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Programs offering financial assistance for single mothers in Minnesota run the gamut. Most resources do not come with specific labels for moms who must raise children by themselves.

Instead, you have to take your situation and apply it to private and government programs designed for specific needs and or low-income families. Single parents frequently find it hard to earn a livable wage while caring for children all alone at the same time.

Follow this three-part outline to find help getting emergency cash, debt reduction, college scholarships, transportation, transitional and rental housing, and more.

General Help for Single Mothers in MN

Single mothers in Minnesota can tap into a wide variety of support programs. While none of these resources come with clear labels, solo parents should take advantage of every opportunity to save money, or increase spending power.

Emergency Cash

Request a personal loan to obtain emergency cash to address temporary one-time needs such as car repairs, rental security deposits, or surprise medical bills. Lenders licensed in MN offer a fast approval process that can get the money you need very quickly so you can deal with your crisis.

As a single mom, you should avoid borrowing additional money if you already have bad credit, or if you are unemployed or disabled. Taking out an emergency loan without a solid repayment plan and steady income will only make your situation worse. Take this step only as a last resort.

Debt Help

A settlement program can offer debt help to single mothers who are having difficulty paying bills on time. Solo parents owing more than $10,000 in unsecured obligations can qualify.

  • Personal loans
  • Credit card debt
  • Unpaid medical bills

First, you fund an escrow account by diverting money from creditors. Once the escrow balance reaches about one-third of your outstanding debt, a company licensed in MN will attempt to negotiate a settlement on your behalf.

Pregnant Mothers

Pregnant mothers, whether single or married, often need to take leave from work more frequently. Minnesota does have laws on the books that offer some help in this area.

The MN Economic Security Act strengthens workplace protections for different groups of females based on employer size and the need. The law has five main components.

  1. Wage disclosure
  2. Pregnancy and parental leave
  3. Sick and safe leave
  4. Pregnancy accommodation
  5. Breastfeeding mothers

Disability insurance in MN provides benefits for long-term or permanent maladies that prevent you from performing the duties of any occupation. However, the state does not provide coverage for temporary conditions such as maternity leave. Pregnant mothers fare best when they purchase private plans before conception.

Scholarships

Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form offers single mothers in Minnesota the best chance of winning a significant college scholarship. The FAFSA unlocks the vault for possible needs-based student financial aid.

  • Grants
  • Scholarships
  • Work-study programs
  • Subsidized loans

Solo parents often qualify for this needs-based help with school expenses because the FAFSA rewards those with the weakest financial situation. Also, people who live independently get an additional boost.  One person raising children often has low earnings and very few countable assets – which shoots you to the top of the list!

Welfare Qualifications

Single mothers often meet Minnesota welfare qualifications for the same reason: their income and countable resources are meager. Welfare is any government-sponsored resource that does not require the recipient to have paid into the system first to be eligible.

  • The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or Food Stamps) helps eligible Minnesotans get the food they need for sound nutrition and well-balanced meals1
  • The Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) helps make quality childcare affordable for eligible families
  • Income assistance programs help families with low earnings move to financial stability through work
  • The Healthcare Programs help with the costs associated with doctor visits and hospital stays
    • Medical Assistance
    • MinnesotaCare (Medicaid)

MN Car Programs for Single Moms

Car programs for single mothers in Minnesota can make transportation more affordable. Being able to commute to and from work is a key to reaching sustainable financial independence.

However, buying or fixing an auto at an affordable price will not be easy to find because few resources are readily available across the state.

Free Vehicles

Only a small handful of charitable organizations in Minnesota offer free cars to single mothers in need of reliable transportation. Automobiles are expensive to own and maintain, so the expectation may be hard to fulfill.

  • The Newgate School wheels for women program does provide about 50 free vehicles per year to eligible recipients living in Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott and Washington counties. People donate their old jalopies, and students learn how to repair them as part of their technical training.
  • Auto Technical, Inc. reconditions used vehicles and then offers them to clientele who have overcome family violence, torture, and poverty in the Twin Cities area.
  • The MVAC Wheel Get There program accepts donated cars from the public and sells them to low-income people at a discount in Blue Earth, Brown, LeSueur, Faribault, Martin, Sibley, Nicollet, Waseca, Watonwan counties.
  • Croix Valley Christians in Action is a small group of all volunteers who receive donated vehicles and fix them up to use as grants to recipients who learn Biblically-based budgeting.

Auto Repair

Likewise, only a tiny sampling of charitable organizations in Minnesota offers car repair assistance. Fortunately, single mothers often meet the qualifying conditions for the vulnerable populations each group serves.

  • The Lift Garage is a 501c3 nonprofit aimed to move people out of poverty and homelessness by providing low-cost car repair to eligible drivers in the Minneapolis area.
  • The Car Clinic is a non-profit ministry in Elk River that provides minor vehicle repair and maintenance to single parents. However, their volunteer mechanics only provide skilled labor. You must purchase any replacement parts yourself.
  • Cars for Neighbors provides vehicle repair assistance to low-income families living in Anoka County.

MN Housing Resources for Single Mothers

Single parents in Minnesota frequently need financial help with housing. Raising children alone while also holding down a job is very difficult. It is often very challenging to afford a decent place to live in a safe neighborhood. Shelter from the elements is usually the biggest expense you must face every month.

Transitional Shelter

Transitional housing in Minnesota can help single mothers in need of temporary shelter to avoid homelessness. Sleeping on the streets with children is a poor alternative, especially in the harsh winter weather.

HousingLink is a 501(c)3 organization that maintains a comprehensive database of supportive and transitional housing providers in MN. Search through their online files by location and group served to yield a list of possible places to live.

You will not find a better one-stop resource.

Rental Apartments

The Minnesota Housing Finance Agency publishes a list of government-based resources that can direct single parents to find financial help with apartment rental housing2.

  • Section 8 or housing choice vouchers provide very low-income families with financial assistance to help them pay for decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private market. Contact the local public agency in your county.
  • The Family Homeless Prevention and Assistance Program helps parents with no place to live, or who are in imminent danger of losing their home.

Sources:

  1. MN Department of Human Services
  2. MN Housing Finance Agency
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