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Help for single moms in Missouri: 33 assistance programs

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If you’re a single mom in Missouri 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 Missouri

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

Missouri Temporary Assistance

Missouri’s Temporary Assistance program gives cash payments to low-income families with children for a lifetime total of 45 months — or longer if the parent is:

  • Teen under 18 attending school
  • Age 60 or over
  • Disabled

Your payment depends on your family size and income. For example, a Missouri family of three can receive a maximum of $292 per month.


  • Missouri resident
  • U.S. citizen or qualified immigrant
  • Child under 18 or 19 if still in school
  • Comply with drug testing
  • Under the income limits, which is $3,504/month for a family of three
  • $1,000 or less in resources
  • Cooperate with child support, if applicable
  • Participate in the Missouri Work Assistance program

How to get help:

More emergency cash help in Missouri: 

Single moms in Missouri 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 Missouri

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

Rental assistance in Missouri

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

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

Section 8 pays low-income families rental vouchers to help them afford housing. Eligible families can use Section 8 to pay for any participating home or apartment that meets U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) guidelines.


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

How to get help: 

Housing Stability and Eviction Diversion (HSED) Agencies

HSED agencies in Missouri help renters who are facing eviction. These agencies connect renters with legal services, rental assistance, and case management services to help them remain in their homes and pay their rent.

How to get help: 

Call 833-541-1599 to find an HSED agency near you.

Rental Assistance Program in Missouri

The Department of Mental Health’s RAP pays up to three months of rent, up to $100 in rental application fees, up to $600 for past-due rent, or $500 for current utility bills for families in need.


  • Receive services through a mental health or substance abuse agency
  • Housing-related problem, like the inability to pay rent or past-due utility bills
  • Household income at or below 50% of AMI

How to get help: 

Ask your mental health services agency for help applying, as applications must come directly from the agency.

Mortgage assistance in Missouri

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

Missouri State Assistance for Housing Relief (SAFHR)

SAFHR gives mortgage assistance to homeowners who experienced financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The program pays up to $50,000 as a one-time payment.


  • Missouri homeowner seeking assistance with a primary residence
  • Experienced a pandemic-related financial hardship
  • Income within 150% of AMI or within 100% of the U.S. median income (SAFHR uses the higher number)                  

How to get help: 

Use the prescreening tool to see if you qualify.

MHDC Homeownership Assistance Programs

MHDC has two programs for Missouri homebuyers:

  • First Place Loan Program: This program offers the homebuyer’s choice of a low-interest mortgage loan or cash assistance loan up to 4% of the purchase price for a down payment or closing costs. This loan is forgivable if the homeowner remains in the home for 10 years.
  • Next Step Program: Homebuyers with higher incomes who don’t qualify for the First Place Loan Program can get a mortgage through this program. It allows higher purchase limits and provides eligible homebuyers with down payment or closing cost assistance.


  • Minimum credit score of 640 
  • First-time homebuyer for the First Place Loan Program
  • Debt-to-income ratio of 50% or lower
  • Meet income limits for your area

How to get help: 

Mortgage Assistance Counseling in Missouri

Several organizations across Missouri offer mortgage assistance counseling to help families who are at risk of falling behind on payments or nearing foreclosure.

How to get help: 

Contact a Mortgage Assistance Counseling Agency in your county.

Check today's mortgage loan rates >>

Homeless assistance in Missouri

Coordinated Entry in Missouri

Coordinated Entry helps Missouri families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless find resources in their area. Agencies across the state assess a family’s needs to connect them to services that can help, including emergency shelters, food banks, or affordable housing.

How to get help: 

Find a Coordinated Entry agency in your area.

More housing help: 

Electric bill assistance in Missouri

If you are struggling to pay your utility bills in Missouri, check out these programs:

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

LIHEAP pays Missouri families up to $990 as a one-time payment for their heating and cooling costs. The payment goes directly to a family’s energy company and is payable annually at any time during the year. 

LIHEAP in Missouri also offers a crisis program for families who need immediate assistance with their heating or cooling costs. The program pays up to $1,600 for winter heating and up to $1,200 for summer cooling.


  • Missouri resident
  • US citizen or legal immigrant
  • Pay heating or cooling bills for your home
  • Less than $3,000 in resources
  • Income 60% or below state median income

How to get help:

Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) in Missouri

WAP in Missouri helps low-income households get home upgrades that can lower their energy costs. WAP provides services such as:

  • Air sealing
  • Furnace tune-ups
  • Ductwork replacement
  • Installing efficient light bulbs
  • Repairing and replacing water heaters
  • Installing programmable thermostats


  • Missouri resident
  • U.S. citizen
  • Own a home or have landlord permission for weatherization services
  • Income at or below 200% of federal poverty guidelines

How to get help:

Contact your local weatherization agency.

More electric bill help: 

Free money to help pay bills

Medical insurance and dental help for single moms in Missouri

Missouri single moms may be eligible for these statewide programs that provide health and dental care.

Missouri Mission of Mercy

Missouri Mission of Mercy provides a free dental clinic for anyone around the state who needs dental care. Volunteer dental professionals in Missouri help patients with cleanings, fillings, extractions, root canals, and diagnosing dental problems.

How to get help: 

Check with the Missouri Dental Association to find upcoming Missouri Mission of Mercy dates/locations.

Missouri Community Health Centers

Missouri Community Health Centers provide affordable health services to low-income families. 


Each health center determines its own eligibility requirements.

How to get help:

Find a Missouri Community Health Center near you.

MO HealthNet

MO HealthNet is Missouri’s Medicaid program. It includes Medicaid for children, also known as CHIP. Pregnant women, caretakers, and women with no insurance may qualify for one of the following MO HealthNet programs:

  • Expansion Adults (for adults 19-64)
  • Families (for parents or caretakers with children)
  • Children & Youth (for children 18 and younger)
  • People with Disabilities
  • MO HealthNet for Pregnant Women 
  • Show Me Healthy Babies (also for pregnant women, but includes women without other health insurance and women who are ineligible aliens)
  • Women Without Health Coverage (for women with no health insurance who need family planning help)
  • Women with Breast & Cervical Cancer (women who need treatment for these conditions)

People who make too much money for MO HealthNet may still qualify to get affordable health insurance through a spend down program. Eligible individuals will need to pay a copay or deductible before the spend down program pays its share, similar to private health insurance.


How to get help:

  • Apply online
  • Call 855-373-9994
  • Download an application and mail it to: Family Support Division, P.O. Box 2700, Jefferson City, MO 65102

Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program in Missouri

VFC provides low-cost or free vaccines to children through participating providers. If a family can’t afford a shot, the provider agrees to forgive the cost.


Children must meet at least one of the following requirements:

  • Eligible for Medicaid
  • No health insurance
  • Underinsured
  • American Indian or Alaska Native

How to get help: 

Use the Vaccine Locator to find a participating provider in Missouri.

Midwest Special Needs Trust Charitable Grant

This grant program gives up to $2,000 to adults or children with a disability verified by Social Security. Eligible people can use the grant for medical or dental services.


  • Verifiable disability
  • No other coverage or funding for medical needs
  • Not received a grant from this fund within the last 12 months
  • Income at or below the limits, which is $24,860 for a family of three

How to get help: 

Complete an application and mail it to: Midwest Special Needs Trust, P.O. Box 7629, Columbia MO 65205

Show Me Healthy Women

SMHW pays for breast and cervical cancer screenings. Eligible women can also get care through WISEWOMAN, which covers heart disease and stroke screenings and provides helpful resources. 


  • Age 35-49 or 50+ without Medicare Part B
  • Income within limits — $57,575 for a family of three
  • No insurance for covered services

How to get help:

Contact a participating provider.

More medical/dental help: 

Food help for low-income families in Missouri

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

Missouri Food Assistance Program (SNAP)

SNAP in Missouri pays eligible families monthly for food. A three-person family can get up to $740 in SNAP benefits per month, depending on their income. Missouri uses an EBT card system that allows families to use their SNAP benefits just like a regular debit card to buy eligible foods. 

Missouri SNAP recipients can also participate in the free SkillUP program to find jobs, train for work, or receive certifications. 


How to get help: 

Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) in Missouri

WIC pays for healthy food for moms and their infants or children, like infant formula, fresh fruits and vegetables, and milk. Pregnant women can also get help. Grandparents and caretakers of young children may also qualify.


  • 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 a local WIC agency.

National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program in Missouri

NSLP helps Missouri students get healthy and affordable lunches at school. The School Breakfast Program in Missouri gives free or reduced-price breakfast to all eligible children in participating schools. 


  • Students at participating schools
  • Income at or below 130% of the federal poverty guidelines for free meals or 185% for reduced meals

How to get help: 

  • Contact your child’s school for more information
  • Call 573-751-3526

Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)

SFSP gives children up to age 18 meals during the summer when schools are on break. Locations across the state participate in the program.


  • Children 0-18
  • 18+ with a disability
  • Income at or below 185% of the federal poverty guidelines

How to get help: 

Food Distribution Program

The Food Distribution Program gives USDA-donated food to eligible families at their local food banks. 

How to get help: 

Find a local food bank in Missouri.

More food help: 

Child care help for low-income families in Missouri

Moms in Missouri can get help paying for child care while they work or attend school.

Child Care Subsidy Program in Missouri

Missouri pays child care fees for parents who need help affording child care. The payment amounts vary by county, age, type of center, and whether the child attends part-time or full-time. For example, the program will pay up to $32 per day for infant care in a licensed center.

Families that increase their income through employment may still be eligible for transitional child care. This program has three levels of payments between 50% and 80% of the regular child care subsidy, depending on income. 


  • Child under 13 or older if they have special needs
  • Employed, attending school, or participating in job training
  • Income at or lower than 150% of federal poverty level

How to apply: 

Missouri Head Start and Early Head Start

Early Head Start in Missouri gives children under 3 and their families resources and services for healthy development. These services can be home-based or through community support groups.

Head Start is for children ages 3 to 5 to participate in early learning and social development. These programs are usually in a child care or preschool environment.


  • Child under 3 for Early Head Start or age 3-5 for Head Start
  • Income at or below the federal poverty guidelines

How to apply: 

Locate a Head Start or Early Head Start program near you.

More child care help

Education help for single moms in Missouri

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

High School Equivalency (HSE) in Missouri

Single moms who have not completed high school can earn their HSE credential, which is similar to a diploma. HSE candidates must be 17 years old or under 17 with parental or school district permission. The test is split into subject five areas and costs a total of $98.75 at a testing center or $151.25 at home. 

Grants and scholarships in Missouri

Missouri has several grant and scholarship programs for single moms who want to go to college:

  • A+ Scholarship Program: Pays up to $196 per credit hour for graduates of A+ high schools who attend a community college or vocational school
  • Access Missouri Financial Assistance Program: Pays up to $2,850 per year for undergraduate students with an expected family contribution (EFC) of lower than $12,000
  • Dual Credit / Dual Enrollment Scholarship: Pays some tuition fees, which vary by student, for enrollees of dual-credit college programs
  • Fast Track Workforce Incentive Grant: Pays for some tuition and fees not covered by financial aid for adults 25 or older who are enrolled in college or an apprenticeship program
  • Minority and Underrepresented Environmental Literacy Program: Provides financial assistance to minorities and underrepresented students pursuing a degree in environmental studies

Learn more about eligibility and how to apply on the MDHEWD website

More education help: 

Employment help for single moms in Missouri

Workforce programs in Missouri provide training and assist with employment:

Missouri Unemployment Benefits

Unemployed single moms in Missouri can submit weekly claims for unemployment benefits if they lost their job due to no fault of their own. Missouri averages your earnings for your two highest quarters and multiplies it by 4% to determine your maximum weekly payment. 


  • Not at fault for losing a job
  • Quit a job for good reason
  • Earn enough income during the qualifying period
  • Search for work

How to get help: 

File a claim online through the Missouri Department of Labor.


MoJobs is an online database of available jobs in the state. Single moms can use it to find a new job, free training, or financial aid to pursue an education.

How to get help: 

Sign up for a MoJobs account.

More employment help: 

Charity organizations in Missouri

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

The Salvation Army of Missouri

The Salvation Army helps Missouri residents find emergency and long-term housing, train for jobs, or get holiday gifts for their children. Each location in Missouri may offer different forms of help, including:

  • After-school care and activities
  • Domestic violence support
  • Mental health support
  • Food donations
  • Clothing assistance
  • Spiritual services
  • Life skill building
  • Disaster relief
  • Help paying bills


Each Salvation Army location in Missouri may provide different services with various eligibility requirements. 

How to get help: 

Visit the Salvation Army website to find your local chapter. 

United Way of Missouri

United Way has several locations in Missouri that provide the following help:

  • Academic help for children
  • Access to affordable medical and dental care
  • Job skill development
  • Financial stability
  • Community engagement
  • Resource connections
  • Fundraisers for local organizations
  • Access to food

How to get help: 

Dial 2-1-1 or locate your nearest United Way of Missouri.

Not your state? Select yours here:

One Comment

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