Raising children alone is a struggle for any mother and that struggle can be even worse with a low income. However, there are many state run and federally funded organizations that can help single mothers in Kansas make ends meet. Many of these programs can help you on the path to self-sufficiency and a better life for you and your children.
HUD (Housing and Urban Development)
If you find that you are struggling to pay rent or find a place to live. There are a few resources available here http://www.hud.gov/local/index.cfm?state=ks&topic=renting. There you can find subsidized apartments and other low cost housing options. If you want to apply for subsidized rent all you have to do is visiting an apartment complex that offers subsidized rent and apply. You can also contact a Public Housing Agency to try and get free or subsidized housing. The website also gives you contact information for housing counselors that can help you put together an action plan and find a program that works for your situation.
TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families)
TANF is a program that is geared toward giving needy families temporary cash assistance in order to get back on their feet and move toward self-sufficiency. The program allows for an eligible adult to have 60 months of cash assistance once in their life time.
In order to quality for TANF you must meet certain income requirements that are based on the amount of money you make and the number of people in your household. Your family assets will be assessed to determine if you are eligible, however cars, your family home, furniture, personal items, tools and any assets worth less than $2,000 are not taken into account. You can apply online for TANF here http://oapub1.srs.ks.gov/OAWeb/initOLA.ola?method=English.
The TANF program offers cash assistance that is paid out every month for 60 months. At the end of the 60 months the money is stopped and it can never again be requested. The amount of cash assistance will be based on your income level and the amount of people in your household.
Child Care Subsidy Program
Another difficult problem for single mothers is how to find and afford child care. The Child Care Subsidy Program is a way for single mothers to afford child care while they go to work or school
The program is available to low-income working families, mothers who are pursuing an education or training program, teenage mothers who are working toward their GED and families who are members of the Temporary Assistance for Families program. To see if you qualify simply apply online at http://oapub1.srs.ks.gov/OAWeb/initOLA.ola?method=English.
The program chooses an amount to give toward child care every month based on the family income and the household size. This money is then transferred to an Electronic Benefit transfer vision card on the first of every month. Then this card is used to help pay the child care provider. The provider that is chosen must fit the requirements of the program and the program will not pay for a mother to watch her own children.
The food assistance program is a great way to help provide food for you and your family. The program allows for a certain amount of money to be given to you each and every month to help pay for food items.
In order to be eligible for food assistance you must be below a certain income threshold that is based upon your household income and the number of people in your household. The program is open to nearly anyone who meets certain need requirements and you can apply online here http://oapub1.srs.ks.gov/OAWeb/initOLA.ola?method=English. This application allows you to apply for TANF, child care subsidies and food assistance at once.
The program will give you an Electronic Benefit transfer Vision card. Then, every month, money will be put on the card to be used toward food purchases. The card can be used at any of a number of places where it is accepted and can be used toward nearly any type of food purchase. The amount of money that is given each month will depend on your income level and the number of people in your household.
WIC (Woman Infants and Children)
The WIC program is available for pregnant woman, nursing mothers and children under 5. The program offers food assistance and assistance for necessary baby items.
The program is available to low income mothers and children under age five. They provide checks based on the monthly income and number of members in your household. To apply for WIC all you have to do is contact a health department office near you. You can find out more about WIC in Kansas here http://www.kansaswic.org/.
WIC offers food checks each month that can be used on specific types of food that meet certain health and nutrition requirements. They also offer breastfeeding help, nutrition support and immunizations to ensure the health of you and your family. They can also offer assistance with buying formula for infants as well.
FAFSA (Free Application for Student Aid)
If you are looking to go back to school in order to better provide for you and your children, then you may also be eligible for education assistance. You can fill out a FAFSA application online at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/. The program can help you afford to go to school and get a degree. The program is available for low income households and can pay for some or all of your tuition costs. This can be a great way for single mothers to improve their situation and work toward self-sufficiency.
Taking advantage of these programs can help you create a better life for you or your children. You can also ask at your local agencies about other programs that may be able to help you, such as assistance with medical expenses or grants to help care for children with special needs. Many of these programs allow you to apply in tandem, making it easy to get the best for you and your family.