Looking for programs that offer help for single moms? Whether you need financial assistance, child care services, medical care, legal help, or any other form of assistance, know that help is out there. You just need to know where to look. Be on the lookout for scams that prey on single moms, too. While the web is flooded with ads offering "Grants for Single Mothers," many of them are phony companies that charge fees their "exclusive services." Sadly, these types of illegitimate scams draw attention away from authentic and genuine programs offering help for single moms.
Here's what you need to know about where to find help for single moms in your area and how to identify scams designed to trip you up and cost you more than they'll ever help.
Where to Find Legitimate Help for Single Moms
In general, you can usually recognize legitimate programs designed to offer help for single moms by the way they operate. For example, legitimate programs:
- Offer their services free of charge or use a sliding pay scale.
- Have a clearly visible web site and working phone number.
- Respond to phone calls, voicemail messages, and emails.
- Are willing to provide you with references from other clients who've benefited from their services.
- Are linked to from other legitimate organizations. (To find out, type the word 'links' followed by a colon and the organization's website address into your favorite search engine. Hit 'return' or 'enter' and you'll see a list of the websites that currently link to the website you are investigating.)
When you're looking specifically for organizations that help single moms, calling 211 is good place to start. 211's referral specialists can put you in touch with legitimate organizations in your area.
More About 211 Services & Help for Single Moms
211 is similar to 911, except that they put callers in touch with legitimate nonprofits and organizations throughout the state, instead of emergency personnel.
Like 911, 211 is a free phone call. Associates at 211 can help you access many different types of services in your area, including:
- Child and family services - Do you need help finding affordable child care, summer camps, recreation programs, parent education classes, mentoring, or tutoring? Referral specialists at 211 can help.
- Human services - Are you worried about being evicted? Having your electric or water shut off? Do you need food, clothing, or shelter? 211 will put you in touch with food banks, soup kitchens, shelters, and more — right in your own area.
- Health services - Do you or your children need medical insurance, mental health services, help understanding Medicare or Medicaid, or crisis services? Do you want to quit smoking or overcome addictions or alcoholism? 211's referral specialists will help connect you with the right resources.
- Career help - Do you need help finding a job, learning a new skill, or securing transportation to or from work? 211 can help.
These are just a few of the services 211 can put you in touch with. It's important to note, though, that not all legitimate organizations will be associated with your state's 211. For example, some small food pantries that operate only once or twice a month may not be included.
Learn More About Your State's 211 Help For Single Moms
To access your local 211 services program, click on the name of your state below.
Outside the U.S.
Benefits of 211
Consider the benefits of 211 over some of the less reputable programs offering help for single mothers:
- 211 is free.
- You may learn about programs you've never heard of before.
- You may qualify for some programs associated with 211, even if you've been told you don't qualify for government assistance.
- You can take advantage of 211 services in conjunction with services you're already receiving, like SNAP, WIC, or TANF.