Programs offering financial assistance for single mothers in Michigan often hide from view.
Sometimes, the resources do not have clear labels, and government agencies do not always make them easy to find. Many programs help with specific needs and usually target low-income families instead of single moms.
For example, grant money rarely flows to individuals for personal use. Instead, the dollars fund programs that reduce expenses or dole out temporary cash aid.
Also, free car vouchers are possible, but the state-run websites make no mention of the program.
Finally, housing assistance is readily available to low-income families, but you must sift through hundreds of agency offices.
A roadmap might help.
Grants for Single Moms in MI
Single Mothers in Michigan often look for grants when needed for financial assistance because they do not have to repay the free money. However, you are likely to come up empty because federal funding flows to state and county agencies or non-profit organizations rather than individuals.
You have to adopt a different approach.
Personal grants will prove very difficult for single mothers to find unless you expand the definition and consider closely related alternatives.
Personal loans could provide the cash needed to help you through a financial emergency. If approved, a lender licensed in Michigan could deposit the funds directly into your checking account.
Borrowing money could make sense if it allows you to avoid late fees or lost income. Keep in mind that lenders will impose origination fees and interest charges, and you must repay the money.
Hardship grants could also be challenging for single moms to locate without stretching the definition to fit their goal. For instance, several other programs available in Michigan might provide needed financial help during tough times.
- Debt relief can lower the amount owed on unsecured obligations
- Student loan deferment can reduce the size of monthly payments
- 401K hardship withdrawals can free up resources temporarily
- Mortgage forbearance can allow you to skip home loan payments
- Short-term disability can replace income while pregnant
- Maternity leave laws can protect your job and healthcare
Government grants are the prime example of an unlikely resource for single mothers without relabeling names. The state government administers a variety of federal initiatives aimed at low-income families and maintains two online portals that make things easier.
Helping Hands is a state government-run online resource that helps Michigan citizens facing economic hardship find the services they need. Follow links to connect with programs in five categories.
- Jobs & Training
- Unemployment Benefits
- Family Support
Michigan Bridges is a state-run gateway that makes it easy to apply for benefits, manage your case, and explore local resources.
- Healthcare coverage
- Food assistance
- Cash aid
- Child development and care
- Emergency relief
- Housing vouchers
College grants represent the only area where single moms in Michigan are likely to find direct help paying for school without getting cute with definitions and labels.
Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form to apply for monetary help with school. The FAFSA criteria favor solo parents because they often have exceptional financial need.
- Lower incomes associated with one wage earner households
- Lower countable resources in households with dependent children
- Women over the age of twenty-four classified as independent
MI Housing Help for Single Moms
Single mothers in Michigan can take advantage of many different resources that provide housing assistance. Women who must care for children alone often meet the low-income criteria needed to qualify for multiple programs.
Emergency shelters can provide homeless single moms and their children a decent, safe place to stay for a brief period (days or weeks). Low-income women often turn to these facilities first during a financial or domestic crisis, such as abuse.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) publishes a comprehensive online directory of homeless shelters in Michigan.
A single database could be the shortest route to find help quickly.
Single moms also find a frequent need to raise money for a security deposit when moving into a new rental apartment. The security deposit is typically one month’s rent and covers potential damages and delinquency.
The Michigan Department of Health & Human Services steps up to the plate on security deposits as well, offering relocation assistance ranging from $400 to $1,000 depending on household size.
Finally, Section 8 housing vouchers provide financial help with monthly rental payments for low-income families. Since single moms must provide for their children by themselves, they frequently meet the criteria.
The Public Housing Agency located in your local area is the best place to apply for rental assistance money. However, there are over one hundred office locations in the state.
Fortunately, the Department of Housing & Urban Development publishes a city-by-city list of agencies in Michigan. Use the listing to find the appropriate contact information.
Free Cars for MI Single Moms
Michigan single moms may want to follow a roadmap to avoid making wrong turns when looking for free cars. Reliable transportation is critical to independence. However, many of the suggested resources you find elsewhere online could take you in the wrong direction.
The Department of Health & Human Services (DHS) car voucher program in Michigan is tricky to find as their website does not cover the topic. However, their stated philosophy confirms that single mothers could find this financial assistance: “the primary avenue to self-sufficiency is employment.”
Michigan Bridges is the gateway for DHS employment support services. Apply for benefits via that link, although you will not find any information about car vouchers on that website either.
However, you can verify four benefits and explore the qualifying criteria on this hard-to-find DHS publication listing their direct support services.
- Public transportation allowance (pages 13-15)
- Vehicle repair reimbursement up to $900 (pages 16-17)
- Car purchase voucher up to $4,000 (pages 17 – 19)
- Automobile insurance subsidy up to $2,000 lifetime (page 19)
The Michigan Works car purchase program is a dead end. It appears that other online resources may have erroneously suggested that this organization was involved with the DHS voucher initiative and search engines amplified the mistake.
Michigan Works is a professional association that connects local talent and job leaders with the advocacy, training, and information tools they need to succeed in their communities.
You will not find a single word about autos on their website – free or otherwise.
Many charitable organizations operate in Michigan and could donate free cars to single mothers who need reliable transportation. However, be careful of investing too much time in this potential resource.
You could wind up going in the wrong direction on a one-way street.
- Most non-profits featuring car donation programs are fund-raising for other causes
- Donors typically contribute old jalopies that are sold at auction for cash at scrap prices
- Only a tiny percentage of non-profits refurbish vehicles and donate them to needy families
- Most charities operate in specific regions and can only help families in their local area