If you are a single mom living in Raleigh and need help paying bills and meeting basic expenses, there are lots of options for getting the help you need.
Cash Assistance for single parents
Work First is North Carolina’s Temporary Assistance for the Needy Families (TANF) program. In addition, the HomelessResourceGuide’s “financial assistance” category lists a number of groups and programs that can help out with cash assistance for various purposes.
Food assistance for single parents
North Carolina participates in the federal Food and Nutrition Services (Food Stamps). The HomelessResourceGuide’s “meals” category lists 10 options of where you can get a meal when you need one. The same guide also lists about twenty different “food pantries” where groceries can be obtained.
Shelter and Housing assistance for single mothers
There are about a dozen different emergency shelters in the Raleigh area, a list of which can be found in the HomelessResourceGuide’s “shelters” category. That same resource guide also contains listings of groups and programs that can help single mothers with “foreclosure prevention,” “home repair and rehabilitation,” “Homeownership Education,” and other housing-related issues. You can also find groups that can help with housing/rent payments under “financial assistance.”
Energy and Utilities grants for single moms
Wake County has an Energy Assistance Programs page that describes two different options: The Crisis Intervention Program (CIP) for those experiencing a heating or cooling emergency (immanent disconnection of services) and the Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) that provides a one-time (per heating season) heating supplement for low-income families and single mothers. There is also the Warmth for Wake page with three different ways to get help with heating in the winter (financial assistance to buy heating fuel, free deliveries of firewood, and free space heaters). Wake Count also has a Cool for Wake page describing the distribution of free fans and a limited number of air conditioners to needy families and single mothers.
Help with Telephone and Internet Bills
North Carolina participates in the telephone service discount program called Lifeline.
Help with Childcare
The Wake County Child Care Subsidy Program provides financial assistance to single mothers for their child care needs. The child care subsidy is based on an assessment of need, income and family size. The Telamon Corporation runs Head Start and Early Head Start in the Raleigh area.
Help with Medical and Dental Care
The Dental Lifeline Network maintains a list of dental providers in North Carolina that provide free dental care to low-income patients. As of this writing, the waiting lists were so long that new applicants weren’t being accepted, but it’s worth checking back from time to time. The NC Missions of Mercy offers free dental clinics around the state at various times. This is another site to visit periodically to find out when a clinic will take place in Raleigh. Just a few miles outside of Raleigh is the Winston-Salem Rescue Mission that has a walk-in free dental clinic from 6:30 to 9am on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month. If you scroll down through the long list of NC options at NeedMyMeds, you’ll find seven different free or low-cost options in the Raleigh area for medical care. Wake County runs several public health clinics that offer a variety of free medical services, as well as a list of other medical providers that can help single parents.
Help with Legal Matters
LawHelpNC.org is a joint project of Legal Aid of North Carolina, the North Carolina Equal Justice Alliance, the North Carolina Bar Association Foundation and Probono.net. Its goal is to provide users with helpful, easy-to-understand legal resources and information in North Carolina.
Financial Counseling for single mothers
The main provider of financial counseling services in the Raleigh area is Triangle Family Services, a non-profit group that offers Consumer Credit Counseling Services (CCCS) for debt management, financial literacy education seminars on topics such as home budgeting and financial management, first-time home buying, avoiding identity theft, etc.
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