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Free help for single moms in 2024: 16+ resources

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Broke? Overwhelmed? Need help paying rent, fixing your car, child care, medical bills?

There are many resources available, some specifically for single moms, you can find in your state:

AlabamaAlaska
ArizonaArkansas
CaliforniaColorado
ConnecticutDelaware
District of ColumbiaFlorida
GeorgiaHawaii
IdahoIllinois
IndianaIowa
KansasKentucky
LouisianaMaine
MarylandMassachusetts
MichiganMinnesota
MississippiMissouri
MontanaNebraska
NevadaNew Hampshire
New JerseyNew Mexico
New YorkNorth Carolina
North DakotaOhio
OklahomaOregon
PennsylvaniaPuerto Rico
Rhode IslandSouth Carolina
South DakotaTennessee
TexasUtah
VermontVirginia
WashingtonWest Virginia
WisconsinWyoming

Whether you're looking to boost your income or need a quick cash fix, there are even more ways to quickly get the cash you need:

Financial helpGovernment help
Nonprofit helpHousing help
Transportation helpGas money help
Cell phone helpComputer help
Computer helpInternet service help
Healthcare helpClothing help
Education helpHelp for kids

Financial help for single moms

Financial help and cash assistance for single moms is readily available from a variety of sources in your community, such as:

  • Churches
  • Nonprofits
  • Government agencies
  • Civic organizations
  • Fraternities and sororities

These entities can offer cash assistance, including grants and emergency cash to help you when money gets tight. They may also offer assistance with budgeting and financial planning to help you get back on track.

Government assistance is also available in the form of Section 8 vouchers for housing and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), which offers monthly cash assistance to low-income families with children. Learn more about EBT cash benefits, EBT discounts and freebies, and how you can use your EBT card on Amazon.

Keep reading for more helpful options:

Emergency cash for single mothers

Here’s how to get cast fash when you run into an emergency:

  • Get a cash advance — You can get a cash advance on your credit card if you have an available balance. The interest rates and fees are often high, but you can get money the same day at a participating ATM. Some apps like Earnin, Chime and Dave also offer cash advances to members.
  • Contact a nonprofit — Some charities, churches, and other nonprofits may have emergency cash programs that can help with rent, utilities, food, and other expenses.
  • Get a personal loan — If you have good credit, you can apply for a personal loan and receive funds within 48 hours or less. Online lenders like Rocket Loans, SoFi, and Marcus are just a few options you can try.  
  • Ask for a payday loan — If you are really strapped for cash, you can try a payday loan. Just be aware that the interest rates are extremely high, as are the penalties for not honoring your payback agreement. You can usually get the money the same day.

If you have a little more time, you can apply for government programs like TANF or Emergency Rental Assistance. These often take longer since you must go through the application process, but are helpful once you are qualified. 

You can also start a profitable side hustle that pays quickly, like selling clothing, renting out your car or home, or pet sitting.

Check out 13 ways to get free money instantly in 2024, and 33 things to sell to make money from the stuff around your house

Churches

Many churches set aside what's known as a benevolence fund to help parishioners and community members with utility bills, rent and other expenses.

To get help with your utility bills from a church fund, start by calling churches in your area to find out which ones offer assistance and how to apply. You might have to sit with them for an interview, provide proof of financial need and fill out forms as part of the application process.

Some churches might ask you to volunteer time if you are able or attend church-led classes on money management.

Love INC is a ministry that mobilizes local churches near you across the country to support local people and communities in need. Each branch is independently operated, so you'll have to search for your nearest Love INC location to find out which churches in your area offer services and how to apply. For example, this branch serving Otero County, N.M., offers a food pantry and assistance with furniture, household essentials, building supplies, medical equipment, prescriptions, utility bills, rent, home repairs, and overnight shelters.

There are also several denomination-based organizations that can help single moms in need with utility bills and other expenses.

Catholic Charities has more than 3,000 offices across the United States that help families with free money for paying utility and energy bills regardless of their religion.

Most United Methodist Church locations offer assistance with food, clothing, utilities, and other essential expenses.

The Episcopal Church has hundreds of parishes across the U.S. that help community members with food, utility bills, rent, and more.

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is an organization that utilizes home visits to help people with rent, utilities, food, or clothing, in addition to offering companionship and religious guidance.

The Jewish Federation of North America helps people of all religions with basics like food, medicine, and financial assistance.

Lutheran Social Services serves more than 30,000 individuals and families with food pantries and hot meals, clothing, and emergency vouchers for hotels, buses, and utilities.


Grant help for single moms

Every month, I also give out $500 cash to one single mom, no strings attached.

I started the Kickass Single Mom Stimulus Grant to give a hand to single moms struggling with money, health, stress, child care, illness, and loneliness. If you’re a single mom and you need the money right now, you can apply — no catch. 

Apply:


Tax help for single moms

Are you getting a tax refund? File for your tax refund ASAP to get funds you need — and are owed! Learn more about tax returns for single parents.

Get help resolving your tax debt, too >>

Financial coaching help for single moms

Have questions about money?

The nonprofit Savvy Ladies provides a free volunteer-run helpline service that pairs you with the appropriate volunteer to help you with:

  • Divorce and money
  • Family finances
  • Small business planning
  • Budgeting
  • Debt management (including credit cards)
  • Retirement investing/saving
  • Money and emotions

Government help for single moms

Benefits.gov

Benefits.gov is the official public benefits website of the U.S. government. The website is a portal to help you understand which benefits you’re eligible to receive. Answer some questions on the Benefits Finder tool to be matched with qualifying programs.

Emergency Rental Assistance Program

The federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program has distributed billions of dollars to help families stay in their homes during the economic shutdown related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Find other government emergency rental assistance programs.

LIHEAP

If you specifically need help paying utility bills, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps qualifying families cover energy costs.

In addition to helping families pay for energy costs at home, this program helps improve energy-efficiency, repairs heating and cooling equipment, and provides emergency energy assistance. You may also be able to get a free air conditioner in some states.

To find your local LIHEAP assistance program, select your state and county from the dropdown menu on the LIHEAP site. You can also call the National Energy Assistance Referral (NEAR) hotline at 1-866-674-6327.

Learn about more ways to get help with heating and cooling expenses.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

TANF is a program that offers short-term cash assistance for necessities to qualified families. Each state, territory, and tribe sets its own rules and eligibility criteria.  

To apply, you must meet at least one of the criteria:

  • 18 years old or older, and the head of your household
  • Resident of the state in which you apply
  • You are pregnant
  • You have a child living with you that is 18 years of age or younger

Each state has its own income limits and determines the length of time you can receive cash benefits.

For example, in Florida, your gross income cannot be over 185% of the federal poverty level for the size of your family and cash assistance is limited to 48 months unless the recipient is a child (under 18).

Find your local TANF program.

Nonprofit organizations that help single moms

Community Action Organizations take on the responsibility of helping families in need with everything from utility bills to job training, food assistance, housing and more.

United Way’s 211.org is a 24/7 live hotline that connects you with community services, resources for mental and physical health, finding food, housing and more. 

Salvation Army is a global organization that supports low-income people and families with a variety of food, shelter, emergency cash, jobs skills, domestic violence and human traffic support, and disaster relief.

The Singletons is a nonprofit helping single-parent families in Arizona. To be eligible for help, you or your child must be undergoing treatment for cancer, living under the same roof, and have no significant other living in your home.

Depending on your needs the program provides:

  • Money applied to a utility bill
  • Healthy meals ready to heat and eat
  • Outings with other single parents battling cancer
  • Essential hygiene and cleaning items
  • Activities for children and gifts on special occasions

Housing help for single moms

If you’re a single mom in need of housing, there are a number of programs that can help. 

We put together a guide for how to get free housing or an apartment, with information about the following resources:  

You can also find out how to get a low-income home loan or home buyer grant, and check out our guide to buying a home as a single mom.

Transportation help for single moms

There are local and national programs to help low-income people get a free car, find a ride, get a free local bus pass, find free long-distance bus tickets, get free roadside assistance, or finance a quality used car at good rates. This guide on how to get a car for low-income people will help.

If you need help with transportation, many local bus and subway systems offer discounts for students, low-income riders, the disabled, and senior citizens. For older people, Area Agencies on Aging can connect you with car services or volunteer drivers to help you get around. 

Ridesharing.com can connect you with people who have a car and are going where you are going — both locally and long-distance. 

Hands of the Carpenter is a faith-based nonprofit that provides working single moms with reliable transportation. Through the Transportation @ Low Cost (TLC) and Lift UP programs, you can get discounted repairs and access to a reliable car to get to work. This program serves seven counties in Colorado and is open to working single moms with dependent children.

After participating in TLC, you can apply for the Lift UP program which provides:

  • Discounted car care for up to three years
  • Vehicle placement for cars that are beyond repair
  • Vehicles for working moms that don't have a car
  • Car education to ensure the car stays in good working condition

To apply, you must be a living in one of the following counties in Colorado: Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, or Jefferson.

Buying a car as a single mom

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 >>

Also, learn where to sell your car for cash here or where to get a free car inspection.

Gas money help for single moms

With higher gas prices than ever, getting affordable or free gasoline for your vehicle is critical. We compiled a list of 24 resources for getting free or reduced-cost gas, including vouchers from charities and government programs, discounts from gas stations and other retailers, and ways to earn money paid on gas cards.

Cell phone help for single moms

Lifeline is a government program that helps low-income qualifying people get a free or reduced-price smartphone and wireless service. We elaborate on the dozens of programs throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands, including those from big carriers like Verizon and T-Mobile in this guide to free smartphones and cell service.

You can also learn how to get a free ipad or free tablet.

Computer help for single moms

Whether for your own use finding a job and personal use, or for your children to use for school work, we collected 15 ways to get a free laptop for low-income families and students.

21 parent control apps for 2024

Internet service help for single moms

Check out our guide to 10 places to get free internet and wifi for home — for students and low-income families and people.

Healthcare help for single moms

Free or cheap medical insurance and prescriptions

Medicaid is a joint federal and state medical insurance program for low-income families. Find out if you qualify for Medicaid, and learn about your state's benefits.

If you are one of the majority of Americans who rely on prescription drugs, you may be able to get them for free or very low-cost. Learn more in our prescription medication guide.

Free prescription glasses

Until recently, it was difficult to find a pair of eyeglasses for less than $400. Thankfully, more brands are offering stylish and affordable options, and some programs offer free eye exams and glasses for qualifying individuals. Check out our post with 18 resources for free prescription glasses and cheap frames.

Affordable dentures

According to the American College of Prosthodontists, more than 36 million Americans do not have any teeth, which can significantly impact their quality of life. 

Dentures are a cost-effective way to get your smile back, but they can vary considerably in cost and quality and require periodic replacement and adjustment. Check out our guide on where to buy affordable dentures.

Free hearing aids

According to GoodRx, hearing aids can cost between $2,000 and $7,000 on average. We put together a list of places to get free or low-cost hearing aids

Free therapy

Perhaps not surprising, studies find that single moms are twice as likely to be depressed and anxious than partnered moms. One study of nearly 7,000 mothers in Europe found that 30% of single mothers reported symptoms of depression or anxiety compared with just 14% of partnered mothers and 37% of single moms reported high parenting stress compared with 16% of partnered mothers.

Self-care means putting your own mental, spiritual, physical and social well-being before all else — filling your cup so you can serve others in your family, at work, in your community. Read this excellent post with free self-care tips from therapist Elizabeth Cohen, PhD

Coursera's free trial covers the course, The Science of Well-Being, from a Yale professor, has been taken by millions of people, and promises to teach skills that lead to more happiness and productivity.

Consider online therapy from a company BetterHelp, which offers therapy on a sliding fee scale.

Also, if you believe medication may be part of your mental-health plan, an online doctor who can write prescriptions can help. Our list of top online doctor apps for 2024.

Clothing help for single moms

Whether you need new clothes for your children, a professional outfit for a job interview, or you just want to update your wardrobe, there are a lot of ways to get free clothes when you can't afford to buy them.

We put together a list of places to get free clothing.

Education help for single moms

If you’ve been thinking about going back to school (or about going for the first time), don’t let money be the thing that stops you. There are a number of single mom scholarships, grants, and financial aid programs you can apply for.

We put together a list of 20 scholarships for single moms that will help you land the job of your dreams, inspire your children, and help you live a better life. 

Educate yourself about getting a raise with our video:

Help for kids of single moms

Free childcare and preschool

All 50 states, plus many cities and counties offer free or reduced-cost child care, daycare and preschool. Here is a list of all the ways you can get the affordable or free childcare as well as preschool you need.

We also put together an article with free tutoring resources for older children and free and low-cost after-school programs.

School supplies help for single moms

If you need free school supplies for your PreK-12 students, check out our post.

Free baby stuff

Check out our guides for free baby stuff, including free car seats and free diapers.

Free formula

The last thing any mom should have to worry about is how she'll feed her baby. Luckily there are programs like WIC that provide free formula to qualifying moms and babies.

Check out our guide to getting free formula and formula samples.

Free parenting classes

Best online parenting classes, including those that are free and court-approved

Free toys

There are dozens of local and national programs to help low-income families enjoy the holidays with free gifts. Here are our guides to free Christmas presents and Christmas money. There are also opportunities to get free toys and gift cards from various sources year-round.

My bestselling book The Kickass Single Mom (Penguin), which was featured on The Doctors, New York Times, Reuters, Parents magazine and hundreds of others, is a guide to building a career, wealth and a wonderful life as a single mom.

Free bed or mattress

We put together a list of places to get a free or affordable bed or mattress.

13 Comments

I don’t have any children but I am homeless and a victim of domestic abuse and on disability without a vehicle, do you have any suggestions for grants or any kind of resources that I can get? On the verge of giving up. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

I would love to nominate a friend who is a single mom of two adopted children. She is doing an amazing job with them. She has a full time job and also comes home and bakes cakes every night to help with the costs of being a single mom. It would be amazing to see a weight lifted with an unexpected gift of being nominated for your Stimulus Grant. I can’t nominate her with my information. Is there a way to nominate her?

Dear Emma,
Thanks for your inspirational and motivational messages. They give me reinsurance that everything will get better. I have applied to the $500 a few times and never heard back. I desperately need it because I’m behind on bills. Hopefully I get chosen it would greatly help till I start my new job in a week.

I’ve always known I’m not alone but it sure feels that way sometimes. I’ve always struggled bur not r his bad my kids are teenagers and fairly well-behaved. But as I struggle more and more they don’t seem to want to go school or leave the house unless to go hang with friends and I work all hours they hv alot of freedom and now there father incarcerated no supervision I hv gad give up a few great jobs. But I just can’t ahead

I’ve always known I’m not alone but it sure feels that way sometimes. I’ve always struggled bur not r his bad my kids are teenagers and fairly well-behaved. But as I struggle more and more they don’t seem to want to go school or leave the house unless to go hang with friends and I work all hours they hv alot of freedom and now there father incarcerated no supervision I hv gad give up a few great jobs. But I just can’t ahead

Wow…God Bless You All For All That You Guys Have Done, Doing Now And Will Be Doing For Others As Well As For Creating This Page Also. God Knows The Information Offered Is A Blessing In Itself To Me So Thank You So Very Much. You All Be Safe, Stay Prayed Up And Have A Blessed Day .

I’m reaching out because I’ve found no other help. Its hard being mom and dad. My teen boy and girl are both active in sports and scouts and I’ve been trying to build a business the last 2 years and have almost give up hope. I’ve spent all my savings trying. I’ve applied for several grants and unfortunately, no help yet. I’ve tried so hard to stay on track and keep my kids on a path of success. My son needs braces as his teeth are far to crowded and insurance wont help either Both are A/B students and unfortunately their dad has led a path of drugs alcohol and homelessness for a while now. If any money or resources for a single mom in Lowry city mo is available please let me know. I haven’t given up. There has to be more to life!

Hello happy holidays my name is veronica scales and im a single mom his dad past away in march of this year i need help with Christmas gifts a meal and that will make me and him so happy but antthing you all can help me with will be a blessing god bless

This website is Soooo Awesome! I have always said if I ever became wealthy….lol… I would start a single Mom program. I have been a single Mom on my own since I was 21 and now, I’m fifty-three with seven children. Five are mine and I adopted two of my half-sisters’ children. My story is your typical sob story of parents divorcing, Mother had mental health issues, I was abused physically and sexually, left home at thirteen from mother’s house then again at sixteen from fathers, dropped out of high school got pregnant at 20 boyfriends went to prison found another loser and had 4 more kids, Oh and I became a drug addict. in 2003 I got baptized and drug free, divorced, and continued working support kids while attending school for GED then M.A. certificate. I also committed my mom, then took care of her with bipolar disorder that was a hoot. Husband continued with destructive lifestyle and died in 2017. I have worked hard for a better life for my children. One son has his BA, daughter in in process of BA daughter waiting for nursing school and others are working. It would have been nice to have these types of programs during my hard times. Some of the major issues I had were kid’s shoes, school supplies, gas, car registration, insurance, furniture to feel at least homey maybe a wash card for laundry mat. Just some ideas. I’m now on Workman’s comp attending my local college reinventing myself for an office job. I’m tired now and need a sit-down job. I got a 4.0 in the spring and this fall with hard work the same. Feel bad about having to live thinly again but ill survive. Just glad you have put together all these resources for women and we have the internet to access them. I respect and look up to women such as yourself and hope one day I too can be of help to other women.

Love your emails and resources it is very helpful for a single mom like myself. Hopefully I will get assistance, but until then I am happy others who do are blessed. There is so much going on right now in this world and happy to know there are still people out here who care. Keep blessing others.

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