scroll top

Help for single moms in Pennsylvania

We earn commissions for transactions made through links in this post. Here's more on how we make money.

If you’re a single mom in Pennsylvania struggling to make ends meet, keep reading for resources that help with: 

We also put together resources specifically for:

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 Pennsylvania

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 Pennsylvania

TANF-Pennsylvania provides emergency funds to qualifying individuals and families in need, including pregnant women, single mothers, and low-income families.

TANF is designed to help single mothers and low-income families cover the costs of food, rent, clothing, and bills.

You can receive cash assistance through TANF for up to 60 months (5 years) throughout your lifetime. The amount of money you receive depends on which county you live in, as well as the number of people in your household. Your household income may also affect your payout amount. 

Group 1:Bucks, Chester, Lancaster, Montgomery, Pike
Number of Persons in Budget GroupMaximum Benefit Amount
Each additional person$83
Group 2:Adams, Allegheny, Berks, Blair, Bradford, Butler, Centre, Columbia, Crawford, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Erie, Lackawanna, Lebanon, Lehigh, Luzerne, Lycoming, Monroe, Montour, Northampton, Philadelphia, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Union, Warren, Wayne, Westmoreland, Wyoming, York
Number of Persons in Budget GroupMaximum Benefit Amount
Each additional person$83
Group 3:Beaver, Cameron, Carbon, Clinton, Elk, Franklin, Indiana, Lawrence, McKean, Mercer, Mifflin, Perry, Potter, Snyder, Tioga, Venango, Washington
Number of Persons in Budget GroupMaximum Benefit Amount
Each additional person$83
Group 4:Armstrong, Bedford, Cambria, Clarion, Clearfield, Fayette, Forest, Fulton, Greene, Huntingdon, Jefferson, Juniata, Northumberland, Schuylkill, Somerset
Number of Persons in Budget GroupMaximum Benefit Amount
Each additional person$83


  • U.S. citizen or qualified non-citizen
  • Pennsylvania resident
  • Have children under 18 (or under 19 if still enrolled in high school)
  • Pregnant women (with or without children)
  • Must need support as a result of at least one of these things:
    • Death of the child's parent
    • Incapacity of the child's parent (such as a long illness)
    • Continued absence of a parent from the home
    • One or both parents with no income or low income from employment.
  • Children and mother must have Social Security Number
  • Children must have birth certificates to prove a relationship to their parent or caregiver
  • Monthly countable income must be less than the Assistance Payment Level (APL) (after subtracting 50% of the FPL from APL)
  • Pursue child support enforcement, have child support in place, or have good cause for refusing child support 
  • Actively seek employment or training program (unless reasonable excuse, such as disability)
  • Help caseworker complete, sign, and follow through with Agreement of Mutual Responsibility, a plan for what you will do to no longer require TANF
  • Resources must hold a total value of $1,000 or less
  • Report all sources of income

How to get help:

Pennsylvania Family Assistance

Pennsylvania Family Assistance, provided through the PA Department of Human Services (DHS), offers resources to families and single mothers in need of financial assistance. 


  • U.S. citizen or a qualified non-citizen
  • Pennsylvania resident
  • Unemployed or underemployed 
  • Low or very low income
  • One of the following:
    • have a child 18 years of age or younger, or
    • be pregnant, or
    • be 18 years of age or younger and head of your household

How to get help:

More emergency cash help in Pennsylvania: 

Single moms in Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania offers housing programs and services that help individuals and families with low incomes, older adults and people with disabilities, and those at risk of or experiencing homelessness. 

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

Rental assistance in Pennsylvania

There are several programs in Pennsylvania to help renters find housing and pay their rent based on the county in which they live:

Public Housing and Housing Choice Vouchers (Section 8)

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) offers affordable housing (rental apartments) and vouchers to help low-income households pay their rent.


  • Meet income limits specified by HUD: less than 50% of medium income for the county in which you live. You can find your county’s income limits on the HUD website
  • Must be a citizen or eligible immigrant
  • 18 years of age or older
  • Resident of Pennsylvania

How to get help: 

  • Contact your local public housing agency (PHA) and ask how to apply for assistance
  • Call 800-955-2232 (housing choice voucher program in Pennsylvania) 
  • To apply, you will need your Social Security Number, third-party documentation of income, preliminary application form, and signed consent forms
  • Contact your local HUD rental assistance agency and ask how to apply. Some counties may not offer rental assistance. 

Please note: Some PHAs have long waiting lists, so you might want to apply at more than one. Your PHA can also give you a list of locations where your voucher can be used.

Subsidized apartments

HUD allows apartment owners to offer reduced rent to their low-income tenants. To apply, contact or visit the management office of the apartment building(s) that interest you.

PA housing search 

The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency’s (PHFA) housing search tool helps people search for housing by rent amount, area of interest, accessibility, etc.

You can also find additional statewide information and resources, including a rental checklist, rent calculator, and information on services and transportation.

How to get help:

Mortgage assistance in Pennsylvania

If you need help with your mortgage in Pennsylvania, or you need help buying a home, these programs can help: 

The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) 

PHFA offers several homebuyer and mortgage assistance programs, including down payment and closing cost assistance. You can find information on:

  • Foreclosure prevention and assistance
  • Home improvement & repairs
  • Refinancing options

This is one of their programs: 


The Keystone Forgivable in Ten Years Loan Program (K-FIT) helps qualified homebuyers with a down payment and/or closing costs by providing a second mortgage loan. Eligible borrowers may receive 5% of the lesser of the purchase price or appraised value with no maximum dollar limit. The loan is forgiven annually over 10 years at 10% interest per year.


Buyers must meet the requirements of the applicable PHFA first mortgage program and the K-FIT requirements, most of which are listed below:

  • Minimum credit score of 660
  • Maximum assistance will be based on the lesser of the purchase price or appraised value
  • Assistance must be used for down payment and/or closing costs
  • Minimum loan amount is $500.
  • K-FIT may not be combined with any other PHFA assistance program, except the ACCESS Home Modification Loan Program.
  • K-FIT may be used for conventional, FHA, VA, or RD loans

How to get help:

Check today's mortgage loan rates >>

Habitat for Humanity 

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

Contact Habitat for Humanity for more information.

USDA Rural Housing

The USDA Rural Housing program in Pennsylvania is a homebuyer program for rural communities. 

Contact USDA PA Rural Housing for more information.

More housing help: 

Homeless and special needs housing assistance in Pennsylvania

The following housing programs help homeless and special needs individuals in Pennsylvania: 

Emergency Housing Voucher (EHV) Program 

The EHV program helps those who are homeless, at risk of homelessness, and/or attempting to flee or fleeing domestic issues. Note: This program does not provide immediate assistance. 

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
  • People who are recently homeless or for whom rental assistance will prevent homelessness 
  • High risk of housing instability

How to get help: 

Pennsylvania Homeless Assistance Program (HAP)

HAP helps ensure people who are homeless can find refuge and that they can work toward self-sufficiency. Available programs and services include:

  • Case management
  • Rental assistance
  • Bridge housing
  • Emergency shelter
  • Innovative supportive housing service


How to get help: 

Transportation help for low-income families in Pennsylvania 

Pennsylvania offers multiple transportation resources for single moms and low-income families:

Free and low-cost transportation

You may be eligible for these free and low-cost transportation options if you meet the eligibility criteria:

Medical Assistance Transportation Program

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services offers the Medical Assistance Transportation Program (MATP), which allows Medicaid recipients in the state to schedule free or low-cost rides to medical appointments. 

The cost and type of transportation vary by county. In places where public transportation is available, the program offers free or discounted passes or reimbursement to cover the fare.

If public transportation is not an option, MATP also has options for vehicle mileage reimbursement of 12 cents per mile as well as paratransit options where those in need of a ride can be picked up and dropped off at their medical appointment. 


  • Must qualify for Medicaid to be eligible
  • Must fill out an application 

How to get help:

Free cars in Pennsylvania

This nationwide charity provides free cars to eligible applicants in Pennsylvania:

Free Charity Cars 

Free Charity Cars awards free vehicles to selected applicants in all 50 states. The nonprofit charity group has been awarding free vehicles to low-income American families since 1996 and has gifted more than 9,000 cars. The charity group notes that they do not have an inventory of vehicles readily available as they award cars as soon as they get them, so there can be extensive waiting periods for those selected for the free car program. 


  • Be a resident of the U.S.
  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Have a valid driver’s license
  • Be at or below 200% of the FPL
  • Have a genuine need for a vehicle 
  • Have access to a Computer and Internet Service
  • Sign up for an online account 
  • Complete an online application for a vehicle
  • Have the financial means to pay for the fees, including the tag, title, emissions, insurance, etc.
  • Take financial responsibility for maintaining insurance and upkeep on the vehicle if awarded 

How to get help:

If you're ready to buy a car, but you have low or no credit, Auto Loan Express is a quality lender:

  • Better Business Bureau rating of A+
  • In business since 1999
  • For new or used cars
  • Auto loans and refi for buyers who have low or no credit, or who have gone through bankruptcy or had a vehicle repossessed
  • Pre-approval within 30 seconds

24 hours to a car loan with Auto Loan Express >>

Electric bill assistance in Pennsylvania

If you’re struggling to pay your utility bills in Pennsylvania, check out the following programs:

Low-Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP) in Pennsylvania

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

Grants range from $300 to $1,000 based on household size, income, and fuel type. 


  • U.S. citizen or legally admitted immigrant
  • Responsible for paying cost of energy bills
  • Resident of Pennsylvania
  • Total gross annual household income at or below 60% of the state median income

How to get help:

  • More information is available at LIHEAP
  • Call 866-857-7095

Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)

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

The average expenditure per household is $7,669.


  • Low-income individuals (at or below 200% of FPL), with priority given to higher-risk residents such as the elderly, disabled individuals, families with children, and high energy users.

How to get help:

Low-Income Household Water Assistance (LIHWAP) in Pennsylvania

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. 


  • Receive water through public pipelines from participating vendor
  • Total gross income at or below 60% of state median income
  • Responsible for paying the cost of water
  • U.S. citizen or legal immigrant
  • Resident of Pennsylvania

How to get help:

More electric bill help: 

Free money to help pay bills

Medical insurance & dental help for single moms in Pennsylvania

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

Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) in Pennsylvania

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 24/7 free and confidential mental health hotline for pregnant and new moms. 


  • Each health center sets its own eligibility criteria for free or reduced-cost care

How to get help:

  • Find an HRSA health center in Pennsylvania by typing in your address on HRSA’s search tool.
  • Call 833-943-5746 (833-9-HELP4MOMS)

Medical Assistance in Pennsylvania

Medical Assistance (Pennsylvania’s Medicaid program) is an assistance program that pays for health care services for low-income individuals and families. 


  • Resident of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. national citizen, permanent resident, or legal alien
  • Children 18 and under
  • Pregnant women
  • Parents and caretakers of children under 21
  • Individuals ages 65 and older
  • Blind and/or disabled
  • Individuals receiving long-term care or home and community-based services
  • If your income is higher than the limits but you have medical bills you owe
  • Adults ages 19-64 with incomes at or below 133% of the Federal Income Poverty Guidelines (FPIG):
Household sizeMonthly pregnant women and infants under age 1 (215% FPIG*) Monthlychildren ages 1-5 (157% FPIG)Monthlychildren Ages 6-18 (133% FPIG)
Each additional person$921$673$570

How to get help:

  • Apply online using COMPASS
  • Call 866-550-4355

Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in Pennsylvania

CHIP provides health coverage for kids and teens who are uninsured and not eligible for or enrolled in Medical Assistance. 

CHIP is free for most families, though families with incomes above the free CHIP limits can pay low monthly premiums, starting at $53/month, plus co-pays for some services.


  • 18 years and younger
  • U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or qualified alien
  • Resident of Pennsylvania
  • Uninsured and not eligible for Medical Assistance
  • These are the income limits for free and reduced-cost coverage, plus premium/co-pay costs for those not eligible for free coverage

How to get help: 

  • Apply online using COMPASS
  • Call 1-800-986-KIDS (5437)

Pennsylvania Dental Services

The DHS provides people with access to quality dental services through Medical Assistance (MA, or Medicaid). Dental services are based on your eligibility category, age, and need. 

MA covers all medically necessary dental services for enrolled children, including: 

  • Teeth cleaning
  • X-rays
  • Cavity fillings
  • Crowns
  • Other services

Adults enrolled in MA are eligible at minimum for surgical procedures and emergency services related to treatment of symptoms and pain.


  • You must apply for MA first to see if you are eligible

How to get help:

  • Apply online using COMPASS
  • Call DHS at 800-692-7462
  • If you need help finding a dentist that accepts MA, visit www/ or call 800-537-8862

Family Planning Program

Pennsylvania’s Family Planning Program provides health and medical support to statewide family planning clinics and aims to prevent high-risk pregnancies among sexually active adolescents 17 years and younger.

Clinical services provided at local clinics include:

  • Physical exams
  • Routine gynecological care
  • Pregnancy testing
  • Contraceptives
  • Cancer screening and examinations
  • Sexually Transmitted Disease diagnosis, treatment, education, and counseling
  • HIV/AIDS education and screening

How to get help:

More medical/dental help: 

Food help for low-income families in Pennsylvania

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

Pennsylvania Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

SNAP is a federally funded program that helps low-income households buy healthy foods through funds loaded on an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) ACCESS Card.

These are the maximum monthly SNAP benefits in Pennsylvania: 

Family Size12345678Each additional person
Maximum benefit$281$516$740$939$1,116$1,339$1,480$1,691Add $211 


To be eligible for SNAP in Pennsylvania, you must meet income requirements and meet one of the following requirements:

  • Current bank balance (savings and checking combined) under $2,001, or
  • Current bank balance (savings and checking combined) 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, or yourself)
  • These are the current income guidelines for SNAP in PA: 
Household SizeMaximum Gross Monthly Income
Each additional member+$788

How to get help: 

  • Apply or renew online using COMPASS
  • In person: File an application at your local CAO

The Emergency Food Assistance Program

The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) is a federal program that helps low-income individuals in Pennsylvania by providing emergency nutrition at no cost. 


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

How to get help: 

Pennsylvania’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. 


More on the current income guidelines for WIC recipients here.

People who are currently receiving Medicaid, Temporary Cash Assistance, or Food Assistance help 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 income eligibility guidelines:

Household sizeMaximum income level (per year)

For households with more than eight people, add $9,509 per additional person.

How to get help: 

Pennsylvania also offers other child nutrition programs to low-income households with students 18 and under attending schools, including the Afterschool Snack Program, Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Program (FFVP), Special Milk Program, and Seamless Summer Option (SSO).

Pennsylvania’s Summer Food Service Program

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services serves nutritious meals at no cost to children during summer break. Food is distributed at local schools, nonprofit organizations, parks, and libraries. 


  • These are the current income guidelines for the Summer Food Service Program: 
Household sizeMaximum income per year

How to get help: 

More food help in Pennsylvania

Child care help for low-income families in Pennsylvania

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

Pennsylvania 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:

Child Care Works

Child Care Works helps low-income families in Pennsylvania find and afford child care near their home or work. The Child Care Works Subsidized Child Care Program helps low-income families pay their child care expenses. You must submit an application to the Early Learning Resource Center (ELRC) in your county to apply. 


  • Pennsylvania resident
  • Have a child or children requiring child care while you work or attend an education program
  • Work 20+ hours/week or 10+ hours and attend school/training 10+ hours/week
  • Have a promise of a job that will start within 30 days of your application for subsidized child care
  • Teen parents must attend an education program
  • Child who needs care must be a U.S. citizen or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residency
  • Proof of identification for each parent or caretaker in the home
  • Meet income guidelines for your family size, 200% or less of FPL:
Family SizeMaximum yearly
family income

How to get help:

  • Visit Child Care Works for more information, including additional guidelines and eligibility requirements
  • Call the Child Care Works helpline at 877-4-PA-KIDS (877-472-5437)

More child care help

Education help for single moms in Pennsylvania

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

Get a GED in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania uses two options for high school equivalency testing: the GED and the HiSET exams, which test Language Arts (reading and writing), Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. Test-takers can take the GED exam online or at one of Pennsylvania’s official test centers. The HiSET exam is also available in an online format.

These are the costs for each test type: 

  • GED exam (in person): $120 for full exam / $30 per subject
  • GED exam (online): $144 for full exam / $36 per subject*
  • HiSET exam (online): $93.75 
  • HiSET exam (paper/pencil version): $115

*To qualify for the online GED exam, you must first achieve a “green zone” score (likely to pass) on the GED Ready test, which is available on the GED website for $6.99 per subject ($28 total).


  • In Pennsylvania, the minimum age to qualify for GED or HiSET testing is 16; however, underage applicants must sign an official age waiver and have parental consent
  • Pennsylvania requires GED and HiSET test-takers to be state residents
  • Test-takers cannot have a high school or equivalent diploma
  • Test-takers cannot be signed up for another school program
  • Pennsylvania does not require test-takers to first attend a prep course or pass the GED Ready practice test, unless the GED exam is taken online

How to apply:

Grants and scholarships in Pennsylvania

Through Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA), Pennsylvania offers both grants (State Grant Program) and loans (Forward Student Loan) to help fund post-secondary education.

State Grant Program qualifications:

  • Pennsylvania resident
  • High school graduate
  • Attend a PHEAA-approved post-secondary school
  • Enrolled at least half time 
  • Enrolled in a PHEAA-approved study program of at least two academic years that allows at least 50% of study in the classroom (medical disability exception) 
  • Have made satisfactory academic progress
  • Not have already earned a bachelor’s degree or equivalent
  • Have satisfactory character (e.g., not be incarcerated)
  • Not have received the maximum number of PA State Grants permitted
  • Not be in default or pending default on an educational loan

Forward Student Loan qualifications:

  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Pennsylvania resident, or live in an approved state (MD, OH, NY, NJ, VA, WV, and DE)
  • Attend a Pennsylvania school (if not Pennsylvania resident)
  • Attend an eligible school in a degree-, diploma-, or certificate-seeking program
  • Secure a co-signer (if applicable)

How to get help:

Visit PHEAA for more information, definitions, more specific eligibility requirements (such as if you’re studying outside Pennsylvania), how to apply, application deadlines, etc.

More education help: 

Employment help for single moms in Pennsylvania

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


PAsmart is a workforce development initiative that helps connect Pennsylvanians with resources for working and training in Pennsylvania through: 

  • Education
  • Training and apprenticeships
  • Career guidance 

PAsmart prepares Pennsylvania students and workers for well-paid jobs in high-growth industries.

How to get help:

Check out Working and Training in PA for more information, to check your eligibility for each sector (Education / Training & Apprenticeships / Career Paths) and for more area-specific contact information

American Job Centers

The American Job Centers offers: 

  • Employment and training services
  • Career counseling
  • Job search assistance

How to get help: 

More employment help: 

Charity organizations in Pennsylvania

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

The Salvation Army of Pennsylvania

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: 

Catholic Charities of Pennsylvania

There are seven chapters of Catholic Charities across Pennsylvania. 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 Pennsylvania

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

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

How to get help: 

Help for single moms in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 

The following resources serve residents of Pittsburgh, Pa.: 

Emergency assistance in Pittsburgh

If you need emergency cash for expenses like utilities, rent, and groceries, here are some helpful resources to consider in the Pittsburgh area:

Allegheny Valley Association of Churches

Allegheny Valley Association of Churches offers an Emergency Assistance program that provides cash help to residents of Allegheny and Westmoreland Counties. The program offers emergency cash to help with household expenses, including rent and utility payments, food, clothing and shoes, gasoline, bus passes and prescriptions. The amount awarded varies. 


  • Must be a resident of either Allegheny or Westmoreland county 
  • Household monthly income must be 200 percent or below the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines

How to get help:

YWCA Greater Pittsburgh 

The YWCA Greater Pittsburgh helps women and children in the Pittsburgh area who are experiencing an emergency or crisis by offering several grants. The funds can be used to help families avoid eviction by helping cover the cost of rental arrears, utility arrears, and security deposits. Other financial assistance includes grants to cover tuition and training expenses, medical bills and more. The programs available include:

  • The Housing Stabilization Program helps Pittsburgh residents stay in their homes and avoid eviction by offering grants to contribute to housing costs such as security deposits or back-due rent and utility bills
  • The Liz Prine Memorial Fund offers grants of up to $1,000 to women working towards long-term goals. The funds can be used to pay for education expenses, job training, professional fees, books, test fees, uniforms, laptops, trade tools, and childcare costs

Qualifications vary based on the program and are based on the applicant’s need and situation. 

How to get help:

Lazarus Fund Ministry Team

The Pittsburgh Presbytery’s Lazarus Fund Ministry Team offers emergency cash assistance to Pittsburgh residents in need of help with housing-related costs, including rent or mortgage payments, security deposits and utilities.

Pittsburghers interested in help from the Lazarus Fund Ministry Team need to apply.  

How to get help:

  • Call 412-697-7390  

Housing help in Pittsburgh

If you need housing help in Pittsburgh, here are some options: 

The Housing Authority City of Pittsburgh 

The Housing Authority City of Pittsburgh (HACP) offers cash assistance to first-time homebuyers through the Homeownership Program. Eligible families can receive closing cost assistance of up to $7,000. 


  • Applicants must own the home
  • Applicants must be first-time homebuyers 
  • Property must be located within the city limits of Pittsburgh 
  • Applicants must currently be a HACP Low-Income Public Housing resident or a Housing Choice Voucher Program voucher holder or eligible for one of the programs 
  • Household annual income must be between 50% -80% AMI 

For those who own a mobile home, a separate program and application are found here. 

How to get help:

The Housing Assistance Resources Portal

The Housing Assistance Resources Portal (HARP) is an online guide for people living in Pittsburgh to help those in need find housing-related resources. HARP allows people to search for resources and services based on their income, age, household size and housing needs or situation. 

The Housing Resource Finder can help Pittsburghers who are:

  • Looking for a place to rent or a current tenant 
  • Buying a house or a current homeowner 
  • Experiencing homelessness 

How to get help:

Allegheny County Connect

Allegheny County Connect helps moms and children who are experiencing a housing crisis find a place to stay through access to emergency shelters and housing programs. 


  • Facing or experiencing homelessness 

How to get help:

Transportation assistance in Pittsburgh

Here is a helpful transportation resource to consider in the Pittsburgh area:

North Hills Community Outreach Transportation

North Hills Community Outreach’s Transportation Assistance Program offers numerous services and financial help for Allegheny County residents who don’t have access to reliable transportation to get to and from work, job searching or education and vocational training. The program offers financial assistance for transportation-related expenses, including: 

  • Car repairs
  • Gas 
  • Port Authority CONNECT fare
  • Insurance payments
  • Loan payments
  • PennDOT Services
  • AAA memberships
  • Car seats


  • Must reside in the Allegheny County areas served by North Hills Community Outreach, South Hills Interfaith Movement or Allegheny Valley Association of Churches
  • Household monthly income must be 200% or below the FPL
  • Must be experiencing hardship, crisis or other financial difficulties

How to get help:

Medical and dental care help in Pittsburgh

If you are looking for help with medical or dental care in Pittsburgh, check out these resources:

Catholic Charities Free Health Care Center

The Diocese of Pittsburgh’s Catholic Charities Free Health Care Center offers free medical and dental care to adults in the Pittsburgh area. Services offered at the center include primary care visits, dental exams, preventative care and specialty services such as physical therapy, gynecology and dermatology. Appointments are required.  


  • Must be 19 or older
  • Income less than 250% of the FPL

How to get help:

  • Call 412-456-6911

Free Care Clinics 

The University of Pittsburgh’s Program for Health Care to Underserved Populations (PHCUP) operates two free clinics that offer medical and pharmacy services to Pittsburghers who don’t have health insurance. The two community clinics include:

  • The Birmingham Free Clinic is located on the South Side of Pittsburgh and provides numerous medical services to adults and children. A full list of medical and dental care offered can be found online 
  • The Women’s Center and Shelter Clinic provides medical services to women staying in a shelter who are recovering from intimate partner violence 

Once per month, UPMC’s Heart and Vascular Institute offers free cardiology services at the Birmingham Free Care Clinic, which includes health screenings, specialty consult services, chronic disease management for heart-related conditions and medication access and management. Appointments are required.

How to get help:

  • Call 412-246-3053 

Mission of Mercy Pittsburgh

Mission of Mercy Pittsburgh hosts a two-day clinic that provides free dental, vision and hearing services for adults and children. All services are provided by local professionals and offered at no cost to the patient. There are no eligibility or insurance requirements. The next Mission of Mercy Pittsburgh clinic is scheduled for November 1 and 2, 2024 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. The doors will open at 6 a.m. each day and patients are seen on a first-come, first-served basis. 

How to get help:

Food help in Pittsburgh

Here are some food resources local to Pittsburgh, Pa.:

Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank

Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank offers a variety of ways that families in the Pittsburgh area can get free food. The Food Bank’s online Food Finder Tool allows people to search for free food that fits their needs. Other Food Bank services include: 

  • The Market: The free store is located at 1 North Linden Street in Duquesne and families can shop for grocery items such as fresh fruits, vegetables, meats and a variety of boxed and canned goods at no cost. The Market’s hours are online.
  • The Summer Youth Cafe: The cafe is part of the federal Summer Food Program and provides free meals to children while school is out for the summer. Locations will be posted on the Food Bank’s Food Finder Tool closer to summer. 
  • Food Distributions: Distribution events provide a variety of grocery items to those in need through either walk-in or drive-up events where people can get between 30 and 50 pounds of food. During the drive-up events, volunteers will load up your vehicle’s trunk. Anyone is eligible to receive food. The schedule of distribution events can be found here.

How to get help:

  • Call 412-460-3663 ext. 655

North Hills Community Outreach Pantries

North Hills Community Outreach (NHCO) runs three food pantries located in Allison Park, Millvale and Bellevue. All three food pantries offer a variety of grocery items for families in need. In addition to the grocery staples, the Millvale pantry offers a gluten-free section for people with dietary restrictions. 

How to get help:

Education help in Pittsburgh

Here are some education resources in Pittsburgh:

North Hills Community Outreach Education Assistance Program

North Hills Community Outreach (NHCO) offers grants to adult students who are enrolled in a college, university or vocational school through its Education Assistance Program (EAP). The program is for nontraditional students who live in northern Allegheny County. Applications for the fall semester are being accepted until June.  


  • Applicants should be at or below 200% of the FPL 
  • Applicants must live in NHCO’s service area 

How to get help:

Employment help in Pittsburgh

Check out these employment resources in Pittsburgh:

Pittsburgh Partnership 

The Pittsburgh Partnership offers numerous training and employment services for Pittsburghers looking for a job. The programs offered include: 

  • Employment, Advancement and Retention Network (EARN): This program, or TANF recipients, provides help searching for jobs, paid work experience and community service, training sessions and more
  • Learn and Earn Summer Employment Program: A six-week summer job for teens and young adults ages 14 to 21 that includes a variety of jobs that will help young adults obtain work experience, new skills and training 

How to get help:

  • Call 412-552-9071
  • Find a Neighborhood Employment Center near you


Partner4Work is an organization that helps connect job-seeking Pittsburghers with employers that have job openings. Partner4Work offers multiple services, including career training, job search help, resume writing tips, resources on how to obtain a GED and a summer job program. Partner4Work provides services to Pittsburghers who are 14 and older. 

How to get help:

Pennsylvania Women Work!

Pennsylvania Women Work is a Pittsburgh organization that helps women in the Pittsburgh area who are searching for a new job or in need of career advice. Pennsylvania Women Work offers numerous free programs, including job search and networking help, mock interviews, mentoring and career coaching, training, and more. The schedule of upcoming events can be found online. 

How to get help:

Charity organizations in Pittsburgh

There are a number of charitable organizations throughout the Pittsburgh area that offer support to single moms:

The Western Pennsylvania Diaper Bank

The Western Pennsylvania Diaper Bank distributes diapers and baby formula to numerous community partners where families can pick them up at no cost. The Diaper Bank does not directly hand out diapers and works with partner agencies where families can receive 25 diapers, 15 pull-ups and 15 adult diapers. Some partner agencies offer feminine hygiene products as well.

How to get help: 

Off the Floor Pittsburgh 

Off the Floor Pittsburgh is an organization that provides free second-hand furniture to Pittsburgh families who are unable to afford to furnish their homes, including women and children leaving shelters or transitioning from homelessness. Off the Floor does not take applications directly and works with dozens of partner agencies in the area.


  • Those interested in free furniture must work with an Off the Floor partner agency

How to get help: 

  • Call 412-926-5053

Jeremiah's Place

Jeremiah’s Place provides free emergency childcare for children ages 0 to 6. The amount of time children can stay at Jeremiah’s Place varies from a few hours to a few days depending on the family’s needs. While Jeremiah's Place offers childcare 24/7, it is not a drop-in facility. Families interested in free emergency childcare must call to make an intake appointment. 

How to get help: 

  • Call 412-924-0726

Help for single moms in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 

The following resources serve residents of Philadelphia, Pa.: 

Emergency assistance in Philadelphia

If you need emergency cash for expenses like utilities, rent, and groceries, here are helpful resources to consider in the Philadelphia area:

Catholic Social Services of Philadelphia Emergency Assistance

Catholic Charities of Philadelphia offers multiple services and partners with numerous community groups to provide emergency assistance programs to families in need. Services available include help with rent or utility bills, free clothing and food, housing referrals, counseling and emotional support. 

How to get help:


BenePhilly offers free, one-on-one help with signing up for public benefit programs that can help families afford vital expenses. A BenePhilly counselor will work with individuals to help them find assistance based on their family’s needs and qualifications. The programs can help cover the cost of household expenses, including: 

  • Prescription drugs
  • Health insurance
  • Food
  • Property taxes
  • Heat and other utilities
  • Paying for college
  • Disability benefits

How to get help:

  • Call 215-685-3654

Housing help in Philadelphia

If you need housing help in Philadelphia, here are some options: 


UESF is a Philadelphia nonprofit that offers numerous programs to help families stay in their homes. The programs help Philadelphia residents in need by assisting with household expenses such as utility bills and arrearages. UESF also offers services to help families create a plan and build skills that fit their housing, career and financial needs, such as self-sufficiency workshops and job training. Eligibility is determined based on the applicant’s submission form. 

How to get help:

  • Call 215-972-5170

Women’s Community Revitalization Project

Women’s Community Revitalization Project (WCRP) offers numerous programs and services for moms and children by providing low-cost housing options, resources and supportive services. 

WCRP has several properties where families can pick between affordable two to four-bedroom apartments, all equipped with in-unit laundry. There is a long waitlist and application process and it can take between one to four years before families would be able to move into a unit.

How to get help:

Philly First Home 

The Philly First Home program offers a grant of up to $10,000 to help first-time homebuyers reduce the principal and cover down payments and loan closing costs of a home they’re buying. The property must be a single-family home or duplex located in Philadelphia. 


How to get help:

  • Call 215-686-9749

Transportation assistance in Philadelphia

Here is a helpful transportation resource to consider in the Philadelphia area:

Zero Fare

The City of Philadelphia’s Zero Fare program provides free Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) transit for Philly residents living near or below the poverty level. The Zero Fare program does not take direct applications and does a random selection of applicants. Zero Fare accepts referrals from community partner agencies.

Eligibility is determined by age and income.  Participants selected for the program receive a card that covers all SEPTA rides for one year. 


  • Must reside in the Allegheny County areas served by North Hills Community Outreach, South Hills Interfaith Movement or Allegheny Valley Association of Churches
  • Household monthly income must be 200% of the FPL
  • Must be experiencing hardship, crisis or other financial difficulties

How to get help:

Medical and dental care help in Philadelphia

If you are looking for help with medical or dental care in Philadelphia, check out these resources:

City Health Centers

The City of Philadelphia has a City Health Centers, operated by the Department of Public Health, where adults and children can access low-cost medical and dental services. While the health centers accept urgent care and walk-in patients, some services require appointments. Call ahead to make sure the service is available before dropping in. Families do not need to have health insurance to receive care. 

The centers offer dozens of services, including:

  • Treatment for illnesses
  • Checkups 
  • Prenatal care and breastfeeding support
  • Pediatric care for infants, children and teens
  • Immunizations and vaccines
  • STD screenings and treatment 
  • Lab tests and x-rays
  • Dental exams and emergency dental care
  • Follow-up appointments and specialty care referral 

How to get help:

  • Call 311 for information
  • Find a nearby center online 
  • Book an appointment online 

Sayre Health Center

The Sayre Health Center provides healthcare to people in need regardless of their ability to pay. The center is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is located at 227 South 59th Street in Philly. Services offered at the center include:

  • Same-day appointments
  • Immunizations
  • Covid-19 rapid tests​
  • Physicals
  • Laboratory services
  • Gynecology 
  • Counseling 

Sayre Health Center also operates a Mobile Care Unit (MCU), which is a traveling doctor’s office that comes to those seeking preventative medical services such as blood pressure testing, glucose screening and mental health evaluations. The MCU is a large van outfitted with medical equipment where patients can see a licensed physician and social worker.  

Proof of income is required to determine each patient’s cost of services. 

How to get help:

  • Call 215-474-4444  

Project HOME's Healthcare Services

Project HOME's Healthcare Services offers low-cost health and dental services to adults and children in Philly at the Stephen Klein Wellness Center. The price for services varies based on household income but ranges from $5 to $20. Patients will not be turned away if they are unable to pay. The Stephen Klein Wellness Center is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Same-day and next-day appointments are offered but people seeking care must call beforehand. 

Services available to children include:

  • Well Child Visits for newborns to age 18 
  • School and sports physicals
  • Immunizations

 Services available to adults include:

  • Dental emergencies 
  • Wellness exams 
  • Reproductive services, including  prenatal care 
  • Behavioral health services 

How to get help:

  • Call 215-320-6187 

Food help in Philadelphia

Here are some food resources local to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania:

Philly Food Finder 

Philly Food Finder’s Food Access Guide helps local families find ways to get free food. Philly Food Finder’s online food access map allows people to search for free food that fits their needs. Other services include: 

  • Share Food Program: Allows families to pick up boxes packed with meat, fresh fruit and vegetables and other grocery items at dozens of partner pantries 
  • Nice Roots Farm: A garden that shows people how to grow food in the city and provides free and low-cost produce to Philadelphia residents  

How to get help:


Philabundance helps local families find free food through distribution events and the Philabundance Community Kitchen. Philabundance does not hand out food directly and works with several partner locations across the city where families in need can find food. 

How to get help:

Catholic Social Services food help

Catholic Social Services (CSS) offers a variety of ways that women and children who live in Montgomery County can get free food. CSS operates a market where people can pick foods they want and need in addition to several food pantries throughout the area. CSS provides several programs including: 

  • Mercy Café helps women experiencing homelessness and low-income families. The cafe provides weekday lunches and access to clothing, showers and toiletries.  
  • Martha’s Choice Marketplace is a large food pantry that is operated like a grocery store where families can pick from a variety of items at no cost. Families can visit the marketplace, which is located at 353 East Johnson Highway in Norristown, 16 times per year.
    • The marketplace is open Wednesdays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., Thursdays from noon to 3 p.m. and Fridays from noon to 2 p.m. 
  • CSS provides food for families in need at six free food pantries located throughout the county.  A list of pantry locations can be found online. 


  • Must be a Montgomery County resident
  • Must have a household income at or below 200% of the FPL 

How to get help:

Education help in Philadelphia

Here are some education resources in Philadelphia:

College Savings Account Program

UESF, in partnership with United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, offers the College Savings Account Program, which helps local families save up to $2,000 for post-secondary education. United Way will match $3 for every $1 saved by program participants who save up to $500 for a total contribution of $1,500. The savings account funds can be used for tuition, books and test prep courses. 


  • Must live in Philadelphia, Delaware or Montgomery counties
  • Must have a household net worth of less than $10,000
  • Must have a household income at or below 350% of the FPL
  • Must attend three hours of financial literacy, such as savings, budgeting and credit
  • Must make minimum deposits and participate in the program for at least six months before funds will be matched
  • Minimum 2.5 GPA
  • Senior in high school planning to attend a 4-year college or university or a freshman enrolled in a 4-year degree program at a college or university

How to get help:

Employment help in Philadelphia

Check out these employment resources in Philadelphia:

Project HOME's Education and Employment Services 

Project HOME offers numerous adult education and employment programs to help homeless and low-income Philadelphians. Project HOME’s programs include training classes with certifications and individual career support. Project HOME also has a public computer lab. 

The career training certification classes offered include: 

  • Certified Peer Specialist
  • Community Health Worker
  • Customer Service 
  • Forklift Operator 
  • ServSafe Food Handler
  • ServSafe Manager

Creative arts classes offered include: 

  • Digital Audio, such as music production and recording beginner and advanced students
  • Photography
  • Podcasting

How to get help:

PA CareerLink

PA CareerLink provides free career development services to help Philadelphia residents who are looking for a job. Some services offered by CareerLink include free workshops, training, mock interviews, career support and advice, career and skills coaching and more. There are four career centers in Philly and they are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

How to get help:

  • Call 833-750-5627
  • Find a program that best fits your needs 

Charity organizations in Philadelphia

There are several charitable organizations throughout the Philadelphia area that offer support to single moms:

University City Hospitality Coalition

The University City Hospitality Coalition (UCHC) helps homeless people in West Philadelphia by providing hot meals, toiletries, free medical and dental clinics, a legal clinic, and referral services for shelter, housing, food, and clothing. The medical clinic, which is staffed by Penn Medicine students, physicians, and pharmacists, offers numerous services such as acute and emergent care, diabetes and hypertension screenings, STD testing, dermatology consultations, flu shots and referrals to social services.

The medical clinic is open on Wednesdays from  5:30 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. 

The legal clinic is open on Wednesdays from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and can help with a variety of services, including landlord and tenant disputes, taxes, birth certificates and other identification and benefits assistance.

UCHC hands out free toiletries, such as shampoo, soap and lotion, on the last Wednesday of each month at 6:30 p.m.

The UCHC meal schedule and free food locations can be found online. 

How to get help: 

  • Call 267-297-4736
  • UCHC is located at PMB 410, 3720 Spruce Street in Philadelphia  

Beautiful Beginnings

The Beautiful Beginnings program of Catholic Social Services helps pregnant women, new moms and mothers with young children find access to numerous resources including free pregnancy testing, support services, education, free diapers, free toiletries and baby boutiques. At the baby boutiques, pregnant women and new moms can get baby items such as clothing, bottles, books, bouncers, car seats, cribs and more.  

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:


  1. “The Long-Term Impacts of Cash Assistance to Families,” by Kevin Werner, The Urban Institute, Jan. 31, 2024

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *