The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development offers reduced-price homes through federal funding in order to promote affordable ownership and rental opportunities as well as urban renewal. Single moms can take advantage of programs like the Good Neighbor Next Door initiative, which offers incentives for individuals working in law enforcement, education and emergency services occupations.
Section 8 Vouchers
Administered locally in partnership with public housing agencies, HUD's Section 8 vouchers give qualifying low-income families assistance in meeting rental costs. While not specifically grant-based, these federally funded agencies pay a subsidy directly to the landlord to defray housing costs. Single moms who qualify can choose their own housing, including single-family homes, townhouses and apartments, as long as it meets HUD's requirements.
FHA Down Payment Assistance
Single moms can search for down payment assistance through the FHA's grant portal. These programs offer help acquiring finding for a down payment for those who qualify for FHA home loans. Often, these down-payment assistance programs are associated with faith-based and non-profit organizations that strive to improve quality of life for families facing financial challenges.
Federal Home Loan Banks
The Federal Home Loan Bank System's Affordable Housing and Community Investment Programs finance a large number of projects and grants in 12 national districts designed to assist low-income and economically disadvantaged individuals and families in achieving home-ownership. Single moms have benefited from programs such as The FHLB of Dallas's HELP grant, which works in partnership with Habitat for Humanity and local banks.
Thirty-eight chapters of the United Way organization are active in Tennessee. This organization provides money for a range of community-based action programs offering a variety of services to help low-income families. The United Way connects people to the social services and programs they need. Dialing 211 can connect people with a United Way representative to find local services and programs for low-income families. These programs and services include United Way funded food pantries, dental clinics, low income home repair assistance, transitional and emergency housing programs, in home nurse visits for medically challenged infants and mothers, mental health and family counseling services.
The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army offers many types of assistance to low-income families throughout Tennessee. Food-related programs include food pantries, on-site lunch and dinner, and some of the rural programs take hot meals and food pantry items to those unable to come to a Salvation Army site. Other Salvation Army social service programs include emergency rent assistance and utility payments, help with clothing and school supplies, and transitional housing programs, and emergency shelter.
Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association
This Tennessee organization began in 1968 as a coalition of churches and synagogues working together toward common goals of easing race relations and working to serve those in need, primarily low-income families and elderly people. As decades passed, it expanded its operations across the state. This organization focuses on what they term “high-impact” programs. Emergency services for low-income families include help with rent and utility payments, food and clothing assistance, and other household essentials. They help negotiate to avoid eviction, but if it does happen, they also have housing programs and emergency shelter.
Southwest Human Resource Agency
Serving western, central and southern regions of Tennessee, this organization serves low-income families in many ways. Through a number of community action programs funded by federal, state and local money, low-income families can receive assistance when in crisis, and help head off a major crisis. Rent assistance and emergency housing is available, as are programs that help low-income families buy their own homes. There are job training programs for adults and youth. They have a few programs to help families with food concerns, including U.S. Department of Agriculture commodities distribution and summer meal programs for children. Transportation programs help get people to doctor appointments, pharmacies, and other important places. Weatherization and utilities payment assistance programs help low income families with home heating and cooling costs.
Ohio’s cash assistance program is known as Ohio Works First. You must have earned income and meet an income eligibility test. As of August 2013, your total gross income from earned and unearned sources must not exceed $773 per month for a family of three, and the amount increases based on the number of children in the household. Actual verified child care costs are deducted from this total. The amount you can earn increases each year. If you receive Supplemental Security Income or payments for adoption assistance or foster care, you are not eligible. Payment is $450 per month for a family of three, as of August 2013. Benefits typically last for 36 months, although extensions are available.
Known nationally as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and in Ohio as the Food Assistance Program, this program replaces the older Food Stamp Program. Ohio eligibility requirements state that your household income can be no more than 130 percent of the federal poverty line. This limitation may not apply to households with an elderly or disabled member. The amount of assistance depends on many factors, including your household size, housing costs, medical expenses and child care payments. The Food Assistance Program does not cover medicines, vitamins, hot prepared foods, tobacco, alcohol or non-food items.
Ohio Medicaid includes several programs that provide medical benefits to people in different situations. Healthy Start and Healthy Families covers low-income families, children and pregnant women. Older Adults & People With Disabilities is designed for those age 65 and above as well as disabled people of any age. The Medicare Premium Assistance Program covers premiums and co-pays for people on Medicare. The Medicaid Buy-In for Workers With Disabilities provides low-cost health insurance for working people under age 65 who are disabled. Each program sets a maximum monthly income requirement to qualify, but numerous deductions reduce many families’ countable income.
All non-disabled adults are required to participate in work activities to receive benefits. Single parents must participate for at least 30 hours per week, while couples must participate for 35-55 hours per week, depending on their individual situation. Work activities include vocational training, job skills training, community service and providing child care for others performing community service, as well as traditional employment. Up to four consecutive weeks, and six weeks total, may be dedicated to job seeking. You might also be required to sign a self-sufficiency contract that details your job goals and plan for meeting those goals.
The Home School Foundation offers an open-ended grant to homeschooling families in financial need. Families affected by natural disasters are eligible for this grant, as are groups of homeschooling families. Grant amounts vary, depending upon the availability of funds and the proposed project's need.
The Compassion Fund
Home School Foundation
P.O. Box 1152
Purcellville, VA 20134
Special Needs Children's Fund
Parents who are homeschooling children with special needs are eligible for this grant, which offers financial assistance for supplies and curriculum support, such as specialised therapists and equipment. If your child or student has learning disabilities, impairments or other conditions that necessitate special education, you may be eligible for this funding. In addition to demonstrating financial need, applicants for this grant must be members of the Home School Legal Defense Association. These grants vary in size and are determined by the amount needed and the availability of funding.
Special Needs Children's Fund Applications
Home School Foundation
P.O. Box 1152
Purcellville, VA 20134
Children of Single Parents Fund
A special fund is set aside for single parents homeschooling their children to help them get started with supplies and books. These one-time grants are subject to a rigorous review process to determine the family's need. This grant requires that the children be educated according to a Christian curriculum as approved by the Home School Foundation.
Children of Single Parents Fund
Home School Foundation
P.O. Box 1152
Purcellville, VA 20134
The most common grant for single parents is a housing grant. If you are the breadwinner for your family, a housing grant can help ease the pain of your mortgage or rent. You might have the opportunity to receive public housing with a rent that meets your income, or you can have part of your rent paid for on your current home.
If you are a single parent who wants to continue your education, many programs are available to send you back to school. Whether you need to finish high school or get started on a college degree, there are options out there.
If you have a tough winter where you live and you find your heat bill is double what you normally pay, finding a grant that can help with a portion of the cost can give you a huge boost. Your local electric and gas companies might have options for single parents who fit in a certain income bracket. Inquire about that before the cold weather hits, and you're slammed with a bill you can't pay.
A car grant can be tough to get, but it's not impossible. If you live in a place where public transportation is not readily available and you can't afford your own vehicle, you may be eligible to receive assistance. As a single parent, it's important that you have a means of transportation in case of an emergency and to meet your basic needs as a family.
Things to Consider
Applying for a grant isn't fun. There's paperwork, background checks, income status and a slew of other routine checkups that may occur. Each state and grant have different requirements. You might wait months before hearing whether you can receive a grant, and even than it might be bad news. Do not be discouraged if the answer is no. Consider applying again.
Most grants will require that you are a U.S. citizen whose child is not currently enrolled in the foster care system. For many grants, there are income requirements, and if you are making too much, you will not be able to apply or receive the grant. For grants that are college-related, a high school diploma is a must.
Lifesong for Orphans
Lifesong for Orphans (lifesongfororphans.org) provides matching grants ranging from $1,000 to $4,000 and interest-free loans of up to $12,000 for Christian adoptive families. Through the matching grant program, adoptive families have the opportunity to double their adoption funding up to the awarded amount. To apply, families must fill out an application detailing their anticipated adoption costs, monthly income and expenses and a personal statement of faith. Families must also provide a copy of their tax returns, home study and a letter of reference from their pastor.
Show Hope (showhope.org) awards grants and provides educational support for Christian adoptive families pre and post adoption. To apply for a grant, families must have a completed home study and be working with a licensed placing agency. In addition to an online application with a detailed breakdown of finances and statement of faith, applicants must provide a copy of their home study, a letter of recommendation from their pastor, a copy of their tax returns and a letter from their placement agency detailing anticipated adoption expenses.
Christian families who earn less than $120,000 per year and have completed and paid for their home-study costs are eligible to apply for a grant from the JSC Foundation (jscfoundation.org). All applicants are required to undergo an interview with their pastor who will submit their answers along with his recommendation to the board for consideration. In addition to the application, families must submit two letters of reference, a letter of request from their agency, and an essay detailing their faith in Jesus Christ along with how God led them to adopt and why they are in need of financial assistance.
Katelyn's Fund (katelynsfund.org) awards grants of up to $3,000 to Christian families demonstrating need of financial assistance. In addition to the application, families must submit a statement of faith, letters of reference, tax documents from the previous two years, a picture of their family and the child they are adopting, and a list of five names and addresses to receive the Katelyn's Fund newsletter. The board of Katelyn's Fund also conducts phone interviews in an effort to learn more about adoptive families.
Families Outreach (familiesoutreach.org) awards grants of $2,000 to Christian families adopting through a licensed agency. Grants are awarded based on the financial need of the family and the needs of the child they are adopting. Families must include a letter of reference from their pastor, salvation and adoption testimonies, tax returns, a family photograph and a copy of their home study in addition to their application.
Direct Subsidized Loans
Direct subsidized loans are student loans offered by the government to undergraduate students that exhibit financial need. Students are not responsible for interest on subsidized loans while enrolled in a program of study and and do not enter repayment until six months after graduation. Students are now responsible for paying the interest during a grace period on loans disbursed between July 1, 2012, and July 1, 2014. Subsidized loans are limited to undergraduate students.
Direct Unsubsidized Loans
Direct unsubsidized loans are another type of federal student loan. Students do not need to show financial need to receive an unsubsidized loan, and graduate and students are eligible to receive funds. The amount that a student is eligible to borrow is determined by the total cost of attendance and other components of your total financial aid package.
Private loans are another option if federal loan funds aren't enough to cover the total cost of attendance. The interest rates are higher than federal loans and the terms and conditions are typically less favorable than government loans. You might need to co-sign for your child and repayment might be required while still enrolled in school.
Scholarships and Grants
Scholarships and grants are also included in the financial aid package offered by a school. These can be awarded based on academic performance, financial eligibility, athletic skills or other criteria to qualify for each specific scholarship or grant. Encourage your child to apply for both types of aid while in high school to have the best chance of receiving an award.
Qualifying and Limits
Your child must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid every year he attends school to qualify for financial assistance. The yearly and overall limits for each type of aid vary based on factors such as cost of eligibility, the length of the program your child is enrolled in and how much he has previously borrowed.