Raising children is far from easy, especially while you’re juggling working, cooking, cleaning, paying bills and so many other tasks at the same time. While many people have a spouse to divvy up their responsibilities with, there are nearly 10 million women who are doing it by themselves in the U.S., according to the Census Bureau in 2017.
Although it may be hard to admit, sometimes you need a helping hand to get you through another day. That’s where financial grants can come into play. If you’re a single mother–or you know a single mother–who is struggling to pay the bills on a daily basis, here are some grants that can help ease your financial situation while you’re supporting your family.
Utility Bill Assistance
The U.S. government sets aside money for grants every fiscal year to help low-income families with their utility bills. One grant in particular is the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). This program provides financial assistance to the lowest-income households that use a large part of their income to pay their home energy bill.
For Fiscal Year 2018, there is $3.03 billion set aside in a regular block grant to help families. To be eligible to receive part of this grant, you must be between 110% and 150% above the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG) or at 60% of your state’s median income. Families with young children are consider a high priority to receive this grant, which can really help single mothers. Families with elderly members and disabled members are also considered a priority.
Preparing for the Elements
The weather affects the amount of utilities you consume. To combat energy usage and to lower costs, the U.S. Department of Energy started the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). This program was made to help low-income citizens make their homes energy efficient. The grant money is given to the states and the states’ individual weatherization agencies disperse the money accordingly. Typically, the average cost of work on a residence is worth $6,500 and can be completed in a day or two.
Since 1976, 35,000 homes have been weatherized and an average of $283 has been saved on utility bills every year; 18% of that is heating consumption and 7% is electric consumption.
Each state has individual requirements for applying for the program, but you’re among the automatically eligible if there are children in your family, which can benefit single moms. To find out more information, contact your local state administrators in the WAP.
Being a single mother isn’t easy and if it feels like the world keeps handing you struggle after struggle after struggle, you could be in luck. The Letters Foundation was founded by Warren and Doris Buffett, a brother-sister duo, to help people dealing with various crises stabilize their lives and get back on their feet with a one-time humanitarian grant.
In 2017 alone, the foundation received over 2,900 letters and awarded just over 200 grants totaling well above $2.1 million.
To apply, you must send in a physical letter; there’s no form of electronic application. According to an article in the Boston Globe, every single letter gets read by Doris and her team and they choose who to help. They also use various other application materials to do thorough background checks on possible recipients to ensure they’re not falling for a scam. Help is provided in the form of a monetary grant or expensive items recipients need but can’t afford.
Filing your Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a great way for single mothers to receive financial aid from the government to go college. But there are also single grants from private organizations that single moms can potentially win.
For example, the Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Foundation provides Education Support Awards to low-income women with minor children who are pursuing education or training. The grants can be worth up to $5,000 each. Women are chosen based on their financial needs, life circumstances, educational path, vocational/occupational goals and civic goals. It’s also required that women are 17 years old or over.
If you’re wondering about Patsy Takemoto Mink’s story , she was a Hawaiian U.S. congresswoman from 1965-1977 and from 1990-2002 who was credited with being the backbone behind passing Title IX in 1972, which ensured gender equality in education and its athletic programs.
A little bit of financial help can go a long way when you’re a single parent. These four grants can help single mothers across the United States be able to provide for their families and save a little money in the process. Do you know a single mother who would benefit from these grants? Tell her about them now!