Assistance Programs for Single Parents in Texas

by Melinda Kedro

    Being a single parent presents many challenges, with financial burdens making it difficult to make ends meet or to reach life goals. Programs exist in Texas to assist single parents with financial hardship, housing issues and changing your direction in life towards positive outcomes. Government assistance is also available for families struggling financially.

    Whether you are seeking assistance to help pay the bills or to return to school in order to increase your income, grants are a beneficial way to receive financial support. Need-based education grants such as Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants and State Grants for Single Mothers are all options to explore. Research the Hope Grant if you require assistance to start or operate your own small business. Also, a student loan repayment grant called the Raise the Nation grant is available for single mothers. Check your eligibility to apply for these grants. Other programs such as Austin Energy and the Lite-Up Texas program exist to help pay utility bills. Consult the 2-1-1 Help In Texas website for further information on rent payment assistance, Medicaid, food stamps, free school supplies and dental care assistance in Texas.

    Conduct research specific to your area through the Single Parent Advocate website. The Single Parent Advocate website offers lists of local, state and national government resources available to single parents. The website includes comprehensive information on food banks and the Women, Infant Child program, homeless shelters, the Housing and Urban Development program, transportation, physical and emotional healing, child care, employment and financial counseling for single parents.

    Several programs are designed to help single parents secure appropriate housing for their families in Texas. The Texas Home of Your Own Coalition provides financial assistance for single mothers who want to buy or rent a new house or apartment. Financial assistance is based on monthly income. Fannie Mae is a loan company through which you can apply for a loan to buy a home. HUD provide money for single parents with low monthly income. The government will pay for most of your rent cost through this program. The Housing Choice Voucher Program in Texas is another resource for single parents seeking housing assistance. You will still be required to pay for approximately 30 percent of your rent, but the voucher program can help.

    The PCHAS Single Parent Residential Program provides assistance to single mothers who are struggling with poverty, abuse, divorce, abandonment, violence or any other crisis. Houses are in Weatherford and Waxahachie with a third house opening in Houston in spring 2014. Single mothers and their children can stay at a home for nine to 15 months, working toward the goal of becoming independent during that time. The program offers support through employment assistance, vocational training, individual counseling, assistance with receiving food stamps and health insurance, money management and parenting, nutrition and wellness classes.

    About the Author

    With more than 10 years experience in early childhood education, Melinda Kedro holds a Masters degree in education, teaching certification through the Association Montessori Internationale and is a licensed childcare provider through the Colorado Department of Human Services.

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