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Help for single moms in North Dakota: 35 assistance programs

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If you’re a single mom in North Dakota 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 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 North Dakota

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 North Dakota

North Dakota’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 and size. 

Cash assistance is available for a lifetime total of 60 months for adults.


  • Must be a U.S. citizen or a qualified non-citizen
  • Permanent North Dakota resident
  • Have children under 18 or under 19 if still enrolled in high school
  • Pregnant women in third trimester 
  • Children and mother must have social security number
  • Gross income must be less than 185% of the federal poverty level
  • Must participate in the Job Opportunities and Basic Skills (JOBS) Program

How to get help:

More emergency cash help in North Dakota: 

Single moms in North Dakota 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 North Dakota

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

Rental assistance in North Dakota

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

ND Rent Help 

ND Rent Help aims to help people who have fallen behind or are struggling to pay rent. Payments are sent directly to the landlord or housing provider. The program can help with up to 12 months of past-due, current, and future rent and utilities. 


  • Household must earn less than 80% of AMI
  • Have received unemployment benefits or have experienced financial hardship since March 13, 2020 because of COVID-19 
  • Household is at risk of housing instability or homelessness due to difficulty affording housing and housing-related costs
  • Households experiencing homelessness
  • Households at imminent risk of eviction
  • PRIORITY is being given to:
    • Household earning 50% AMI or less
    • Households that include a member who is currently unemployed and has been unemployed for 90 days or longer

This program stopped accepting applications on May 1, 2023, but will process all applications receives prior to that date.

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 North Dakota 

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

North Dakota Homeowner Assistance Fund 

North Dakota’s Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) aims to prevent mortgage delinquencies and defaults, foreclosures, loss of utilities, or home energy services and homelessness. 

HAF has three programs:

ND Homeowner Reinstatement Program (HRP)

  • Assists with past-due housing payments or other mortgage-related expenses, past-due utilities, past-due property taxes, homeowners insurance, and condo fees
  • Up to $40,000 of grant assistance is available


  • Must have experienced a financial hardship related to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Property must be in North Dakota
  • Must have income equal to or less than 150% AMI
  • Must own and occupy the property as their primary residence 

ND Homeowner Payment Assistance Program (HPA)

  • Helps with housing stability by providing homeowners with assistance with future housing related expenses (mortgage, utilities, taxes, etc.) 
  • Provides assistance for up to six months 
  • Maximum assistance provided is $12,000


  • Must have experienced a financial hardship related to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Property must be in North Dakota
  • Must have income equal to or less than 100% AMI
  • Must own and occupy the property for which they seek assistance as their primary residence 
  • Funds are paid directly to the existing mortgage servicer, tax authority, lien holder, applicable utility company or other debtors

NDHomeowner Assistance Fund Home Repair Program (HAFHR)

  • Provides home repairs or home modifications to homeowners unable to obtain or maintain homeowners insurance due to the condition of core residential system
  • Provides assistance to homeowners who need to make modifications to address accessibility issues 
  • Projects will be funded up to $30,000 per applicant


  • Must have experienced a financial hardship related to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Property must be in North Dakota 
  • Must have income equal to or less than 80% AMI
  • Must own and occupy the property for which they seek assistance as their primary residence 

How to get help: 

Check today's mortgage loan rates >>

North Dakota Housing down payment assistance

The Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance Program provides low-income buyers with affordable mortgage loans that include down payment and closing cost assistance in the form of a second mortgage. The amount of assistance equals 3% of the first mortgage loan amount toward your out-of-pocket cash requirement. 


  • Property must be in North Dakota
  • Must meet income guidelines for your county
  • Must complete a homebuyer education program 
  • Must contribute $500 out-of-pocket cash investment
  • Must occupy the home as your principal residence

How to get help: 

North Dakota Coalition of Homeless People 

The main goal of the Coalition of Homeless People is to prevent North Dakota residents from becoming homeless — or from having to return to homelessness. The office oversees designated Continuum of Care agencies across the state that offer services including:

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


Requirements are set by individual Continuums of Care agencies. 

How to get help: 

More housing help: 

Electric bill assistance in North Dakota

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

Low-Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP) in North Dakota

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. 


  • Total income no more than 60% of the North Dakota state median income
  • Responsible for paying your home heating or cooling bills
  • North Dakota resident 
  • U.S. Citizen, qualified alien, or permanent resident of the U.S.

How to get help:

North Dakota Energy Share

The North Dakota Energy Share emergency grant program is offered through community action agencies in the state. It helps low-income families pay for energy bills if there are no other options available. Those who receive help may be required to provide a co-payment and are guided to create a payment plan with their energy supplier to get caught up.

ND Energy Share only offers payment assistance for service charges, reconnection fees, and security lights.


  • Currently eligible for LIHEAP
  • Home is not heated by electricity
  • If renting, utilities are not included
  • Utility bills may not be more than three months old

You may also be required to have a disconnect or shut off notice from your utility company. If you live on a reservation, and receive an allowance for utilities, you might not be eligible.

How to get help:

  • Call 701-252-1821 or 701-232-2452

Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)

WAP 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
  • Resident of state of North Dakota
  • Meet annual household income guidelines based on the number of people in your household
  • Automatically eligible if you are receiving SSI, TANF or Aid to Families with Dependent Children benefits

How to get help:

More electric bill help: 

Free money to help pay bills

Medical insurance and dental help for single moms in North Dakota

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

North Dakota Dental Association 

The North Dakota Dental Association (NDDA) provides information and resources to help ND residents find low-cost or free dental care. Here is a list of dental clinics in the state. 

NDDA also offers a list of dentists who accept Medicaid and CHIP coverage. 


Each individual clinic or program sets its own eligibility requirements. 

How to get help: 

Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) in North Dakota

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

North Dakota Medicaid

Medicaid provides medical coverage for low-income individuals and families. In North Dakota, 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

You can find a list of covered services on the ND Department of Health and Human Services website. 


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:

North Dakota CHIP

North Dakota CHIP — part of the national Children's Health Insurance Program — matches each qualifying child to the state’s child health insurance program. 

Most families pay nothing, and many pay as little as $15 or $20 a month for all children in the household. You can get more information on North Dakota medical services here

CHIP provides both health and dental services with a choice of local doctors, dentists, hospitals, and pharmacies. Benefits include:

  • Doctor visits
  • Surgeries
  • Vaccines
  • Vision and hearing 
  • Hospital stays


  • North Dakota resident 
  • U.S. citizen or qualifying non-citizen 
  • Under age 18
  • Do not have health insurance 
  • Meet household income guidelines 

How to get help: 

More medical/dental help: 

Food help for low-income families in North Dakota

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

North Dakota 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 to purchase food in retail food stores, including:

  • Breads
  • Cereals
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Meats
  • Fish
  • Poultry
  • Dairy
  • Plants and seeds to grow food 


  • North Dakota 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, spouse, parent, yourself
  • Must have an annual household income below these amounts.

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: 

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. Schools with at least 80% of the students eligible for free or reduced-price meals must provide breakfast at no cost to all students. 


Household income must fall at or below the limits of the Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines.

How to get help: 

Apply online or contact your child’s school to enroll. 

North Dakota’s Summer Food Service Program

The North Dakota Department of Public Instruction serves nutritious meals at no cost to children during summer break. Food is distributed at local schools, nonprofits, l parks and libraries. 


These are the current income guidelines for the Summer Food Service Program. 

How to get help: 

North Dakota food banks

Food banks in North Dakota 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 Great Plains Food Bank  website.

More food help: 

Child care help for low-income families in North Dakota

There are multiple federally funded education programs and resources in North Dakota:

North Dakota 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 
  • Income at or below FPL
  • 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: 

North Dakota Parent to Parent

Family Voices of North Dakota, a nonprofit dedicated to serving families with special needs children, offers a peer support project called ND Parent to Parent. This project is staffed by trained parents with special needs children. It offers emotional support, resources, and other information to help parents navigate issues unique to families who have children with developmental delays, disabilities, or special health needs.


  • Open to any parent in North Dakota who is raising a child with special needs

How to get help:

North Dakota Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP)

North Dakota CCAP provides financial support to help working or student parents pay for child care costs. This program covers a portion of care and requires a co-payment from most families. The co-payment is determined by a sliding fee scale based on household income.


  • North Dakota resident
  • Self-employed or working at a business (you receive a W-2)
  • Student in training or education program
  • You have a child that is 12 or younger (up to 19 for special needs children)
  • Family assets are $1,000,000 or less
  • Monthly income is less that CCAP income limits which is 85% of North Dakota’s median income (For example, the income cap is $6,371 monthly for a family of three)

How to get help:

Child Care Aware of North Dakota

Child Care Aware of North Dakota is a free online resource for finding child care. You can use the tools to search for providers or get one-on-one help from a Child Care Aware Parent Services Specialist. 


  • Available to any parent in North Dakota

How to get help:

  • Call 800-997-8515

Email [email protected]

More child care help

Education help for single moms in North Dakota

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

Get a GED in North Dakota

If you are at least 16 years old in North Dakota, you can take the GED test. 

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 North Dakota: 

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

Grants and scholarships in North Dakota

The Student Financial Assistance Program, also known as the State Grant, provides non-repayable need-based grants to North Dakota residents who are first-time undergraduate students.

The North Dakota State Grant awards up to $1,100 per semester or $733 per quarter, based on enrollment status.


  • North Dakota resident 
  • Graduated high school or obtained GED certificate 
  • Applicants must have a FAFSA ID
  • Eligibility is limited to eight semesters or twelve quarters of full-time undergraduate enrollment, or the attainment of a baccalaureate degree, whichever comes first

How to get help: 

Contact NDUS via email [email protected] or phone at 701-328-4156. 

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 North Dakota

Workforce programs in North Dakota provide training and assist with employment:

North Dakota Reemployment Assistance (Insurance) Program

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


  • North Dakota resident 
  • Unemployed
  • Previously employed for the past 12 months
  • Earned a certain amount of wages
  • Actively looking for another job

How to get help: 

North Dakota Job Service

North Dakota Job Service provides online tools for finding and landing a job. You can find out about job fairs, training, interview skills, and priority resources for veterans and current or surviving spouses. It’s also a portal to get help with and file unemployment claims.


  • North Dakota residents across the state are eligible to use this free service

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 North Dakota

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

The Salvation Army of North Dakota

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 North Dakota

Catholic Charities assists with:

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

There are four Catholic Charities locations across North Dakota: 

  • Fargo
    • 5201 Bishops Blvd., Suite B Fargo, ND 58104
    • 701-235-4457
  • Bismarck
    • 600 S. 2nd St., Suite 150 Bismarck, ND 58504
    • 701-255-1793
  • Grand Forks
    • 311 4th St. S., Suite 105 Grand Forks, ND 58201
    • 701-775-4196
  • Minot
    • 216 S. Broadway, Suite 202 Minot, ND 58701
    • 701-852-2854


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

How to get help: 

United Way of North Dakota

The United Ways of North Dakota 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, and National Jeweler editor, 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. Her next book, The 50/50 Solution, is out March, 2024 with Sourcebooks. More about Emma's credentials.

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