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Help for single moms in Texas: 34 assistance programs

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If you’re a single mom in Texas 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 Texas

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 in Texas

The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program offers monthly cash payments to help eligible Texas families pay for:

  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Housing
  • Utilities
  • Furniture
  • Transportation
  • Phone
  • Laundry
  • Supplies for the home
  • Medical supplies not paid for by Medicaid
  • Other basic needs

The monthly amounts given for TANF in Texas vary by family size and the number of parents/caretakers in the home. The family size refers to the number of people qualifying for TANF whose income is counted to calculate TANF payments, such as an eligible child or an eligible child and parent. In child-only cases, only the eligible children are counted in the family size:

Family SizeChild-Only CasesHome with 1 Parent or CaretakerHome with 2 Parents or Caretakers

Families can also receive a one-time TANF payment of $1,000 in the event of a crisis such as: 

  • Loss of a job
  • Loss of financial support for a child (child support, rental assistance, etc.)
  • Not being able to find a job after graduating from a university, college, junior college or technical training school
  • Not being able to get a job because vehicle is not working
  • Loss of home
  • Medical emergency

This payment can only be given once in a 12-month period to those who qualify. Families who receive monthly TANF benefits do not qualify. 

Relatives (grandparents, aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers) taking care of a child who receives TANF benefits can also receive a once-in-a-lifetime $1,000 payment if they are not receiving monthly TANF themselves, are at least 25 years old, and don’t have a lot of money or a way to get more money. 


For monthly TANF benefits: 

  • Must be a U.S. citizen or a qualified non-citizen
  • Permanent Texas resident
  • Have at least one child 18 or younger living in the home
  • Parents or caretakers must be willing to search for work, take parenting classes, and avoid abusing drugs and alcohol
  • TANF-eligible children must be attending school and receive mandated vaccinations
  • A parent or blood relative of the child must be managing the household

Additionally, children may qualify for child-only TANF benefits in certain circumstances when a parent or caregiver is not eligible for the program for a reason other than income. For instance, parents receiving Supplemental Security Income or immigrant parents who are ineligible for the program will not affect their child’s ability to receive TANF.

These are the maximum monthly income limits to qualify for TANF in Texas, though they note that some people might be able to get benefits with higher incomes on a case-by-case basis:

Family SizeChild-Only CasesHome with 1 Parent or CaretakerHome with 2 Parents or Caretakers

Relatives receiving a one-time TANF payment of $1,000 should meet these income limits:

Family SizeMonthly Income Limit

How to get help:

  • Apply online on
  • Call Texas Health and Human Services at 512-424-6500
  • Apply in person at your local Texas Health and Human Services office



More emergency cash help in Texas: 

Single moms in Texas 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 Texas

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

Rental assistance in Texas

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

Section 811 Project Rental Assistance Program

Section 811 helps low-income individuals with a disability find affordable, subsidized housing. The program also connects members to relevant community services and agencies. Eligible individuals may have dependent children in the home.


To qualify for Section 811, a household must have at least one eligible household member with a disability over age 18 and under 62. This person may or may not be the main provider of the household. Recipients must live in one of the following areas of Texas:

  • Austin-Round Rock
  • Brownsville-Harlingen
  • Corpus Christi
  • Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington
  • El Paso
  • Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land
  • McAllen-Edinburg-Mission
  • San Antonio-New Braunfels

Households also must meet the following income limits to qualify:

How to get help: 

Download an application packet from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs to submit to an agent. You’ll need an agent’s referral to qualify for the program.

Public Housing and Housing Choice Vouchers (Section 8)

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides vouchers to help low-income individuals and families pay rent. 


HUD determines how much a household gets using their income and family size. Visit the HUD website to find income limits for your Texas county.

How to get help: 

Contact a referral agent in your county to check for availability.

Mortgage assistance in Texas

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

Texas Homeowner Assistance (TXHAF)

The Texas Homeowner Assistance program was introduced to assist families financially impacted by COVID-19. The program helps homeowners pay up to three months of mortgage or related housing payments and up to three months of utility payments.

TXHAF allows for up to $65,000 in funds per eligible household, with a maximum of $10,000 for utility assistance and up to $25,000 for property charges, like property taxes or homeowners insurance.


Texas homeowners can qualify for Texas Homeowner Assistance if they:

  • Occupy their home as their primary residence
  • Have an income at or below 100% of AMI or the median national income
  • Were financially impacted by the pandemic
  • Have trouble making payments on their mortgage, property insurance, utilities, or other housing-related expenses                                                     

How to get help: 

Register for the online portal to fill out and submit your application and required documents.

Check today's mortgage loan rates >>

Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation (TSAHC)

TSAHC helps Texas residents purchase homes by providing fixed-rate home loans and down payment assistance to qualifying individuals. 

For mortgage loans, you’ll apply directly through an approved lender

Down payment assistance can be given as a grant that doesn’t have to be repaid, or a deferred, forgivable second lien loan that only has to be repaid if you sell or refinance within three years. Homebuyers choosing the loan option can benefit from lower interest rates and, therefore, a lower monthly mortgage payment.


Homebuyers must be eligible for a TSAHC mortgage loan program to receive down payment assistance. TSAHC offers two loan programs:

Homes for Texas Heroes Program: Individuals in specific community service professions qualify for this program:

  • Full-time public school educators (teachers, teacher aides, school librarians, school counselors, and school nurses)
  • Police officers and public security officers 
  • Firefighters and EMS personnel
  • Veterans or active military
  • Correction officers and juvenile corrections officers
  • Nursing faculty and allied health faculty

Candidates need a minimum credit score of 620 and must meet the program’s income requirements. Learn more about whether you qualify for a VA loan.

Home Sweet Texas Home Loan Program: Candidates for this program also need a minimum 620 credit score and income within the program’s limits (same as above). Prospective Texas homeowners who do not have a “hero” profession necessary to qualify for the Homes for Texas Heroes Program should apply for this program.

How to get help: 

Before applying, you can take an eligibility quiz to find out if you qualify. If you do, the website will provide contact information for participating lenders.

Homeless assistance in Texas 

The following programs help homeless 

Permanent Supportive Housing Program

The Permanent Supportive Housing Program helps people who are currently homeless or who may become homeless find affordable permanent housing. The program can also assist with job readiness and independent living skills to prevent homelessness in the future.


A Texas HHS-approved local mental health authority or behavioral health authority determines individual eligibility.

How to get help: 

Search for your local mental health or behavioral health authority to find out if you qualify. A representative can help you submit your application.

Supportive Housing Rental Assistance Program

Similar to the Permanent Supportive Housing Program, this program helps individuals with temporary house-related funds, such as utilities and rent payments. It is for people who are already homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.


Texas residents must be eligible for mental health services with their local mental health or behavioral services authority. Some applicants may also need to apply for Section 8.  

How to get help:

Speak to your mental health or behavioral services authority representative about applying or locate your local agency to determine your eligibility. 

More housing help: 

Electric bill assistance in Texas

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

Comprehensive Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) in Texas

CEAP is Texas’s version of LIHEAP, a federal program that helps eligible households pay their heating and cooling bills. The program pays funds directly to the household’s energy company to help with electric bills in Texas. 


  • Resident of Texas
  • Meet the income threshold for the program:
Family Size150% of FPL
More than 8 peopleAdd $7,710 for each additional person

How to get help:

Visit the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs website. Click ‘Utility Bill Payment Help.’ Fill out your city or county, and click ‘Find Help’ to locate your nearest agency to apply. Or, call 2-1-1 Texas at 877-541-7905.

Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) in Texas

Texas WAP helps low-income families reduce their energy bills by weatherizing their homes. The program can provide electric bill assistance in Texas by providing services like caulking, weather-stripping, replacing worn-out heating units, and completing energy audits.


  • Resident of Texas
  • Meet current income guidelines based on family size:
Family Size100% of FPL150% of FPL200% of FPL
Families with more than 8 personsAdd $5,140 for each additional personAdd $7,710 for each additional personAdd $10,280 for each additional person

How to get help:

Visit the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs website. Select ‘Weatherization’ and fill out your city or county to find your local agency for application assistance. You can also dial 2-1-1 or call 877-541-7905.

More electric bill help: 

Free money to help pay bills

Medical insurance and dental help for single moms in Texas

Single moms in Texas may qualify for assistance with medical and dental care through the following programs: 

Title V Maternal and Child Health Fee-for-Service Program

Women who do not qualify for Medicaid and other low-cost medical services may get help from this program for prenatal health and dental services. Qualifying children can also receive affordable child health and dental services.


  • Texas resident
  • Must not be eligible for Medicaid, CHIP, or other healthcare plans
  • Women must be carrying a pregnancy or be no more than three months postpartum
  • Youth must be 21 or younger
  • Income should be at or below 185% of FPL

How to get help: 

  • Call 800-222-3986
  • Visit the 2-1-1 Texas website or call 877-541-7905

Dental Hygiene Clinics and Schools

Some dental hygiene clinics and schools in Texas offer free or low-cost dental care to the public, such as the University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston and the Texas A&M University College of Dentistry in Dallas.


Each individual clinic or school sets its own eligibility requirements. 

How to get help: 

Contact your nearest Texas dental clinic or school for information.

Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) in Texas

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

Texas Medicaid

Medicaid is one of many health care-related Texas programs for low-income families, providing medical coverage and services for eligible adults and children. The state offers a few variations of its Medicaid program for parents and families:

  • Children’s Medicaid – Covers well-child visits, routine immunizations, vision and hearing care, and other typical health services for children, including dentist visits
  • Health Insurance Premium Payment Program – Pays premiums for a job-related health insurance plan for families with at least one person on Medicaid
  • Medicaid for Parents and Caretakers – Allows low-income parents or caretakers who care for a child on Medicaid to receive Medicaid benefits
  • Women-Focused Medicaid – Covers services for women, such as prenatal care, cervical screenings, and care for women with breast or cervical cancer


How to get help:

Apply for benefits or find a local office on the Your Texas Benefits website, or call 2-1-1.

Texas Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) 

Texas has its own version of the national CHIP program, which provides affordable health coverage for children in families with income higher than the typical Medicaid threshold. CHIP covers the same services as Medicaid, including dental visits, routine health care, and services for children with disabilities or special needs. 

Families receiving CHIP do not pay premiums for services.


  • U.S. citizen or qualified non-citizen
  • Texas resident
  • Child must be 18 or younger, though some children with disabilities may qualify up to age 20
  • Meet income guidelines based on family size:
Family Size (including adults and children)Monthly Family Income
Each additional person$525

How to get help: 

Apply for CHIP or find a local office on the Your Texas Benefits website, or call 2-1-1. 

Healthy Texas Mothers and Babies

Healthy Texas Mothers and Babies offers free resources for parents or soon-to-be parents to prevent preterm births and help babies have a healthy first year. The program connects parents to community education and support programs, like breastfeeding support services and affordable health care for babies. 


Healthy Texas Mothers and Babies makes resources available for parents, employers, health care providers, and agencies. Each program has its own process to determine eligibility.

How to get help: 

Search for programs of interest on the Healthy Texas Mothers and Babies website.

More medical/dental help: 

Food help for low-income families in Texas

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

Texas Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

Previously known as food stamps, USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) gives eligible Texas families funds to buy food. The benefits reload to an issued Lone Star Card each month for families to buy fresh produce, meat, pantry items, and other eligible food and drinks from brick-and-mortar or online stores accepting SNAP benefits.

SNAP benefits cannot be used to buy alcohol, tobacco, or non-food items. 


Texas parents qualify if they have eligible children in the home and meet the income guidelines shown below. Qualifying individuals 16 and older may be required to have a job or be looking for work to maintain benefits.

Family SizeMaximum Monthly Income
Each additional person$649

How to get help: 

Apply for benefits on the Your Texas Benefits website or call 2-1-1 for assistance.

Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) in Texas

Texas WIC provides education and resources for pregnant women and women with young children. Through the program, moms can receive breastfeeding support, nutrition advice, and healthy foods for themselves and their babies or children through age 5. 


Women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have a child younger than 5 and qualify based on income may be eligible for WIC. Women can qualify for the program if they or their children already qualify for Medicaid, TANF, or SNAP benefits. More on the income guidelines for WIC.

How to get help: 

Apply on the Texas WIC website, call 800-942-3678, or use the website to find a local WIC office.

National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program

Eligible public school children can receive free or reduced-price nutritious lunches and breakfasts at their schools through these programs. Meals must meet federal guidelines for nutritional value. 

Texas schools are required to participate in the School Breakfast Program if at least 10% of their students qualify for these affordable meal programs based on income. 


Eligible households have income within the Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines.

How to get help: 

Contact your child’s school for more information or call 877-TEX-MEAL.

Texas Summer Meal Program

The Texas Department of Agriculture provides free, nutritious meals to children 18 and younger or children with disabilities up to age 21 when they’re on summer break from school. 


Family income must meet the following guidelines:

How to get help: 

Call 877-TEX-MEAL to find a Summer Meal Program near you.

Texas food banks

Food banks distribute food to Texas families in need. 


Each food bank sets its own eligibility requirements.

How to get help: 

Visit the Texas Health and Human Services website to find a local food bank.

More food help: 

Child care help for low-income families in Texas

There are multiple federally funded education programs and resources in Texas:

Texas Head Start and Early Head Start

Head Start provides free preschool for children ages 3 to 5 from families meeting income guidelines. Pregnant women and families with children under 3 can receive services for their children from Early Head Start in Texas. 


  • 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: 

Texas Child Care Solutions

Texas Child Care Solutions connects parents with resources to help them afford child care. Parents can use the website to find quality child care providers, browse educational information, and apply for financial help for child care.


  • Be on or transitioning from public assistance, or
  • Have or need protective services
  • Have a child under 13
  • Meet income requirements, which vary by location

How to get help:

Contact your local Workforce Solutions Office.

More child care help

Education help for single moms in Texas

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

Get a GED in Texas

Texas residents who are 18 or older can pursue a GED in place of a high school diploma. Some 16 and 17-year-olds may also qualify if they have permission from a parent or guardian or are in the care of the state. 

The complete Texas GED test costs $145 for a computer-based exam or $169 with an online proctor. The test is broken into reasoning through language arts, math, science, and social studies. Test-takers must score at least 145 on each subject to pass.

Grants and scholarships in Texas

The Texas Comptroller oversees Texas finances, like budgeting and taxes. Learners can find state-specific grants and scholarships through its website to help pay for college. 

Prospective students can also fill out the FAFSA for federal financial aid and check with their school’s financial aid office for information on school-sponsored grants, scholarships, and work-study programs.

Helping Hands for Single Moms Dallas

Helping Hands for Single Moms Dallas helps single moms achieve their higher education goals through scholarships, emergency funds, technology assistance, and cleaning services while they attend school. The charity also has holiday gift programs for families in need.


  • Be a United States citizen
  • Live in Dallas, Collin, Tarrant, or Denton counties
  • Have at least one child under 11 living with them most of the time
  • Be a single parent
  • Have at least one college semester completed
  • Have an income at or below 150% of FPL

How to get help: 

Apply on the Helping Hands for Single Moms website or fill out the online form.

More education help: 

Employment help for single moms in Texas

Workforce programs in Texas provide training and assist with employment:

Texas Workforce Commission Unemployment Benefit Services

Unemployment benefits serve Texas residents who have become unemployed or laid off for circumstances outside of their control. 


  • Texas resident 
  • Unemployed, laid off, or had hours reduced
  • Earned and worked a minimum amount during a specific period
  • Able and willing to continue looking for suitable employment

How to get help: 

Apply through the Texas Workforce Commission website.

American Job Centers in Texas

The American Job Center Network is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor. The agency helps people in Texas and across the country find jobs and develop their skills through job training and career counseling. 

How to get help: 

More employment help: 

Charity organizations in Texas

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


Gracewood is a charity that supports single moms and their children who find themselves in a crisis situation. The charity offers residential and counseling services to help women get back on their feet.


  • Must be 18 or older and have at least one child under 18 in their full-time care
  • Not be involved in a CPS case
  • No criminal history
  • Valid driver’s license with reliable transportation
  • Current job or be able to work or attend school

How to get help: 

Submit an application on Gracewood’s website or call 713-988-9757.

The Salvation Army of Texas

The Salvation Army has locations across the United States, including Texas. The charity organization helps local communities and families with multiple kinds of support, including:

  • Disaster relief
  • Shelter for domestic abuse situations
  • Rent 
  • Utility payments
  • Holiday gift help
  • Food 
  • Life skills
  • Religious or spiritual support
  • Job training
  • After-school programs


Each Salvation Army location in Texas has its own services and determines eligibility for each of its services and programs. 

How to get help: 

Visit the Salvation Army website to find your local chapter. 


Catholic Charities of Texas

Catholic Charities is a faith-based charity that helps individuals and families in need across Texas and in other states. The organization provides: 

  • Counseling
  • Financial services
  • Immigration services
  • Disaster response services 


Eligibility varies for each Catholic Charities office.

How to get help: 

Visit the Catholic Charities website of the branch closest to you to find contact information:

United Way of Texas

The United Way of Texas 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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