Being a single mother offers its own unique set of challenges, struggles, triumphs and complexities; and that is just within the effort of raising your children. With the onset of a troubled economy and job stability at an all time low, finding solid resources that can offer hope and help can be a challenge within its own right. There is assistance available to single mothers through the provision of good government aid programs meant to supplement single parents who need that extra boost of confidence and help in order to improve the lives of their children and ultimately, themselves.

Being a single while trying to hold down a job, pay the rent, take care of the utilities, finance a vehicle, afford daycare and keep your sanity can be tough. You are not alone! Government funded aid is available. There are all forms of support and assistance that can help relieve and sustain a better life for you and your children. The following describes a few resources at your disposal that can help promote and encourage your current situation.

• WIC: Women, Infants and Children; WIC is a government program that helps with food for low-income families, nutritionally at-risk children, and single mothers. This program helps provide nutritional staples to these families in the form of bread, cheese, milk, peanut butter, formula, eggs, and other dietary supplements. Additionally, the WIC program offers nutritional advice to women and children, and health care recommendations.

• TANF: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. This government program attempts to offer aid in combination with work opportunities to single parent homes, and low-income families. The TANF program varies from state to state, most TANF programs offer assistance with child care, gas for transportation to and from work, and offers cash assistance for rent, utilities, and food. The TANF programs has some specific work requirements, but attempts to help promote job skill training, helps with GED or obtaining a high school diploma, and encourages community service.

• Food Stamps: Food stamps are one of the most popular government benefits for single parents today. In most cases, food stamp applications can be picked up at your local Human Services office and offer help purchasing your monthly groceries. Families are subject to income requirements. Each month a specific amount is pre-loaded onto a food stamp card for the family to use on their monthly groceries.

• Medical: One of the chief concerns among single mothers is the ability to get medical care for their children and themselves. There are many government plans that offer help with medical care. These government options can include state funded wellness programs, Medicaid and other assistance programs. These medical options contain a variety of conditions and different programs and states offer different packages. You can find additional information at your Human Services officer and a representative can go over which package(s) are best for you.

• HUD: Department of Housing and Urban Development is a resource that offers rental assistance at a reduced cost. There are income bracket and restrictions, but getting into this program can provide you and your family with quality housing for a subsidized rate. This program helps you find a home that is in good condition and must pass a series of examinations prior to approval. You will be in charge of paying for a small portion of the rental costs, while HUD will pick up the remaining balance, making the payments directly to your landlord. There are rent restrictions and most counties and states have their own ceiling for total rental allowance.

• PELL Grant, Financial Aid: There is a lot of government funded programs available for single mothers who wish to further their education level, or join the ranks of the higher education force. The Federal Pell Grant offers money to students who are enrolled at least part-time. This educational money can go towards tuition and other institutional charges, with the remainder being paid directly to the student. This federal money makes it possible for single mothers to reach their occupational goals and, in the long run, improving the home lives of their families.

There are many government assistance programs available out there. With diligence, research and just asking questions you can find help that is tailor made to help you and your family reach the next level of goals and living. Good luck!