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Help for single moms in Washington: 37 assistance programs

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If you’re a single mom in Washington 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 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 Washington

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 Washington

TANF gives Washington low-income families money to pay for necessities like food, clothing, and shelter for up to 60 months. A family of three with no income can qualify for up to $654 per month. 

Families participating in TANF may also qualify for emergency cash assistance with a one-time payment of up to $750. This payment is available to families who have an urgent utility or housing need and have not received an emergency payment in the past year. 


  • U.S. citizen or eligible resident
  • Washington resident
  • Participate in work readiness program
  • Resources $6,000 or less
  • Cooperate with child support enforcement, if applicable
  • Meet income requirements — no more than $654 per month for a family of three

How to get help:

Diversion Cash Assistance in Washington

Diversion Cash Assistance is a one-time emergency payment for families who are eligible for TANF but do not want to receive ongoing TANF benefits. 

The program gives short-term payments to help families afford housing, food, medical bills, and other necessities. Families can receive up to $1,250. 


  • U.S. citizen or eligible resident
  • Washington resident
  • Eligible for TANF
  • Resources $6,000 or less
  • Meet income requirements — no more than $654 per month for a family of three

How to get help:

  • Apply online
  • Call 877-501-2233
  • Apply in person at your Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) office

More emergency cash help in Washington: 

Single moms in Washington 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 Washington

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

Eviction Rent Assistance in Washington

The state of Washington helps families who are facing eviction pay their rent. Each county outlines its own requirements and eligibility terms for applicants. 

Washington also offers a sub-program for residents who are 25 or younger and are facing eviction. 


  • Washington resident
  • Financial crisis  
  • Facing eviction 

How to get help: 

Locate a Rent Assistance Provider in your county.

Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8) in Washington

Washington families seeking affordable housing can apply for the Section 8 program. It gives vouchers for eligible apartments and homes to help qualifying families pay rent.


How to get help: 

Mortgage assistance in Washington

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

Washington Homeowners Assistance Fund

The Washington HAF helps homeowners get cash assistance or resources to avoid foreclosure. The program pays up to $60,000 per household.


  • Own primary residence in Washington
  • Financial hardship related to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Behind on mortgage payments
  • Meet income requirements, as detailed by a housing counselor  

How to get help: 

Call 877‐894‐4663.

Washington Housing Finance Commission Home Buying Assistance

Washington can help single moms buy a home affordably with these programs:

  • Home Advantage Program: Homebuyers in Washington can get a low-interest mortgage through this program. 
  • House Key Opportunity Program: Single moms who are first-time homebuyers may qualify for a mortgage with low interest rates. This program has lower income limits than Home Advantage.
  • EnergySpark Home Loan: Homebuyers purchasing an energy-efficient home or making energy-efficient improvements to a home they buy can qualify for this loan with a lower-than-average interest rate. 
  • Down Payment Assistance: This program pays $10,000, on average, as a second mortgage for homebuyers to make a down payment on a new home.


  • Buy a home in Washington within purchase limits (varies by program)
  • Meet income and purchase requirements for program
  • Attend required homebuyer education seminars
  • Meet all requirements from participating lender

How to get help: 

Check today's mortgage loan rates >>

Homeless assistance in Washington

The 2-1-1 hotline in Washington can help you find emergency shelter and other resources if you’re homeless or facing homelessness. 

How to get help: 

More housing help: 

Electric bill assistance in Washington

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

Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) in Washington

LIHEAP helps low-income families pay their energy bills. The program pays your energy company a one-time payment for the season, which gets deducted from your bills until you’ve used the full payment. 


  • U.S. citizen
  • Washington resident
  • Responsible for paying the home’s energy costs
  • Income at or below 150% of FPL

How to get help:

Find a local energy assistance office

PSE Home Energy Lifeline Program (HELP)

Puget Sound Energy’s HELP provides financial assistance for energy bills. Qualified applicants can get up to $1,000 in credit for their electric or natural gas bill. Your account doesn’t need to be past due to apply. 


How to get help:

Washington State Low-Income Weatherization in Washington

This weatherization program pays for efficient upgrades to the homes of low-income residents. Some examples of projects include:

  • Switching to LED light bulbs
  • Energy audits
  • Sealing air leaks
  • Installing energy-efficient equipment
  • Repairing or upgrading heating equipment


  • Washington resident
  • U.S. citizen
  • Income at or below 200% of FPL

How to get help:

Contact your nearest weatherization agency.

More electric bill help: 

Free money to help pay bills

Medical insurance and dental help for single moms in Washington

The following Washington programs help single moms access affordable medical and dental care for themselves and their children. 

Access to Baby & Child Dentistry

The ABCD program is for children up to age 6 who are enrolled in Washington’s Medicaid program. It gives eligible children access to necessary dental care, like exams and cleanings. 


  • Washington residents
  • Child up to age 6 who’s eligible for Medicaid

How to get help: 

The University of Washington Pediatric Dental Care

The University of Washington gives children aged 0 to 18 dental care for affordable rates. Children can get routine and specialized dental care. Parents can apply for financial aid for services. 


The program is for children 0-18. 

How to get help: 

  • Call 206-543-5800
  • Request an appointment online

Washington Apple Health (Medicaid)

Washington’s Medicaid program is called Apple Health. The state offers Apple Health to adults and children through separate programs. The income limits for children are higher than those for adults.

Children enrolled in Apple Health can also qualify for different tiers if their families have higher incomes. Tier one requires a maximum monthly premium of $40, while tier two has a maximum monthly premium of $60. 


How to get help: 

Washington Apple Health for Pregnant Individuals

Pregnant women can receive Washington’s Apple Health coverage throughout their pregnancy and up to 12 months after they deliver their baby.


  • Pregnant
  • Washington resident
  • Income at or below 193% of FPL

How to get help: 

Washington Healthcare Access Alliance

WHAA sponsors free and affordable dental and medical clinics across the state of Washington. 


Each clinic sets its own eligibility requirements. 

How to get help: 

Find a free health care clinic in your county.

More medical/dental help: 

Food help for low-income families in Washington

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

Basic Food in Washington

Basic Food is Washington’s version of the federal SNAP program, more commonly known as food stamps. A family of three can qualify for up to $740 a month to pay for eligible food and drinks. 

SNAP recipients are issued an EBT card that can be used like an ATM card in retail food stores to purchase food, including:

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

Click here for a list of what you can and cannot buy

People who do not qualify for Basic Food based on their citizenship status may still be eligible for the State Food Assistance Program. This program works the same as Basic Food and has the same income and eligibility requirements. 


  • Washington resident
  • U.S. citizen or qualified resident for the State Food Assistance Program 
  • Income at or below 200% of FPL

How to get help: 

Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) in Washington

WIC in Washington provides nutritious food, nutrition support, and breastfeeding resources for pregnant or postpartum moms and their children. Children can also get regular screenings to ensure that they’re on the right track with nutrition and development. WIC participants also receive extra money to buy fresh fruits and vegetables each month. 


  • 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: 

School Nutrition Programs in Washington

Washington state participates in federal school lunch and breakfast programs, which allow eligible school-aged children to receive free or reduced-price school meals. 

Schools can also participate in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, Special Milk Program, and Afterschool Snack Program to receive money for produce, milk, and healthy snacks for students.


  • Attend a participating school
  • Income at or below 185% of FPL for most programs

How to get help: 

  • Contact your child’s school for more information
  • Call 360-725-6200

Seamless Summer Option in Washington

The Seamless Summer Option program gives Washington children free meals during summer breaks. 


Children must be 18 or younger. Participating sites can determine their own requirements for meals but must be in low-income communities.

How to get help: 

  • Contact your child’s school for more information
  • Call 866-328-6325
  • Email [email protected] 

WSDA Food Assistance Programs

The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) provides funding to food banks and food assistance programs across the state to help residents get the food they need. 

How to get help: 

More food help: 

Child care help for low-income families in Washington

Single moms can get help from these Washington programs for child care while they go to work or school.

Child Care Subsidy Programs in Washington

The Working Connections Child Care (WCCC) program in Washington pays a portion of child care costs for low-income families. Some families have no co-pays, while others pay a co-pay of up to $215 each month, depending on income. For example, a mom with two children making $3,000 per month has a co-pay of $90. 

Homeless families may also get approved for up to 12 months of assistance. The Seasonal Child Care program helps seasonal workers also access child care assistance. 


  • U.S. citizen
  • Washington resident
  • Income at or below 60% of the state median income
  • Resources under $1 million
  • Participate in a work-related activity, like a job or training

How to apply: 

Washington 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: 

More child care help

Education help for single moms in Washington

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

Washington College Grant

The Washington College Grant program pays up to the full cost of tuition for a degree program, apprenticeship, or training program. For example, a single mom with two kids can earn up to $90,000 and still qualify for assistance. You can estimate your award amount using this online calculator.


  • Washington resident
  • Recent high school graduate or working-age adult
  • Participate in an approved program
  • Meet income guidelines

How to get help:

Applicants must complete the FAFSA and the WASFA to determine how much aid they qualify for.

College Bound Scholarship

This scholarship program helps college students in Washington pay for tuition, books, and other fees. 


  • Washington high school or homeschool graduate
  • Minimum 2.0 GPA
  • No felonies
  • Attend college within one year of graduating from high school
  • Meet income requirements, which is $58,500 or less for a family of three 

How to get help:

Applicants must complete the FAFSA and the WASFA to determine eligibility.

Washington State Opportunity Scholarship

People attending school for a STEM, trade, or health career may be eligible for this scholarship. The scholarship program has separate funds for trade programs, bachelor’s degrees, and graduate degrees paying up to $25,000 over the course of the programs. 


  • Washington resident
  • Income at or below 125% of the state median income
  • Pursue an eligible program
  • High school diploma or GED from a Washington school

How to get help:

Applicants must complete the FAFSA and the WASFA to determine eligibility before applying online for the scholarship.

Opportunity Grant

The Opportunity Grant pays for up to one year of college for students pursuing an in-demand career. Books and supplies may also be covered up to $1,000. Some recipients can also qualify for child care expenses, tutoring, and career services.


  • Washington resident
  • Income at or below 200% of the federal poverty level
  • Maintain 2.0 GPA

How to get help:

GED in Washington

Single moms who have not yet completed high school can get a GED in Washington. The GED test includes four subject areas with a passing score of 145 each. GED test-takers must be at least 19, or 16-18 if they have approval from the last school district they attended. 

Each test section is $36, whether at a test center or online, beginning July 1, 2023. 

How to apply: 

Register at to sign up for the GED at a testing center.

More education help: 

Employment help for single moms in Washington

Workforce programs in Washington provide training and assist with employment:

Washington Unemployment Benefits

Washington’s unemployment benefits help single moms who have lost their jobs or had their hours reduced at work. Eligible workers can get money weekly based on how much they’ve made over the past several months at their jobs. 


  • Worked in Washington for the past 18 months
  • Lost a job through no fault of your own
  • Available for work
  • Participate in job searches

How to get help: 

Apply online.

WorkFirst Program

The WorkFirst Program helps Washington residents find suitable employment. The program provides resume, career, and training programs to help people prepare for a job.

WorkFirst participants can use WorkSourceWA to locate work and access online career tools.


  • Washington resident
  • Eligible for TANF
  • Referred by DSHS

How to get help:

Contact your local DSHS office.

WorkSource Washington

WorkSource Washington is a free online resource to find work. You can search for jobs, create and store resumes and cover letters, and find virtual career workshops.


  • Any Washington state resident is eligible for this service

How to get help:

More employment help: 

Charity organizations in Washington

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

Open House Ministries

Open House Ministries is a Christian shelter that helps families in Washington meet their basic needs. Families work with a coordinator to outline the terms of their stay and goals to help them get back on their feet.

How to get help: 

The Salvation Army of Washington

Washington Salvation Army locations help their communities with necessities like food, clothing, and shelter. Some locations also help with:

  • Job seeking or career training
  • Disaster relief
  • Spiritual guidance
  • Education
  • After-school care and youth programs
  • Emergency financial assistance


Each Salvation Army location has its own requirements for its programs and services.

How to get help: 

Visit the Salvation Army website to find your nearest location.

United Ways in Washington

The United Way offers help to local communities in Washington through services such as:

  • Health clinics
  • Financial help
  • Child development resources
  • Youth events
  • Senior services
  • Clothing and shelter
  • Donation drives

How to get help: 

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