How Do You Survive as a Single Parent?
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2019 there were about 19.2 million single parent families in the United States. Out of those 19.2 million families, there were about 15.6 million single mothers and 3.6 million single fathers.
There Are Many Programs to Help Single Parents
As a single mother myself, I am aware of many single parent resources and assistance programs. I am going to list some of the programs that are available in the state of Oregon. It is recommended that you check into similar programs that may be available in your state of residence.
With help from the programs below, you should be able to survive as a single parent. Use the help supplied to you wisely and appreciate the state assistance that is available for low-income and struggling single parents.
Food Assistance Programs
There are many state programs that will help single parent families with their food supply. Are you a single parent looking for additional ways to feed your children? You can apply for food stamps or WIC or visit local food banks.
What Are Food Stamps?
Food stamps are issued to low-income families that meet certain income guidelines. To see if you qualify for food stamps, visit your local DHS (Department of Human Services) office and meet with a caseworker. Many single parents who make minimum wage and work 40 hours a week or less usually qualify for food assistance programs. If you use your food stamps wisely, you should be able to afford to purchase all of your meats and vegetables with your benefits.
What Is WIC?
The Supplemental Nutritional Program for Women, Infants, and Children is known as the WIC program. WIC helps single mothers by providing them with vouchers. These vouchers are good for free baby formula, milk, cereals, cheese, eggs, peanut butter, beans, and juice for their children. Check with your local WIC or DHS office to see if you qualify for assistance.
How Do Food Banks Work?
You can visit the food banks once or twice a month and get free beans, rice, and vegetables. Sometimes the food banks also give out additional food items and living necessities such as toilet paper, laundry soaps, and shampoos.
Between your food stamp or WIC benefits and your visits to food banks, you should be able to get enough food for your family.
Housing Assistance Programs
If you are a single parent looking for housing assistance, there are a few programs you may be eligible for. HUD is a housing assistance program for low-income families that may be an option to you, and you can also seek emergency assistance from local organizations.
What Is HUD?
With the help of HUD (Housing and Urban Development), you should be able to afford your monthly rent or mortgage. The Department of Housing and Urban Development helps many single parents by paying a percentage of their monthly rent payment. Make sure you meet with your housing assistant caseworker and go over all of the eligibility guidelines and regulations.
How to Seek Emergency Housing Assistance
If you are in need of emergency housing and have no time to wait to see if you qualify for the HUD program, you can get emergency assistance if you are homeless. Some local churches and organizations will help you and your child with emergency housing assistance. There is no guarantee that there will be funds available, but you won't know unless you ask for help. Assistance organizations and thrift stores such as the Salvation Army will do a lot to help single parents, low-income families, and the homeless to survive.
Clothing Assistance Programs
Some thrift stores also supply clothing, linens, and blanket vouchers to those in need. If you are a single mother or single father that needs clothes, blankets, and linens for your children, you should meet with a thrift store manager to see if they have any clothing vouchers available. You should also ask them if they have additional single parent resources available.
If you know of additional single parent resources, please share them in the comments.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2010 Tammy Winters
Tom Foolry on August 15, 2011:
Thanks for the resources, I'm sure this will help many in their single parenting. Also, I've found another resource that may be able to help:
Tammy Winters (author) from Oregon on December 19, 2010:
@Mr. Mom, what type of Woman assistance do you need and what state do you live in? Most financial assistance can be found by going to your local DHS or Welfare office.
Mr. Mom from San Jose California on December 17, 2010:
I need woman assistance. Where can I get some of that?
Jack Walton on November 09, 2010:
Tammy, thanks for the great hub. You ask about additional single parent resources, try:
Dame Keyz from Villa, GA on November 03, 2010:
Great resources! There are also food ministries and many churches are also wonderful resources to seek out when in need. Thanks!
CraigM on August 22, 2010:
Thanks for the info. I am a recent single father that is fighting hard for his kids and it's nice that people like you are willing to offer informative words like these. Thank you
Lamme on July 31, 2010:
Great resources tammyfrost! I'm a single mother myself, it can definitely be a struggle and with times as hard as they are I'm sure many are in a very bad situation. Thanks for sharing this.
ghutson on April 19, 2010:
Lots of good information here, Tammy. It is hard being a single parent.