resident of Mississippi 
  • U.S. national citizen, permanent resident, or legal alien
  • Child or teenager 18 or under
  • Over the age of 65
  • Meet income requirements

How to get help:


The Mississippi Coordinated Access Network (MississippiCAN) is a program for people who receive Medicaid. They offer the same services as Medicaid, in addition to extra services to improve health and wellbeing. These include:

  • Physician office visits (more than what Medicaid provides)
  • Durable medical equipment
  • Vision (more than what Medicaid provides)
  • Dental (limited over 21)
  • Therapy services
  • Hospice services
  • Pharmacy services
  • Mental health services
  • Outpatient hospital services (chemotherapy, ER visits, x-rays, etc.)
  • Inpatient hospital services
  • Non-emergency transportation


You are eligible to be part of this program if you receive Medicaid through:

  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Department of Human Services foster care children
  • Disabled child living at home
  • Working disabled
  • Breast/cervical cancer
  • Pregnant women and infants
  • Family/children on the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • All newborns

How to get help:

  • Eligible Medicaid recipients will receive an enrollment packet in the mail
  • Learn more about the health plans offered here 
  • Call 800-884-3222

Mississippi CHIP 

The Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provides no-cost or low-cost health coverage to children of families who are not eligible for Medicaid. CHIP covers the same services as Medicaid.


  • 18 years of age and under or a primary caregiver with children 18 years of age and under
  • U.S. citizen, national, or a non-citizen legally admitted into the U.S.
  • Uninsured and ineligible for Medicaid
  • Meet income limits

How to get help:

  • Call 800-421-2408 to talk to someone in Mississippi about CHIP 
  • Visit here

More medical/dental help: 

Food help for low-income families in Mississippi

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

The Mississippi Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP/Food Stamps)

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 

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


  • Mississippi resident
  • Current bank balance (savings and checking combined) under $2,001 or under $3,001 and share your household with one of the following:
    • Person or persons age 60 and over
    • Person with a disability (child, parent, yourself)
  • Meet income limits — $32,318/year for a family of three

How to get help: 

  • Apply online
  • Learn more about the application process 
  • Call 800-948-3050
  • Once your application is filed a DFCS case manager will interview you

The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) 

The Emergency Food Assistance Program is a federal program that funds food banks for low-income families in Mississippi. 


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

How to get help: 

Visit your local food bank on the Feeding America website.

Mississippi’s 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:

National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP)

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. 


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

How to get help: 

The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)

The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) provides nutritious meals to preschool and school-age children from needy areas during extended vacation periods.

How to get help:

  • Visit the USDA sponsored Meals for Kids Site Finder
  • Summer Meals Text Service Number: 914-342-7744
  • USDA National Hunger Hotline Number: 866-3-HUNGRY or 877-8-HAMBRE
  • Visit the School Meal Finder site
  • Visit the Food Finder site to find schools serving meals and local food pantry locations

Mississippi Food Network 

Mississippi Food Network (MFN) distributes more than 1.5 million pounds of food and feeds more than 150,000 people every month. MFN takes donations from multiple sources and distributes food and goods through 430 member agencies. These agencies then distribute the food to recipients in their own communities.

Program options include:

  • The Emergency Food Assistance Program
  • Mobile Pantry Program
  • The Backpack Program
  • School Pantry Program
  • Kids Café Program and Summer Food Service Program
  • Senior Grocery Program

How to get help: 

More food help: 

Child care help for low-income families in Mississippi

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

Mississippi Head Start Association (MHSA)

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: 

The Child Care Payment Program (CCPP)

The program helps low-income Mississippi parents and guardians with child care tuition. Parents can choose any type of child care while participating in the program.


  • Parents who meet the income and work requirement for participation in the program will be responsible for paying their child care provider a monthly co-payment fee
  • Parents will also be responsible for published tuition rates. For example, if a parent has a child enrolled in AZQ Preschool and the preschool’s published tuition rates are $390 per month and the Child Care Payment Program pays $300 per month, the parent is responsible for paying the $90 difference to the child care provider in addition to their monthly co-payment.
  • Must meet income requirements 

How to get help:

More child care help

Education help for single moms in Mississippi

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

Get a GED in Mississippi

If you are at least 18 years old in Mississippi, you can take the GED test.

You can also take the GED at 16 or 17 if you:

  • Are not currently enrolled in K12 school
  • Provide documentation (withdrawal form) signed by the superintendent/designee certifying the applicant has been released from compulsory school attendance by the school board
  • Have consent from a parent or legal guardian

Other exceptions:

  • Homeschool examinees: Provide proof of registration as a homeschooled student from local school district or homeschool association

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 Mississippi: 

  • Online at-home test – $30 per subject
  • In person at a test center – $36 per module

You can pay with a credit or debit card or through American Express Bluebird. Find more information on the GED website.

Grants and scholarships in Mississippi

College-bound students in Mississippi have access to a wide range of scholarships, grants, and loan forgiveness programs. These programs are supported by the state government and are designed and administered by the Mississippi Board of Trustees. 

These publicly funded, state-supported financial aid programs exist to make college education more accessible to Mississippi residents:

  • The Mississippi Eminent Scholars Grant provides financial assistance to Mississippi residents attending state approved public and private not-for-profit 2-year and 4-year eligible colleges and universities. MESG awards up to $2,500 per academic year, and recipients can receive MESG for up to eight semesters.
  • The Mississippi Tuition Assistance Grant provides financial assistance to Mississippi residents attending state approved public and private not-for-profit 2-year and 4-year eligible colleges and universities. The grant helps students who do not already benefit from federal need-based aid. MTAG awards up to $500 per academic year for freshmen and sophomores and $1,000 per academic year for juniors and seniors, for up to eight semesters.
  • The Nissan Scholarship is for students who attend a Mississippi public two-year or four-year college. The scholarship will pay full tuition, required fees, and a book allowance. Either one or two applicants will be awarded each year. The Nissan Scholarship can be awarded for up to four years, either two years at a 2-year college and two additional years at a 4-year university, or up to four years at a 4-year university.
  • The Higher Education Legislative Plan gives tuition assistance to qualified students whose financial need will not be met from other sources. The program provides full tuition for up to four years.
  • The Graduate and Professional Degree Loan/Scholarship gives varying amounts of financial aid to chiropractic students. Applicants must be Mississippi residents who are pursuing a graduate or professional degree in chiropractic medicine, orthotics/prosthetics, or podiatric medicine at an approved out-of-state institution.

All of these awards seek to offer financial incentives in return for professional service within the state of Mississippi. Loans are forgiven or waived upon satisfying required service obligations.

More education help: 

Employment help for single moms in Mississippi

Workforce programs in Mississippi provide training and assist with employment:

Unemployment Insurance

Unemployment insurance benefits provide temporary financial assistance to workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own that meet Mississippi’s eligibility requirements.


  • Resident of Mississippi
  • Unemployed
  • Worked in Mississippi during the past 12 months (this period may be longer in some cases)
  • Earned a minimum amount of wages determined by Mississippi guidelines
  • Actively seeking work each week you are collecting benefits

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 Mississippi

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

The Salvation Army of Mississippi

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 Mississippi’s branch to find out more information (Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi share a branch). 

Catholic Charities of Mississippi

Catholic Charities assists with:

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


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

How to get help: 

United Way of Mississippi

The United Way of Mississippi 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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