Help For Single Moms In Maine
Life for single moms can seem overwhelming at times. Knowing where you can turn when you need a little extra assistance can give peace of mind. Here are some resources Maine single mothers can count on to help them raise their kids to be happy, healthy adults.
Childcare - Paying for childcare for your kids is not always possible, especially when living on one income. Maine offers a voucher program (http://maine.gov/dhhs/ocfs/ec/occhs/step.htm) to help needy parents pay for care for their kids while they work. In addition, the state offers incentives to employers to encourage them to offer child care assistance or participating in the Dependent Care Assistance Plan. Talk to your employer to see if these are possible.
Healthcare – like all states, Maine offers a Medicare program, called MaineCare, for low income families. However, many single moms will not qualify for this program, yet need help paying for healthcare. DirigoChoice is a subsidized health program available to families who are below 300% of the federal poverty level, a group many single moms fit.
Food and Supplies – Maine offers low income families help with purchasing healthy food through the Supplemental Nutrition Program (SNAP). If you are expecting or have children under the age of five, you can get help purchasing healthy foods like milk and cheese through the state’s WIC program (http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/wic/). Sometimes you may not need or qualify for these formal programs, but you could use a more affordable place to purchase food and supplies. In this case, consider shopping at your local food pantry or food bank (http://gsfb.org/).
Transportation – Maine has several public transportation options (http://www.apta.com/resources/links/unitedstates/Pages/MaineTransitLinks.aspx) that help everyone get to and from work without the hassle and expense of driving their own vehicle. Whether you have a vehicle or not, this provides an affordable, reliable way for you to get to work every day. If you do not live near one of these options, consider finding someone who would be willing to carpool with you.
Rent Assistance – While HUD offers Maine residents help paying the rent through the Housing Choice Voucher program, not all who need help can get into this program due to limited funds. Maine’s Bridging Rental Assistance Program is designed to help those who cannot get a Housing Choice Voucher. It offers rent assistance for up to 24 months or until a Housing Choice Voucher is available.
College Grants – If you would like to head to school either to finish or start a degree program, start looking for financial aid by filling out the FAFSA. This will give you access to programs offered by the Federal government. Then, contact the office of student aid at your chosen school to look into any local programs you may qualify to receive.