Raising kids in this economy is tough, and it becomes even tougher when you are doing it on your own. The state of Idaho offers help for single mothers and provides several resources they can turn to when they need a little extra help. There are many state and government programs that you can look into if you need help in Idaho. Financial Assistance Childcare – Knowing your kids are safe and happy while you are at work is crucial to your success in your job. Sometimes you can save money on childcare expenses by sharing some of the expense with another family. If you have a low income, consider the Idaho Child Care Program (ICCP). This Department of Health and Welfare program subsidizes some childcare expenses for low income working families. Healthcare – Idaho’s primary health-care assistance program is its Medicaid program (//healthandwelfare.idaho.gov/Medical/). The program provides coverage for children, their parents, pregnant women, women with breast or cervical cancer, or the blind and disabled. Families that make too much money for Medicaid may be able to get coverage for their children for a small fee through the Children Health Insurance Plan (CHIP). Boise: Healthcare becomes really expensive, especially from one income and has to be able to sustain an entire family. Luckily, there is friendshipclinic to help you and provide cheap healthcare. This organization was made for low-income families so you wouldn’t have to stress anymore. Rent Assistance There are a number of places that offer rent assistance to single moms and low-income households in Idaho. Idaho Rent Assistance Programs frequently updates its listing with new resources. Currently, rent assistance programs available in various countries and through other organizations are listed here. Coeur d’Alene: Kootenai County offers a wide variety of assistance to single mothers. This includes providing housing, helping out with rent, etc. Government Assistance You didn’t know Existed Food and Supplies – Your kids will not stay healthy without the right food on the table. If you cannot afford to buy healthy foods, look into Idaho’s Food Stamp Program (//healthandwelfare.idaho.gov/FoodCash). If you make too much money for food stamps and have preschoolers at home, consider applying for WIC, which provides healthy supplemental food through the grocery store as well as nutritional education. Sometimes you face a temporary cash crunch, and during those times consider looking for your local food bank (//www.idahofoodbank.org/). Transportation – Reliable transportation is essential if you are going to get and keep a job. If you live in a city, look into the public transportation options. Some private organizations provide reliable transportation as well. A list of these can be found here: //www.eicap.org/programs. Carpooling with someone in your neighborhood and sharing the gas bill is another option if you do not have your own vehicle. Educational Grants – If you would like to head back to school, start by filling out the FAFSA to apply for federal student aid. Idaho recently passed the Recovery & Reinvestment Act for education, and now there are several state grants for higher education. Find out more at //www.earnmydegree.com. Also, talk to the financial aid department at the school you wish to attend for information about other grants and scholarships. Need Housing Assistance? Rent Assistance – Idaho wants to make sure every child has a warm, safe place to call home. The Idaho Housing and Finance Association oversees several programs to ensure that all families are safely housed. Section 8 rental assistance, public housing options, and the Family Self-Sufficiency program all aim to find housing for needy families in Idaho. For more information visit //www.ihfa.org/rentalassistance.asp. Idaho Displaced Homemaker Programs – These are a series of programs that are offered to families that are unable to support themselves and their children due to other factors in their lives. There are a variety of homemaker programs that are available, each with a different set of eligibility guidelines. Fresh Information for Single Moms in Idaho! Idaho is a state concerned with providing a decent quality of life for its residents. Single mothers often struggle to provide this for their families. Many of the resources listed here can improve that quality of life by bringing better food, warmer shelters, and financial assistance when it is most needed. Food Assistance In addition to the other food assistance resources listed here, the Emergency Food Assistance Program is available for those emergency situations that can sometimes arise. The food is made available to low-income households at no cost. Utility Assistance In Idaho, there are several options for getting assistance with utilities. One such program is the Weatherization Assistance Program. It provides low-income households with Department of Energy-approved means of lowering the financial burden of energy costs. The program is open to homeowners and renters year round and eligibility is determined based on income. The State Energy Loan Program allows households to obtain low-interest loans with the proceeds being used to make building improvements that will conserve energy and boost efficient energy use. Things that qualify for improvement under this plan are insulation, lighting upgrades, windows, appliances, HVAC and weatherization. Loans are granted at 4% interest for 5 years. Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is there to help low-income households pay for some of their heating costs during the winter. Idaho Telephone Service Assistance Program (ITSAP) can help cover the installation or of or monthly cost of basic residential phone service for low-income households. Education Resources Both the Idaho State University and the University of Idaho have financial aid programs that may be of use to single moms. Programs and funding can change from year to year at both locations so check with the school’s site to see what’s currently available.