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Single mothers often require emergency financial assistance when dealing with a crisis, such as extra expenses or lost income.

Having only one wage earner in the household makes it more challenging to maintain adequate savings – meaning many solo parents live check-to-check – leaving them vulnerable to unpleasant surprises.

Emergency cash can quickly help put food on the table, heat in the apartment, electricity in appliances, and cover other bills such as medical expenses or car repairs.

Emergency housing assistance programs can provide a decent, safe place to stay and help you and your children avoid homelessness.

Emergency Cash for Single Mothers

Single mothers have multiple avenues to raise emergency cash to help them survive a financial crisis. In urgent situations, time is of the essence, but you do not want to dig yourself into a deeper hole.

  • Borrowing money is typically the fastest option because you have one source but requires repayment with origination fees and interest charges
  • Grants do not require repayment but could take longer because you must complete multiple applications from many agencies

Emergency Loans

Start a loan request here. (Affiliate Link) Emergency loans can raise cash quickly and affordably for solo parents with solid borrowing credentials: sufficient earnings, verifiable employment, and a credit score above 670.

Emergency loans for unemployed single mothers should be your last resort. Enact three strategies will boost approval chances and help you avoid an avalanche of unmanageable debt.

  1. Indicate government unemployment benefits as your source of income if you are currently collecting
  2. Borrow small amounts that you can comfortably repay before unemployment benefits expire
  3. Exhaust all possible grant opportunities first as they do not require repayment while unemployed

Solo parents with bad credit (below 670) require a unique strategy: tapping into a vast network of subprime lenders who specialize in consumers with derogatory entries on their consumer reports. 

Emergency Grants

Emergency grants are another avenue for single moms to raise cash quickly. Unlike loans, you do not have to repay the funding – so they are the most sought-after alternative.  

However, temper your expectations about finding a single resource that will solve all your problems immediately. You may have to apply in many places and stretch a grant’s definition to get the needed financial help.  

Free Money

Grants represent free money provided by a third party targeting specific needs. Therefore, solo parents in crisis mode should choose the appropriate opportunities.

  • Continuing Education
    • College
    • High School (GED)
    • Cosmetology School
  • Pay off student loans
  • Dental work
    • Implants
    • Braces
  • Financial Hardship
    • Cars
    • Furniture

Government Programs

Government programs for low-income families do not require repayment, so they work like grants. Solo parents often meet the earnings criteria for these resources that could lower your bills or replace lost wages during a crisis.

  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (Food Stamps)
  • Medicaid Health Insurance
  • Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP)
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  • Women Infants & Children (WIC)
  • Child Care Assistance Programs (CCAP)
  • Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
  • State-mandated Short-Term Disability
  • Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

Emergency Housing for Single Mothers

Single mothers sometimes need emergency housing assistance to keep their children off the streets and in a safe, warm environment. Several departments within the federal government fund the county-based programs.

Housing assistance programs for solo parents are a big topic with many possible avenues. However, when in crisis mode, you need to find immediate help to avoid homelessness. Therefore, focus on solutions with the shortest turnaround.

Women’s Shelters

Emergency shelters can provide temporary housing for single mothers unable to afford an apartment or who need separation from an abusive relationship. Often, volunteers staff a hotline to steer women to available beds near your location.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) publishes this comprehensive online directory of homeless shelters organized by state.

AlabamaAlaskaArizona
ArkansasCaliforniaColorado
ConnecticutDCDelaware
FloridaGeorgiaHawaii
IdahoIllinoisIndiana
IowaKansasKentucky
LouisianaMaineMaryland
MassachusettsMichiganMinnesota
MississippiMissouriMontana
NebraskaNevadaNew Hampshire
New JerseyNew MexicoNew York
North CarolinaNorth DakotaOhio
OklahomaOregonPennsylvania
Rhode IslandSouth CarolinaSouth Dakota
TennesseeTexasUtah
VermontVirginiaWashington
West VirginiaWisconsinWyoming

Rent Assistance

Single moms can tap into the Emergency Rental Assistance Program run by the U.S. Department of Treasury (DOT) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The federal emergency rental assistance money ultimately flows to county-level organizations. Use this DOT online database to see if a program near you is still accepting applications.

Local entities allocate the federal funds to eligible households.

  • Qualifies for unemployment or has experienced a reduction in household income, incurred high costs, or experienced a financial hardship due to COVID-19
  • Demonstrates a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability
  • Has a household income at or below 80 percent of the area median

Voucher Programs

Motel and other types of vouchers are another way for single mothers to find emergency housing. Vouchers help very low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled to afford decent, safe, and sanitary residences.

Ultimately, your local Public Housing Agency (PHA) is responsible for most voucher programs – and there could be a hundred or more in each state. Save yourself valuable time and utilize an online list of PHA contact information published by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The fastest way to get financial assistance is to go straight to the nearest source. When in crisis mode, each second counts. We hope this information helps single moms arrive faster.