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Help for single moms in Vermont: 44 assistance programs

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If you’re a single mom in Vermont 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 Vermont

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 Vermont

Reach Up — Vermont’s name for their 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. A Benefits Program Specialist (BPS) will determine the amount of your benefit. Generally, an eligible family of three can receive up to $1,384 a month in cash assistance. However, exact amounts depend on location and specific family circumstances. See full income guidelines.

For those who only need help for up to four months, Vermont also offers the Reach First program. Reach First is aimed at helping families get through short-term financial issues by providing cash assistance.

Cash assistance is available for a lifetime total of 60 months for adults. Children being taken care of by a relative may qualify for longer coverage. 


  • U.S. citizen or a qualified non-citizen
  • Permanent Vermont resident
  • Pregnant and/or have children under 18  
  • Children and mother must have social security number
  • Gross income must be less than 80% of AMI
  • Children under age 5 must be up to date with immunizations
  • Children ages 6 to 18 must attend school, and parents/caretakers must attend school conferences

How to get help:

Vermont Reach Up Programs

Vermont has several programs to help parents gain access to better opportunities:

  • Reach Up: Monthly cash help for basic necessities and support to help you define and reach goals for education, career, housing, finances, and more
  • Reach Ahead Pilot: Helps former Reach Up or Post-Secondary Education (PSE) recipients transition to the workforce and offers help to pay for child care, food, and fix any barriers to work (such as providing car repairs or work clothes)
  • Reach First: Short-term financial help and support (four months or less)
  • Vermont MOMS: Virtual stress management classes for moms that offer gift cards for class attendance


  • Each program has its own eligibility requirements, call the number below for more details

How to get help:

More emergency cash help in Vermont: 

Single moms in Vermont 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 Vermont

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

Rental assistance in Vermont

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

Emergency Housing

Those who have lost their housing due to a catastrophic situation may be eligible for emergency housing in a hotel for 28 to 84 days. Length of stay is determined by your situation. 

Catastrophic events include: 

  • Natural disasters, such as fire or flood
  • Fleeing domestic violence 
  • Constructive or court-ordered eviction that is not your fault 


One of the following must be true:

  • Age 65 or older
  • Pregnant in third trimester 
  • Child/children age 6 or younger 
  • Qualify with at least 4 points
    • Disabled veteran (1 point)
    • Active Family Services case (1 point)
    • SSI or SSDI applicant (1 point)
    • Child/children between the ages of 7-17 (2 points)
    • Discharged from a 48-hour inpatient hospital stay within the last 30 days (2 points)
    • Over 18 years old and discharged from DCF custody within the last 3 years (1 point)
    • Reach Up recipient
    • Individual on probation or parole with Dept of Corrections (1 point)

How to get help: 

Transitional Housing

The Department for Children and Families provides up to 18 months in a hotel for qualifying Vermont residents who experienced financial hardship or job loss because of COVID-19. 


  • Vermont resident 
  • Gross income under 80% of AMI 
  • Have not received any other federal funds to pay for expenses 

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 Vermont 

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

Vermont Homeowner Assistance Program

The Vermont Housing Finance Agency’s Homeowner Assistance Program provides grants of up to $30,000 per household toward: 

  • Overdue mortgage payments
  • Utility bills
  • Property taxes
  • Property association charges


  • Applying for expenses related to your primary residence, located in Vermont
  • Experienced financial hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic:
    • Job loss
    • Reduction in income
    • Increased costs due to illness or the need to care for a family member 
  • Have an income equal to or less than 150% of AMI                                   

How to get help: 

VHFA Mortgage Programs 

The Vermont Housing Finance Agency offers a variety of mortgage programs for homebuyers in the state. The programs are offered through local VHFA Participating Lenders:


This mortgage program has VHFA’s lowest interest rate and a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage loan. Other benefits include: 

  • Down payments 0% to 5% (determined by lender)
  • Down payment and closing cost assistance available
  • Up to $825 savings on Vermont Property Transfer Tax at closing


This mortgage program offers a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage loan. Other benefits include

  • Down payment 0% to 5% (determined by lender)
  • Down payment and closing cost assistance available
  • Up to $825 savings on Vermont Property Transfer Tax at closing
  • Annual Federal tax credit up to $2,000 with the MCC


This mortgage program offers a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage loan. Other benefits include

  • Down payment 0% to 5% (determined by lender)
  • Down payment and closing cost assistance available
  • Up to $825 savings on Vermont Property Transfer Tax at closing


  • Minimum credit score of 640 (higher minimum scores may be required by some lenders)
  • No homeownership within prior 36 months if purchasing in: Addison, Bennington, Chittenden, Grand Isle, or Windsor County 

How to get help: 

Vermont Housing down payment assistance

The Vermont Housing Finance Agency also helps with down payment and closing costs in the form of a second mortgage loan. 

Check today's mortgage loan rates >>

ASSIST Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance includes: 

  • 0% interest loan with no monthly payments
    • The loan is repaid when the property is sold 
  • Maximum loan amount $10,000 or $15,000 based on income (lender will determine)


These loans are not available as standalone assistance but in conjunction with VHFA’s programs listed above: Move, Move CC or Advantage. 

  • Borrowers and non-borrowing spouses must be true first-time homebuyers

How to get help: 

Vermont First Generation Homebuyer Program 

First-time homebuyers in Vermont may be eligible for a $15,000 grant for down payment and closing costs. Eligible borrowers can also combine this grant with VHFA ASSIST to receive up to $30,000 in assistance. Funding for the grant is available on a first-come, first-served basis while funds last.


  • All borrowers and non-borrowing spouses must be true-first time homebuyers and at least one borrower must have: 
  • Parents or legal guardians who do not currently own a home
  • Been placed in foster care at any time in their life
  • Minimum credit score of 640 (higher minimum scores may be required by some lenders) 
  • No ownership within prior 36 months, if purchasing in: Addison, Bennington, Chittenden, Grand Isle, or Windsor County 

How to get help: 

Homeless assistance in Vermont 

If you are homeless or at risk of homelessness, you may be able to get help from the following program: 

Agency of Human Services 

The main goal of the Agency of Human Services is to prevent Vermont residents from becoming homeless — or from having to return to homelessness. AHS and community partners help provide housing stability and reduce homelessness though: 

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


Requirements are set by individual agencies and programs. 

How to get help: 

More housing help: 

Utility bill assistance in Vermont

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

Vermont Gas Customers

The Department for Families and Children offers a 20% discount off monthly natural gas bills for qualifying families.


  • Residential Vermont Gas customers only
  • Have gross monthly household income at or below 185% of FPL

How to get help:

  • Call 800-775-0516
  • Fill out and print this application
    • Mail your application and supporting documents to: ADPC – Economic Services Division, 280 State Drive, Waterbury, VT 05671-1500

Green Mountain Power Customers 

The Department for Families and Children offers a 25% discount off monthly electric bills for qualifying families. You may be forgiven a past-due bill if you are new to the program. 


  • Residential Green Mountain Power customers only
  • Have gross monthly household income at or below 185% of FPL

How to get help:

  • Call 800-775-0516
  • Fill out and print this application
    • Mail your application and supporting documents to: ADPC – Economic Services Division, 280 State Drive, Waterbury, VT 05671-1500

Water Assistance Program

This program helps Vermont residents with: 

  • Past-due water bills 
  • Back charges and fees associated with late payments 
  • A one-time future payment based on certain factors:
    • Household income
    • Water/wastewater expense as percentage of total income
    • Number of household members
    • Whether the household includes a child under 6, adult over 60, or person with a disability


Priority will be given to those households whose water/wastewater has been disconnected or is at risk of being disconnected.

How to get help:

  • Call 800-339-6433
  • Fill out and print this application
    • Mail your application and supporting documents to: ADPC – Economic Services Division, 280 State Drive, Waterbury, VT 05671-1500

Fuel Assistance Program

This program helps pay a portion of your home heating bills — whether you own your home or rent, pay for heat directly or as part of rent. Get a list of fuel dealers


Must have gross monthly household income at or below 185% of FPL.

How to get help:

Vermont Crisis Fuel Assistance

If you are running out of heating fuel and cannot afford to buy more, reach out to Vermont Crisis Fuel Assistance for help. Eligible families can get financial help to purchase fuel or pay for electricity if your heating system uses it. You can also get support with payment plan negotiations payment plans and working with your energy provider to avoid gas or electric shutoff.

Applications are accepted starting November 27, 2023.


  • Household income at or below 200% of the FPL
  • Going through a heating crisis

How to get help:

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

On average, the program in Vermont makes about $10,000 worth of improvements per home, adds about 1,500 square feet of insulation and reduces drafts by 40%. 


  • U.S citizen or a qualified alien
  • Resident of state of Vermont
  • Household income meets the income limits.
  • An active Fuel Assistance household
  • Someone in your household gets Supplemental Security Income
  • An adult in your household received either Reach Up, Reach First, or Post-Secondary Education in the past 12 months

How to get help:

Applications are not available online, so you have to visit your county’s Weatherization provider.

More electric bill help: 

Free money to help pay bills

Medical insurance and dental help for single moms in Vermont

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

Children’s Integrated Service 

Children’s Integrated Service (CIS) provides early intervention, family support, and prevention services that help ensure the healthy development and well-being of children, from before birth up to age 5.

Support services include: 

  • Health and well-being throughout pregnancy and postpartum
  • Growth progress — including speech, language, movement, vision, and hearing — from birth to age 3
  • Positive social and emotional development for children up to age 5 
  • Help finding quality child care


Parents with children under the age of 5 can contact your local CIS Coordinator to see if your family is eligible. 

How to get help: 

Contact your local CIS Coordinator

Vermont Health Connect 

Vermont Health Connect, the state’s health insurance marketplace, offers medical, prescription and dental coverage. Dental benefits are included for both adults and children with Medicaid or Dr. Dynasaur coverage. Learn more about the Vermont Health Connect plans below, or use this plan comparison tool. 

Vermont Medicaid 

Medicaid provides medical coverage for low-income individuals and families. In Vermont, the program’s benefits include:

  • 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

Here is a list of covered services and copays. 


  • Resident of Vermont
  • U.S. national citizen, permanent resident, or legal alien
  • Household income below 133% of FPL

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

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

How to get help: 

Dr. Dynasaur 

Dr. Dynasaur — Vermont’s version of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) — is for children who don’t qualify for Medicaid based on household income. Dr. Dynasaur provides low-cost or free health coverage for children, teenagers under age 19, and pregnant women. 

The program covers numerous services, including: 

  • Outpatient hospital care you get without being admitted to a hospital
  • Emergency services 
  • Hospitalization 
  • Pregnancy, maternity and newborn care 
  • Mental health and substance abuse services 
  • Prescription drugs 
  • Preventative and wellness services 
  • Dental and vision 

Some services may have limitations, see the list here. 


  • Child under age 19 with household income below 312% FPL, OR
  • Pregnant with income below 208% FPL

How to get help: 

Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) in Vermont

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

More medical/dental help: 

Food help for low-income families in Vermont

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

Farm to Family 

Farm to Family helps Vermont families buy locally grown fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs. Those eligible may get $30 in coupons that can be used at participating farmers markets and farm stands.


You may be eligible one of two ways: 

  • Enrolled in the Department of Health’s WIC Program 
  • Household income is at or below the household income limits —— $3,551 for a family of three

How to get help:

Apply at special Farm to Family sessions in your area by calling your local health office


3SquaresVT offers money every month to eligible Vermont families to buy food at stores and farmers markets. The money is deposited on the Vermont EBT Card if you are under 65. If over 65 or receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), funds are deposited into your bank account.


  • Gross household income is 185% or less of the FPL or you have children and receive the VT Earned Income tax credit

If your household income exceeds 185% of the FPL but you have a person living with you that is over 60 or has a disability, you should still apply. Your application may be approved based on your household’s level of need.

How to get help:

Vermont 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 


  • Vermont resident
  • Gross household income is less than 185% of FPL
  • Have children and get the VT Earned Income Tax Credit 
  • Live with a person or persons age 60 and over
  • Live with a person with a disability (child, spouse, parent, yourself)

How to get help: 

Apply for benefits at your local district office.  

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: 

Contact the Vermont Agency of Education to apply.

Vermont’s Summer Food Service Program

The Vermont Agency of Education 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: 

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

Vermont food banks

Food banks in Vermont 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 Feeding Vermont website.

More food help: 

Child care help for low-income families in Vermont

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

Child Care Financial Assistance Program 

The Child Care Financial Program offers subsidies to help families pay for child care. The amount paid and for how many hours varies. 


How to apply: 

Contact your local Community Child Care Support Agency. 

Vermont 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 apply: 

Contact your local Head Start or Early Head Start to apply. 

Universal Prekindergarten 

This program provides access to publicly funded prekindergarten education for Vermont students. 


A child is considered eligible for 10 hours of prekindergarten if the child is age 3, 4, or 5 by the date established by the district of residence.

How to get help: 

More child care help:

Education help for single moms in Vermont

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

Get a GED in Vermont

If you are at least 18 years old in Vermont, you can take the GED test. You may also be able to take the test at 16 or 17 with written consent from a parent or guardian.

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 Vermont: 

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

Vermont Post-Secondary Education (PSE)

The PSE program can give you monthly cash payments, mentorship, and help with child care, school supplies, and transportation to pursue an undergraduate college degree.


  • Vermont resident with college acceptance
  • Parent of minor dependent children who live with you
  • Household income under 150% of the FPL
  • Working no more than 20 hours per week

You’ll also need to be able to pay for tuition. If you cannot afford tuition costs, contact the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation.

How to get help:

  • Call 800-479-6151

Vermont Job Link is a free service to help you find a job or educational programs to start a new career. Once you create a free account online, you can access:

  • Available jobs in your area
  • Opportunities for on-the-job training
  • Career counselors
  • Resume building wizard


  • Available to all residents of Vermont

How to get help:

Vermont Works for Women

Vermont Works for Women offers free personal career support to help you choose a career, prepare for the job you want through activities like resume building, interviewing skills, and networking. If you are already working, this program can help you set career goals, advocate for yourself, and embrace professional development.

There are multiple educational opportunities for women and children such as community events, technology programs, and afterschool care. 


  • Available to women in Vermont (must be at least 16)

How to get help:

Grants and scholarships in Vermont

The Vermont Student Assistance Corp. helps people save, plan, and pay for education or career training. Here is a list of grants for Vermont residents. 

How to get help: 

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 Vermont

Workforce programs in Vermont provide training and assist with employment:

Vermont Individual Career Advancement Network (ICAN)

You can get free support to find employment and learn new job skills through ICAN. From ICAN you can also receive assistance with:

  • Getting a job certification
  • Resume writing and interviewing skills
  • Job searches and hiring opportunities
  • Funds for child care, clothes, school supplies, and transportation
  • Meeting a monthly 3SquaresVT work requirement (if applicable)


  • Recipient of 3SquaresVT

How to get help:

Vermont Unemployment Insurance

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


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

How to get help: 

  • Call 877-214-3330

American Job Centers

The American Job Centers offer employment and training services, career counseling, and job search assistance. 

How to get help: 

More employment help: 

Charity organizations in Vermont

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

The Salvation Army of Vermont

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 Vermont

Catholic Charities assists with:

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


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

How to get help: 

United Way of Vermont

The United Way of Vermont 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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