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Help for single moms in Montana: 29 assistance programs

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If you’re a single mom in Montana 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 Montana

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 Montana

Delivered through Montana’s Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS), TANF helps low-income families with emergency funds to help cover the costs of: 

  • Food
  • Rent
  • Clothing
  • Bills

A family of three in Montana can get up to 588/month. See full payouts and income limits.

Families can get TANF for a lifetime total of 60 months. 


  • U.S. citizen or qualified non-citizen
  • Montana resident
  • Have a social security number (SSN)
  • Unemployed or underemployed
  • Countable resources less than $3,000
  • Meet income guidelines — $1,092/month for a family of three

How to get help:

More emergency cash help in Montana: 

Single moms in Montana 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 Montana

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. The voucher covers a portion of the rent. The tenant pays 30-40% of their monthly adjusted gross income for rent and utilities. 


  • Montana resident
  • Income cannot exceed 50% of median income for the county in which you live

How to get help: 

Mortgage assistance in Montana

If you need help getting or paying for a mortgage in Montana, these programs can help: 

Montana Homeowner Assistance Fund

The Montana Housing Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) is for Montanans whose GMI does not exceed 150% of the AMI. 60% of funds available must target Montanans whose GMI does not exceed 100% of the AMI.

The fund is available in two forms: 

  • Interest-free loan to bring a mortgage account current
  • Grant to prevent property tax foreclosure or to remove or prevent creation of other liens (HOA, COA, etc.) that would place the homeowner at imminent risk of displacement

Homeowners can also get assistance with utility payments. 


  • The Homeowner Assistance Fund eligibility tool allows you to type in your county and the number of people in your household so you can check eligible income limits. 
  • Must have experienced a Financial Hardship after January 21, 2020

How to get help: 

  • Read more about the program here
  • Check out the Montana Homeowner Assistance Fund FAQs page
  • Contact Montana Housing at 406-841-2840
  • Email Montana Housing

Habitat for Humanity 

Habitat for Humanity builds and rehabilitates houses for needy families and offers homeownership assistance through volunteer labor. 

How to get help:

Contact Habitat for Humanity for more information.

Check today's mortgage loan rates >>

Homeless housing assistance in Montana

If you are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, check out these programs in Montana: 

Emergency Housing Voucher (EHV)

The EHV program helps families and individuals experiencing homelessness by helping them find affordable housing in the short term and establishing housing stability in the long term.


EHVs are limited to individuals and families who are:

  • Homeless or at risk of homelessness
  • Fleeing or attempting to flee domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, or human trafficking
  • Recently homeless and for whom providing rental assistance will prevent the family’s homelessness 
  • High risk of housing instability

How to get help: 

Montana Emergency Solutions Grant

Montana’s Emergency Solutions Grant helps those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness by partnering with service providers to provide the following services in Montana:

  • Rapid rehousing
  • Emergency shelter provisions
  • Homelessness prevention
  • Street outreach

How to get help:

More housing help: 

Electric bill assistance in Montana

Montana residents can submit a combined LIHEAP, LIHWAP, and WAP application, which allows you to apply to all three utilities programs at once. Please see the information for each program below:

Low-Income Home Energy Assistance in Montana

LIHEAP helps eligible households pay part of their winter energy bills and may be able to assist with furnace emergencies. See benefit amounts and income limits based on your home size and type of fuel. 


  • U.S. citizen or legally admitted immigrant
  • Montana resident
  • For a household of three, the LIHEAP, LIHWAP, and CRF upper limit is $45,450

How to get help:

Low-Income Home Water Assistance Program in Montana

LIHWAP helps pay a portion of water bills, helps avoid shutoffs, and helps with water system reconnections.


  • U.S. citizen or legally admitted immigrant
  • Montana resident
  • Meet income limits (same as LIHEAP)

How to get help:

  • Visit LIHWAP online
  • Submit a combined LIHEAP, LIHWAP, and WAP application

Weatherization Assistance Program in Montana

WAP helps qualifying households lower their monthly energy bills by making their homes safer, healthier, and more energy efficient. 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


Low-income homeowners and renters (at or below 200% of the FPL), with priority given to higher-risk residents such as: 

  • Elderly
  • Disabled individuals
  • Families with children
  • High energy users

Households that receive TANF, SSI, or LIHEAP are automatically income-eligible for WAP. 

How to get help:

More electric bill help: 

Free money to help pay bills

Medical insurance & dental help for single moms in Montana

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

Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) in Montana

HRSA, an agency of the U.S. 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 national 24/7 free and confidential mental health hotline for pregnant and new moms. Dial 833-943-5746 (833-9-HELP4MOMS) if you’re 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 Montana by typing in your address on HRSA’s search tool

Montana Medicaid

Montana Medicaid provides health care benefits for eligible low-income Montanans, including:

  • Dental care
  • Doctor, hospital, and emergency services
  • Family planning
  • Home health services
  • Laboratory and x-ray services
  • Maternity and newborn care
  • Mental health and substance abuse treatment
  • Prescription drugs
  • Rehabilitative services and supplies
  • School-based services
  • Speech therapy, audiology, and hearing aids
  • Transportation to appointments
  • Vision care.


  • Montana resident
  • U.S. citizen or a qualified immigrant
  • Has an SSN or applying for one
  • Under the income limits (examples below are for a household of three):
    • Children 0-18: $5,394/month
    • Pregnant women: $3,245/month
    • Parents and caregivers: $2,749/month

How to get help:

Healthy Montana Kids (HMK) Plus

HMK offers free and low-cost health insurance plans to children of families whose incomes are too high for Medicaid. A family's maximum copayment amount is $215 per benefit year.

Covered services and expenses include:

  • Medical
  • Prescriptions
  • Dental
  • Vision

Most medical benefits are administered through the Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) of Montana Provider Network.


  • Montana residents age 19 and younger
  • Treatments and services must be medically necessary and the member must be enrolled at the time the service is delivered
  • Under the income limits — $62,150/year for a family of three

How to get help:

  • Apply for HMK coverage
  • Apply for HMK through the Federal Health Insurance Marketplace
  • Contact Montana Healthcare Programs, Member Helpline, at 800-362-8312

Montana Dental Services

Medicaid and CHIP offer free or low-cost dental care for children up to age 19. Dental services include: 

  • Check-ups
  • X-rays
  • Fluoride treatments
  • Dental sealants
  • Fillings and more.


Household must be eligible for Medicaid and/or CHIP. 

How to get help:

Read more on the DPHHS website and find an HMK Enrolled Dentist.

Donated Dental Services – Montana Dental Association

The Montana Donated Dental Services (DDS) program helps eligible low-income residents of Montana who are disabled, elderly, or medically compromised with dental care and associated fees.


  • Have a permanent physical or mental disability, or be age 65 or older, and unable to be employed
  • Have no other means of obtaining needed dental care
  • Need extensive (comprehensive) dental treatment (more than a basic check-up and/or cleaning)

How to get help:

More medical/dental help: 

Food help for low-income families in Montana

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

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in Montana

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 to purchase food in retail food stores, 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


  • Resident of Montana
  • U.S. citizens or legal aliens, as well as possess or apply for an SSN
  • Able-bodied household members aged 16 through 59 must register for work and might be required to participate in a SNAP Employment and Training Program 
  • Amount of food assistance you receive is based on household size and income:
    • For a household of three in Montana, the gross income allowed is $3,840; the maximum benefit is $740

 How to get help:

The Emergency Food Assistance Program

The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) is a federal program that provides emergency nutrition at no cost through local food banks in Montana.


  • Each food bank sets its own eligibility and proof of need requirements
  • People receiving Food Assistance in Montana automatically qualify for TEFAP

How to get help: 

Visit Find Food Banks in Montana to find your nearest food bank.

Montana 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) & School Breakfast Program (SBP)

NSLP serves healthy, well-balanced, reduced-price, or free meals to children in school. An extension of the NSLP, the SBP provides free or low-cost breakfast to eligible students. 


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

How to get help: 

Contact your child’s school directly to enroll.

Montana Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)

The Montana SFSP, funded by the USDA, serves healthy meals to youth ages 18 and under at no cost during summer break. Food is distributed at local schools, nonprofits, parks, and libraries and other central sites in low-income areas. 


  • Meet current income guidelines for the federal SFSP — $42,606/year for a family of three
  • Children must be present to receive “grab & go” food bundles

How to get help: 

  • Locate a summer food site at USDA SFSP Site Finder 
  • Call 866-348-6479 to find a site near you
  • Text “Summer Meals” to 914-342-7744

More food help: 

Child care help for low-income families in Montana

There are several federally funded education programs and resources in Montana:

Montana 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 get help:

  • Visit Montana Head Start
  • Call Montana Head Start Association at 406-522-3819
  • Email Montana Head Start Association

Best Beginnings Child Care Scholarship Program

Montana’s Early Childhood Services Bureau offers Best Beginnings child care scholarships to qualified low-income families whose child receives care from a licensed child care center, licensed group home, or family child care home. 

For a family of three at 100% of the FPL, the maximum monthly income is $1,919, and the maximum monthly co-payment for child care is $77. 


  • Families must make co-payments based on a sliding fee scale
  • Child care scholarships are available to working families whose income is at or below 150% of the FPL
  • Families who receive cash assistance through TANF automatically qualify

How to get help:

More child care help:

Education help for single moms in Montana

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

High school equivalency in Montana

In Montana, you can obtain your high school equivalency certification by taking and passing a HiSET (High School Equivalency Test) exam. Most colleges, universities, and employers accept the HiSET in place of a high school diploma.  

Students looking to earn their high school equivalency can take five separate HiSET subtests at one of Montana’s testing centers or online in English or Spanish:

  • Math
  • Social Studies
  • Science
  • Language Arts
  • Writing

HiSET fees & scores in Montana:

  • Online: $65 for full test, or $16.25 per subject
  • Test centers: $128 for full test, or $32 per subject
  • Score: 8 in each subtest, combined score of 45; minimum of 2 on the Language Arts/Writing essay


  • Resident of Montana
  • 19 years old or older; however, you can take the test if you are 16, 17, or 18 with additional requirements specified by Montana state rules
  • You cannot be enrolled in an accredited high school or be a high school graduate

How to get help:

Grants and scholarships in Montana

If you are a single mom currently enrolled in or going to school, check out the options for financial aid: 

You can also search for more scholarships available in Montana. You will find links to the specific scholarships, scholarship application deadlines, and amounts given (if available).

More education help: 

Employment help for single moms in Montana

Workforce programs in Montana provide training and assist with employment and education:

Job Service Montana

Job Service Montana provides workforce-related services and assistance for job seekers in Montana. Services and assistance include:

  • Career exploration
  • Filing for unemployment
  • American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) information
  • Job search resources & training
  • HELP-Link, which connects Montana Medicaid recipients with high-quality workforce training employment services and jobs in local communities
  • Registered apprenticeship program information
  • Veterans services
  • Employment application forms
  • Job search services in Spanish

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 Montana

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

The Salvation Army of Montana

The Salvation Army assists with:

  • Food, shelter, and clothing
  • Medication costs
  • Education and job training
  • Rent and utility bills
  • Emergency disaster response
  • Substance abuse rehabilitation
  • Youth services
  • Christmas gifts


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

How to get help: 

Visit Montana – Intermountain Division DHQ for more information

Catholic Charities of Montana

There is one chapter of Catholic Charities in Montana. 

They assist 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 Montana

The United Way of Montana 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

Not your state? Select yours here:

One Comment

Thank you for these resources, I feel like a bit of a failure as I have a good job, I make 22 and hour, but that seems to not go so far these days. I am trying to start a business that would allow me to have a side gig that works with the full time job, kids and life. But when you are scraping by or in the hole already, its hard to do. I want to do more for my kids then what I am currently, but I feel maxed out every month. People say take a money management course I have in the past, but its not the managing of the money, its the lack of it. Mine and my kids needs out weigh what my paycheck covers. We don’t live an extravagant lifestyle, but our cost of living is. Even if i am not chosen I want to say thank you for what you do, i know there are so many more in the same boat as I am or worse. So just a big heartfelt thank you.

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