There are many legitimate programs out there offering help for single moms - whether you need financial assistance, child care services, medical care, legal help, or any other form of assistance. But there are a lot of scams that prey on single moms, too. For example, the internet is saturated with ads offering "Grants for Single Mothers," but many of them are phoney companies that charge fees before allowing single moms to access their "services." And, unfortunately, these scams draw attention away from legitimate programs offering help for single moms. But how can you tell the difference?
Finding Legitimate Help for Single Moms
In general, you can usually recognize legitimate programs by the way they operate. For example, legitimate programs:
- Offer their services free of charge or use a sliding pay scale
- Have a web site and a phone number
- Respond to phone messages and e-mails
- Are linked to from other legitimate organizations. (To find out, type the word links followed by a colon and the website address into your favorite search engine. The resulting links are the pages that link to the web site you are investigating.)
- Are willing to provide you with references from other clients who've benefited from their services
When looking specifically for help for single moms, calling 211 is good place to start. 211's referral specialists can put you in touch with legitimate organizations in your area.
More About 211 Services
211 is similar to 911, except that they put callers in touch with organizations throughout the state, instead of emergency personnel. Like 911, 211 is a free phone call. Associates at 211 can help you access many different types of services in your area, including:
- Child and family services - Do you need help finding affordable child care, summer camps, recreation programs, parent education classes, mentoring, or tutoring? Referral specialists at 211 can help.
- Human services - Are you worried about being evicted? Having your electric or water shut off? Do you need food, clothing, or shelter? 211 will put you in touch with food banks, soup kitchens, shelters, and more - right in your own area.
- Health services - Do you or your children need medical insurance, mental health services, help understanding Medicare or Medicaid, or crisis services? Do you want to quit smoking or overcome addictions or alcoholism? 211's referral specialists will help connect you with the right resources.
- Career help - Do you need help finding a job, learning a new skill, or securing transportation to or from work? 211 can help.
These are just a few of the services 211 can put you in touch with. It's important to note, though, that not all legitimate organizations will be associated with your state's 211. For example, some small food pantries that operate only once or twice a month may not be included.
Learn More About Your State's 211
To access your local 211 services program, click on the name of your state below.Arizona
Outside the U.S.