There’s no getting away from it, these days being a single mom is a tough job. Not only do you have to be both mom and dad to your kids, there’s no one to share the worries and financial burdens with either.
Single moms find it harder to find jobs, as they’ve got to either find child care or work just part time, so getting enough money in to survive isn’t always simple. It’s easy to get scared and isolated if you’re a single mom, as after all, raising the next generation of citizens is the most important job anyone can be asked to do!
Luckily, the state of Alabama has programs in place to help its single mothers. So, by finding out the right places to go ask for help, you can let Alabama take some of that strain off your shoulders.
What Alabama does for single mothers
Alabama recognizes the tough situation that single moms can find themselves in, and so has in place a wide variety of programs to meet your needs. Getting the right financial help isn’t just about being given more money, it’s about being shown how to save money on transportation costs, how to get access to cheap and nutritional food and being helped to find affordable childcare so you can get out to work to become more independent. It’s also about help to find the right affordable housing (including heating and other utilities) and healthcare programs.
All the above can be daunting, especially if you happen to be new to Alabama. You don’t know how it all works, but all you really need to know is where to get the right advice.
Financial Assistance (Money)
Single moms can find that having enough money just to survive is a tough call. If you’ve got really young kids, or you’re pregnant, going out to work, even if you can find a job, is impossible. So, the first thing you need to do is find the right place to go to get help with money. It can be hard to find, in Alabama, as the state has a high number of eligible single parents and low income families to cater for, and also many jobs have been lost in the state since the start of the economic crisis. All this makes it more important than ever to know where to turn for help! So what are the financial assistance for single mothers in Alabama options?
TANF (Temporary Cash Assistance for Needy Families) is the first place look. This is a lova
This link supplies the form you need to complete to be considered for financial aid.
They’ll take into account your income and assets, whether or not you’re pregnant or have a young child, and you have to prove residency in Alabama. You will also have to take part in a work program if you don’t have at least a part time job that fulfils the criteria.
While getting actual hard cash handouts can be difficult in Alabama (as it is in any state), there are many other ways of getting assistance for life’s necessities.
If you’re raising kids, getting the right nutrition for them is one of the most important things you can do. A well nourished child will do better at school, is less likely to become ill and will generally give you less problems to deal with.
In Alabama, if you’ve got kids under the age of 5 or if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, there’s a program that allows you to be given vouchers to get healthy basic foodstuffs such as dairy produce that are vital for feeding you and your kids. Here’s how to find out more and contact the program.
It may also be possible, if you are a low income family, to receive help with buying essential foods with food stamps. Again, you need to meet the eligibility criteria, outlined on the website linked below. Note this is a federal assistance program, not just a state program.
The site contains links that take you to your nearest participating food stamps office, and another to download the application forms.
The Alabama Department of Human Resources is also a helpful source of information about food stamps.
If you prefer to apply by post, paper applications can be made to the following address: 50, North Ripley Street, Montgomery AL
Single moms don’t have the luxury of staying at home while dad goes out to work to earn the cash, so childcare is another essential area you need to look at. Childcare can be expensive, but the state of Alabama has programs in place to help you find good and affordable childcare. The Office of Childcare Subsidy can help a lot of single moms out, so find out here if you could be eligible for subsidized day care for your child, whether in your own home or in a center.
Unfortunately, not everyone will be eligible for the subsidies, but there are other things you can do. There may be other single moms in your neighbourhood that can take it in turns to care for the kids while the others work, or there may be a church or community group locally. Explore all the options. The more chances you give yourself to find help, the higher the likelihood of success.
Healthcare isn’t a matter of choice when you’ve got young kids. Children have a way of becoming ill at the most inconvenient of times, and no mom wants to take risks with her child’s health. In Alabama, there are two programs set up to help with this. Pregnant and nursing moms can apply to SOBRA Medicaid, while ALL KIDS caters for young people under the age of 19 who aren’t eligible for Medicaid or whose families have a low income. Find out more here.
Safe and affordable housing is another huge area of concern. Single moms are more vulnerable than two parent families, but decent quality housing can be hard to find at lower rents. Your local Public Housing Agency can advise you if there is anything available through their rent assistance schemes. Alabama HUD may also offer help to find a suitable subsidized apartment.
If they’re going to get on in the world, kids need a good education. Often, so do their moms, as more qualifications can mean a better job, which in turn brings in more cash. The trouble is, education, like everything else, costs money, creating a vicious spiral of problems that may seem insurmountable. But, help is at hand in several ways.
FAFSA, if you’re eligible, can provide grants and scholarships to get you and your kids through college or onto educational programs to improve your prospects. If you aren’t eligible for FAFSA, there are still options. If you want to train for a particular career, for example as a teacher, there is specialized help available. The Online Educational Database for Alabama has a list of useful scholarships and grant schemes to explore.
Don’t forget, there are lots of possibilities for finding educational assistance out there, and searching the net for big companies or celebrities who may offer help is another way to find aid. It’s always good to try your own state first, but the wider you can make your search, the better.
When it comes to transportation, the bad news is that the state of Alabama isn’t going to give you a private taxi to get around…but there is a good and extensive public transport system in place in most of Alabama’s towns and cities. Get familiar with buses, mini bus schemes and even shared transport schemes that may be available in your locality. Some of these are not official, so you won’t find them through state boards, but may be organized by other parents or single moms in the same town.
The state might be able to help with transportation costs though. For example, if you are eligible for Medicaid there are transport subsidies you may be able to get.
To find out everything you may be entitled to can take a lot of time and a lot of effort, but it can make all the difference to your quality of life, and that of your kids. The internet is a wonderful tool to help you find out what’s possible, and even if you don’t have a computer at home you can get access to the internet through public libraries and some community associations. Joining local single parent groups can be helpful too, as pooling experiences is invaluable in addition to the support you’ll get from people who share your situation and worries.
If you single moms know of any other state assistance resources in Alabama, please post the details in the comment section for your follow single moms!