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Help for single moms in New Mexico: 30 assistance programs

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If you’re a single mom in New Mexico 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 July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023 federal poverty guidelines:

Number of people in family/householdAnnual income

* For families/households with more than 8 people, add $5,140 for each additional person.

You can also look up your area median income (AMI) here.

Emergency cash for low-income families in New Mexico

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

Temporary Cash Assistance in New Mexico 

New Mexico ’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, circumstances and location. For example, a family of three can receive $740/month.

Cash assistance is available for a lifetime total of 48 months for adults.


How to get help:

More emergency cash help in New Mexico : 

Single moms in New Mexico  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: 

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Housing help for single moms in New Mexico

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

Rental assistance in New Mexico 

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

NM Eviction Prevention & Diversion Program

The New Mexico Eviction Prevention and Diversion Program provides rental and utility assistance to eligible renters facing eviction for up to 13 months.


Since the program is winding down, you must have an active eviction court case for non-payment of rent to receive assistance. 

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 New Mexico  

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

New Mexico Homeowner Assistance Fund 

The New Mexico Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) provides housing grants to eligible households experiencing financial hardship associated with the COVID-19 crisis. The amount of assistance varies per household, but grants of up to $20,000 are available. 

The grant can help with: 

  • Past-due payments, including payments in forbearance.
  • Property taxes
  • Home insurance

The program can help homeowners decrease the amount they owe on their mortgage or take other steps to prevent foreclosure.


  • Experienced financial hardship after Jan. 21, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic 
  • Meet household income limits for your county
  • Currently own and occupy a primary residence in New Mexico
  • Original loan balance must not exceed $417,000 or the conforming loan limit in place when the loan was originated                   

How to get help: 

Check today's mortgage loan rates >>

New Mexico Housing down payment assistance

New Mexico Housing also helps with down payment and closing costs in the form of a second mortgage loan. 

There are several programs to assist homebuyers in New Mexico: 


  • Provides down payment and closing cost assistance with extended repayment options and low interest rates
  • Fixed-rate second mortgage loan program for first-time homebuyers
    • Must not have owned a home in the past three years 
  • Works with FHA, VA, USDA and HFA Preferred Conventional mortgage loan
  • Minimum credit score of 620
  • Must meet income and purchase price limits for your county


  • Provides $7,000 of down payment and closing cost assistance
  • Fixed-rate second mortgage loan program for first-time homebuyers
    • Must not have owned a home in the past three years 
  • No monthly payments 
  • 0% interest loan 
  • May be forgiven after 10 years if certain conditions are met 
  • Works with FHA, VA, USDA and HFA Preferred Conventional mortgage loan
  • Borrowers must have an income at or below 80% AMI

Down Payment Advantage: 


How to get help: 

Homeless assistance in New Mexico  

The main goal of the Emergency Homeless Assistance Program (EHAP) is to prevent New Mexico residents from becoming homeless — or from having to return to homelessness. The program also aims to help people fleeing from domestic violence. EHAP offers services including:

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

Here is a list of emergency shelters and other resources. 

The New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness also provides housing assistance such as housing services, referrals, and placements. 


Requirements are set by individual shelters and agencies. 

How to get help: 

More housing help: 

Electric bill assistance in New Mexico

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

Low-Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP) in New Mexico 

LIHEAP helps qualifying households with home heating and cooling costs, paid directly to utility companies. The agency does not assist with water, sewer, or telephone services. 


  • Meet household income requirements 
  • Responsible for paying your home heating or cooling bills
  • Resident of New Mexico 
  • U.S. Citizen, qualified alien, or permanent resident of the U.S.

How to get help:

Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)

The NM Energy$mart weatherization assistance program 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 a qualified alien
  • New Mexico 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:

Homeowners and renters must apply through one of three service providers

More electric bill help: 

Free money to help pay bills

Medical insurance and dental help for single moms in New Mexico

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

New Mexico Mission of Mercy

The New Mexico Mission of Mercy (MOM) provides first-come, first-served free dentistry to thousands of people. 


Each individual clinic sets its own eligibility requirements. 

How to get help: 

Find a list of MOM events and programs at the New Mexico Dental Association website

New Mexico Community Dental

New Mexico Community Dental serves low-income families with free dental care or sliding fee discounts. After meeting the initial requirements, you will need to continue to provide proof of eligibility every six months. You may be able to get dental work for as little as $20.


You must provide proof of income eligibility every six months. 

How to get help: 

Call NM Community Dental at 505-843-7493 

Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) in New Mexico 

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

New Mexico Medicaid

Centennial Care — New Mexico’s Medicaid program — provides medical coverage for low-income individuals and families. In New Mexico, 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


  • Resident of New Mexico 
  • U.S. national citizen, permanent resident, or legal alien
  • Meet income requirements

Plus, you must meet at least one of the following requirements:

  • Pregnant
  • Caretaker for a child 18 or younger
  • Member of the household has a disability, including blindness
  • 65 or older

How to get help:

New MexiKids

The Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provides health coverage to children whose families have incomes too high to qualify for Medicaid, but can’t afford private coverage. In New Mexico, this program is called New MexiKids. Some benefits covered through CHIP include:

  • Routine check-ups
  • Immunizations
  • Doctor visits
  • Prescriptions
  • Dental and vision care
  • Inpatient and outpatient hospital care
  • Laboratory and X-ray services
  • Emergency services

New MexiKids has no premiums, but you may be required to pay co-pays for some services if your income is over 185% of the FPL.


  • New Mexico resident
  • U.S. citizen or qualifying non-citizen 
  • Age 18 and under or a primary caregiver with a child under 18
  • Meet current income guidelines for free and subsidized plans — $58,421/year for a family of three

How to get help: 

New Mexico Maternal and Child Health

NM Maternal and Child Health programs offer numerous services to help moms and children up to age 8. 

Education services cover:

  • Prenatal care and parenting 
  • Conception 
  • Stress management
  • Local resources and assistance


Eligibility requirements are set by individual agencies, clinics, and providers. 

How to get help: 

Search for services by county on the New Mexico Public Health office website.

More medical/dental help: 

Food help for low-income families in New Mexico

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

New Mexico Food 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 

The Human Services Department (HSD), Income Support Division (ISD) offers several programs to help people with low income purchase food. 


  • New Mexico resident
  • U.S. citizen or qualified non-citizen 
  • Meet current income guidelines or live with:
    • Person or persons age 60 and over
    • Person with a disability (child, spouse, parent, yourself)

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 866-867-3124 and say you want to apply for WIC. 

Free school meals

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham recently signed legislation to provide free school meals to all students in New Mexico, regardless of family income.

New Mexico ’s Summer Food Service Program

The New Mexico Family Nutrition Bureau serves nutritious meals at no cost to children during summer break. Food is distributed at local schools, nonprofits, l parks and libraries. 


These are no income requirements for the Summer Food Service Program in New Mexico. 

How to get help: 

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

New Mexico food banks

Food banks in New Mexico 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 NM Food Banks website.

More food help: 

Child care help for low-income families in New Mexico

There are multiple federally funded education programs and resources in New Mexico :

New Mexico 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. 


You can check online to see if your family is eligible. 

  • 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 New Mexico

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

Get a GED in New Mexico 

If you are at least 18 years old in New Mexico , 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 New Mexico : 

  • Online at-home test – $36 per subject
  • In person at a test center – $20 per subject

You can also take the HiSET to earn high school equivalency.

Residents age 16 and older can earn a free testing voucher to cover the cost of either the GED or HISet. Learn more about the Free High School Equivalency Test Voucher Program here.  

Grants and scholarships in New Mexico 

The New Mexico Higher Education Department connects students and prospective students with grants and scholarships available in New Mexico.

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 New Mexico

Workforce programs in New Mexico  provide training and assist with employment:

New Mexico Reemployment Assistance (Insurance) Program

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


  • New Mexico resident 
  • Unemployed
  • Previously employed for the past 12 months
  • Earned a certain amount of wages
  • Actively looking for another job
  • Must make a minimum of two different work search contacts every week 

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 New Mexico

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

The Salvation Army of New Mexico

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 New Mexico 

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 New Mexico 

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

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

How to get help: 

Not your state? Select yours here: founder Emma Johnson is an award-winning business journalist, activist, author and expert. A former Associated Press reporter and MSN Money columnist, Emma has appeared on CNBC, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, TIME, The Doctors, Elle, O, The Oprah Magazine. Winner of Parents magazine’s “Best of the Web” and a New York Observer “Most Eligible New Yorker," her #1 bestseller, The Kickass Single Mom (Penguin), was a New York Post Must Read. As an expert on divorce and gender, Emma presented at the United Nations Summit for Gender Equality and multiple state legislature hearings. More about Emma's credentials.

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