Local and federal government is needed for many purposes. Not the least of those is financial help for single mothers who typically work at least one job while taking care of the kids and the house, and usually with little or no help from the father, departed or divorced, disabled or dead.
A first stop for help for single mothers should be the federal Dept. of Health and Human Services’ food stamp program. Food stamp applications and approvals been on the rise lately and with good reason. HHS also offers information on achieving or improving housing, or arranging to pay lower rent as a result of the renter’s low income.
State help is the next step, where many states offer some kind of “families first” program to aid with food, childcare and health related costs, eventually to be reimbursed whenever possible by the husband or father if still living.
Now down to the county level. Every county has some sort of department which administers child support help for single mothers. The county is often willing to help locate an ex-husband and, when appropriately based on a judge’s order, obtain a wage garnishee. It can even help underwrite DNA testing to prove paternity. One specific area of help for single mothers that should not go unexplored is paying your energy bills, to cool your house in summer and heat it in the winter. Both public funds and private donations may be available here; contact your electric company and also your local government offices.
Most local of all is the help for single mothers offered by your kids’ public school system. On the most basic level is the school’s free or discount lunch program, but your school’s counselors and administration will want to help you research your options for assistance and can in some cases offer some financial help for single mothers themselves.