If you are a single mother living in Boston and need help paying bills and meeting basic expenses, there are lots of options for getting the help you need.
Cash Assistance for single mothers
The State of Massachusetts has a cash assistance program called Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC). The Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) has local offices where you can apply for this aid.
Food assistance for single mothers
The City of Boston website has a page dedicated to how you can get SNAP assistance, what used to be called Food Stamps. If you need more immediate assistance with food and meals, the HomelessShelterDirectory has an extensive list of food pantries, soup kitchens, and food banks in the Boston area. A smaller list can be found at FoodPantries.org.
Help with Shelter & Housing
If you need emergency shelter, there are lots of options available for single mothers in Boston. For the most extensive list of shelters by type (men only, women only, families, etc.), visit the Boston Public Health Commission’s Shelters Directory page. It has everything you need. If you want to find out about subsidized housing, visit the Boston Housing Authority’s Section 8 page. There are also three different voucher programs that can help single mothers with housing costs on the Boston Housing Authority’s Voucher Programs page. If you own a home but are in danger of losing it to foreclosure, Ensuring Stability through Action in our Community (ESAC) has lots of programs to help you fight it. If you suddenly fin yourself homeless, FamilyAid Boston’s Housing Access Collaborative (HAC) can quickly get you into permanent housing so you don’t wind up in shelters for long periods of time. The Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership also has all kinds of programs that help connect single mothers to housing they can afford.
Energy and Utilities assistance for single parents
ABCD’s fuel assistance program gives help to pay heating bills for qualifying households. Citizens Energy allows families and single mothers to purchase one-time deliveries of discount home heating oil. Mass. Energy Consumers Alliance also allows families to purchase one-time deliveries of discount home heating oil. Good Neighbor Energy Fund of the Salvation Army offers one-time grants to eligible consumers. NStar: Financial Assistance, Fuel Assistance and Forgiveness Programs keeps households with all members 65 years of age or older from receiving a final notice on their electric bill, with an option to allow NSTAR to notify a relative or friend about overdue bills. National Grid provides year-round home energy solutions to save money and improve a home’s energy performance. Energy Bucks from MassSave provides a wide range of services, incentives, trainings, and information about energy efficiency to reduce costs. Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership offers bi-weekly utility workshops with information on applying for fuel assistance and low-income discounted rates on utilities.
Help with Telephone Bills
If you’ are a single mother receiving assistance from at least one public assistance program, you’re probably eligible for the Lifeline telephone bill discount.
Childcare assistance for single mothers
The Massachusetts Child Care Resource and Referral Network has a great page on child care subsidies and vouchers. Action for Boston Community Development is the largest provider of Boston Head Start services for kids.
Help with Medical and Dental Care
Getting free or reduced dental and medical care can happen at the following places:
Help with Legal Matters
Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS) provides free legal assistance and representation on civil (noncriminal) matters to hundreds of the neediest residents in the city of Boston and 31 surrounding cities and towns.
Help with Financial Counseling
The best source of getting help with managing your finances better is through the Financial Futures Initiative of Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD).
Help for single mothers from Other Groups
A few groups in Boston provide all kinds of services related to many of the areas mention ed above, including the following:
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