Help for Single Mothers in Colorado: The Definitive Guide
The state of Colorado has a high unemployment rate of 8.5%. Life for people living on single incomes, especially in the case of single mothers who have to juggle between work, college & their families becomes difficult. Fortunately, Colorado Department of Human Services has many programs to help those in need, including the Colorado Food Assistance program, Rental Assistance program from US Department of Housing, Colorado family Medicaid program, financial aid for students from Colorado department of higher education, etc.
i) Colorado Food Assistance Program
The food assistance program is administered by the Colorado department of human services and provides balanced nutrition and healthy meals to low income households who would otherwise not be able to afford it. Money from this program can be used to purchase essential foods and plants/seeds to grow food. However, they cannot be used to purchase items like tobacco, vitamins, pet food, shampoo, personal hygiene products, etc as these are not considered food. Applications for the Colorado Food assistance program can be made by visiting https://peak.state.co.us This is a secure application form which will ask you several questions i.e. how many people in your home, your employment income, housing costs like rent, utilities, your assets and monthly bills. It takes about 15 minutes to complete and once you submit your application, you can also check the status by logging on. There are income requirements you must fulfill before becoming eligible for Colorado food stamps. Go here to view full income thresholds: http://www.benefits.gov/benefits/benefit-details/1580 You must also provide proof of income of all household members i.e. latest pay stubs, employer statement, benefit letters from Social security, etc.
ii) Rental Assistance from US Department of Housing
The US department of housing and urban development (HUD) helps low income families and single mothers find apartments with reduced rents. To apply, you should contact the management office of the apartment building you want to live in. Single mothers living in Colorado can search for subsidized housing by following this link www.hud.gov/apps/section8/step2.cfm?state=CO%2CColorado Affordable housing is also available through the Public Housing Choice Vouchers (Section 8) available in each state. Under this program, low income tenants agree to live in a building where the landlord receives a housing subsidy from the PHA and thereby offers accomodation at a reduced rent to the low income family or single mom. Eligibility for housing vouchers is determined by the PHA based on total annual gross incomes and # of people in the family. Note that after applying for public housing, you will be put on a waiting list so it is best to apply immediately. To apply, contact the PHA team at the Colorado public housing website below.
iii) Colorado Family Medicaid
Colorado Family Medicaid provides health insurance services to single mothers or dads with dependent children between 1 – 18 years. This program is sponsored by Department of Health Care Policy and Financing in the State of Colorado and eligibility depends on various criteria including gross income, US citizenship, proof of need, etc. For example, parents whose gross income (in a family of 2) is less than $1,631 per month qualify for Medicaid benefits. Also single mothers whose incomes are less than or equal to 100% of the federal poverty level qualify for Medicaid benefits. Want to know if you are eligible? Visit Colorado PEAK and click on “Am I Eligible” link. Colorado PEAK is a quick way to find out if you are eligible for health benefits in the state of Colorado as it will ask you several questions relating to the # of people in your home, your employment income, housing costs like rent, utilities, your assets and other bills.