There are times in life when it may be necessary for a mother, with or without a spouse, to find emergency assistance in order to care for her children. There are many programs that cater to single mothers, helping them find assistance during times of financial crisis or abuse.
Sometimes it's not possible for a mother to stay in a home with a child due to financial problems or abusive situations. Catholic Charities and the Society of St. Vincent DePaul are two organizations that offer temporary housing for women in these predicaments. Their programs provide immediate support to women who are homeless or in danger of becoming homeless, and provide services to help get the mother's life back on track.
Financial assistance is available in the form of temporary grants or loans from charitable organizations. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), a division of the Administration for Children and Family Services, offers emergency financial assistance. If you are in need of emergency financial assistance, you can also call 211, which is available in most states, to see what is offered locally. The Department of Housing and Urban Development also offers emergency grants to help rebuild or remodel inadequate shelter.
Pregnant women who need financial assistance or a place to stay present a unique challenge. Luckily, there are several organizations that allow young women to stay in a safe environment during their pregnancy. Locations like Sarah's Place, Friends of the Unborn, Mary Elizabeth Maternity Home and Mercy House Ministries allow young women who are either wards of the state or in unsafe situations to live in a caring environment for the duration of their pregnancy.
Temporary housing solutions include perusing Craigslist for those who may need a roommate and utilizing the CoAbode network. CoAbode helps connect single mothers with one another so that they can share housing and possibly finances with one another during rough patches. This helps reduce the financial strain placed on parents and may help keep some mothers with children off the streets. Habitat for Humanity also offers permanent solutions for single mothers in need of housing by enlisting volunteers to build a sustainable shelter.
- Department of Health and Human Services: TANF, No Author, 2011
- Mercy House Ministries: Mercy House, No Author, No Date
- Society of St. Vincent DePaul: National Charity, No Author, No Date
- Catholic Charities USA: Working to Reduce Poverty in America, No Author, No Date
- Sarah's Place: Empowering All, Especially Women!
- Habitat for Humanity: Habitat for Humanity International
- CoAbode: Single Mothers Housing Sharing
- HUD.Gov: Emergency Housing Grants
- Friends of the Unborn: Housing for Homeless Pregnant Women
- Mary Elizabeth Home: Home for Pregnant Women, Alternative to Abortion
Writing since 2008, Fiona Miller has taught English in Eastern Europe and also teaches kids in New York schools about the Holocaust. Her work can be found on Overstock.com, ConnectED and various other Web sites. Miller holds a B.A. in French from Chapman University and an M.A. in educational theater from New York University.