Missouri has a very high unemployment rate of 8.7% as of July 2011, versus national average of 9.1%. Many families and low income single moms are struggling to make ends meet. Life could especially be hard for those single moms looking for work as jobs are hard to find. Fortunately, the state of Missouri has many financial aid programs for single moms i.e. food stamps in Missouri, Early Childhood services, Medical Assistance for Low Income Families, Rental Help in Missouri, etc. We will overview each of these financial help programs and provide links to websites and application forms where you will find indepth information. It is important to read eligibility requirements for these programs correctly and providing all information/proof when submitting your application. Not only will this speed up your application but also increases chances of it being approved.
Food stamps in Missouri aims to provide nutritious and healthy meals to low income families and single moms and protect their welfare. Each eligible family receives a monthly benefit based on the Department of Social Services' thrifty food plan. Benefits are loaded on an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card that can be used at most supermarkets and grocery stores across Missouri. Benefits can be used to purchase food items like fruits & vegetables, fish, meat and poultry. They cannot be used to purchase tobacco, alcohol or hot foods. Holders of EBT cards can check their balances at any time online by visiting http://www.ebtedge.com Applications for food stamp benefits can be downloaded in English or Spanish by visiting the website below. To qualify for food stamp benefits, there are income requirements and recipients must be citizens of USA or qualified aliens. To check how much food benefits you are eligible for, use this Pre-Screening eligibility tool here http://www.snap-step1.usda.gov/fns/
The Child Care Assistance program in Missouri helps low income single moms and families pay for their child's care costs based on a shared-payment with the government on a sliding scale basis. The model of this program is to help moms find employment or remain working while their child receives quality care. Specifically, single moms who have children under 13 years of age can apply for child care assistance while they work, attend school or college, are in job training, are disabled or going for interviews/job training. Care for the children must be provided by a qualified child care provider in Missouri. Licensed child care providers in Missouri can be found by visiting Child Care Aware's website at www.mo.childcareaware.org Select "For Parents and Families" from their homepage and they will answer many of your questions including what questions should you ask your child care provider, what if your child has special needs, child care provisions at your own home, etc. Eligibility for child care is also based on household gross income, family size and reason for applying. You will find indepth information by visiting the Department of Social Service's Child Care website below.
Rental help in Missouri is administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that provides subsidized housing to low income families and single moms. Eligible families are supposed to find apartments in Missouri that are registered with the HUD as subsidized. The landlords will then offer these apartments at discounts while the remaining amount will be paid by the Missouri state government. To find low rent apartments in Missouri, visit http://www.hud.gov/apps/section8/index.cfm and select Missouri. You can then search for apartments by City, Zip Code or your local county. As an example, I did a search on Advance city and saw Advance Seniors Citizens apartment building with their phone #. Once you have found the place where you want to live, contact the management office of that building immediately. Visit the HUD's rental help website below for lots more information.