If you’re dealing with an unplanned pregnancy, you may be worried about managing the costs of being a single mom.
How will you pay for things like housing, utilities, food, child care and healthcare? The good news is there are many resources available for giving your child the quality of life he or she deserves.
Mosaic Pregnancy & Health Centers can refer you to a number of local agencies who offer assistance. To get you started, we’ve put together a summary of local resources for single moms, along with contact information to access the help you need.
If money is tight, there are several public sources of financial help for single mothers. Here are a few agencies you can turn to.
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) in Illinois. TANF provides cash assistance for non-medical expenses like food, shelter or utilities. It is issued once a month to your Illinois Link Card, which works like a debit card. With your Link Card, you can pay for necessities at authorized retailers. You may apply for benefits online or call 1-800-843-6154 with questions.
- Unemployment Insurance in Illinois. If you’re out of work, you may qualify for unemployment benefits for up to 26 weeks while you look for a new job. File a claim online or call 1-800-244-5631 for more information.
- Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) in Illinois. Ask about the EITC when you file your income taxes. If you qualify for a federal EITC, you will also qualify for a state EITC in Illinois. This gives you extra money to cover the cost of living for you and your child.
If you are struggling with debt from credit cards, student loans or other expenses, contact the companies that handle your debts. Ask about setting up an affordable payment plan that fits into your budget.
Finding a place to live is a big priority for you and your child. There are many places to go for temporary housing for single mothers, as well as agencies that can help you find a permanent home.
If you need a place to stay right away, contact the following organizations for temporary housing:
- Angel’s Cove, Mt. Vernon. 800‐458‐BABY
- Fontebella Maternity Shelter, O’Fallon. 613-258-8705
- Our Lady’s Inn, St. Louis. 314-351-4590
- Phoenix Crisis Center, Granite City. 451-1008
- Salvation Army, Granite City. 451-7957
- Salvation Army, Alton: 465-7764
- Missouri Baptist Children’s Home, Bridgeton. 314-739-6811
- The Sparrow’s Nest, O’Fallon, MO. 636-336-2534
- Safe Families for Children. 314-452-6547
If you’re looking for a permanent home for you and your family, these agencies can help you:
- Catholic Charities Housing Resource Center. 314‐241-5600
- Madison County Housing Authority, Collinsville. 345-5142 or 5144
- Illinois Department of Human Services, Granite City. 877-9200
- Terra Properties, Highland or Troy. 1-800-736-8669
- St. Clair County Housing Authority. 277-3290
Even if you have a place to live, you may still worry about the cost of utilities. How will you keep the lights on? Cook a hot meal? Stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter?
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps low-income Illinois residents with the cost of energy.
- You may qualify if your income falls below 150% of the federal poverty level.
- You may receive either a one-time payment per year or a monthly benefit to apply toward the cost of your energy bill.
- You can apply for LIHEAP by providing proof of income to your local Community Action Agency (CAA).
- Click on your county to find your closest CAA.
Healthy food is essential for your child’s growth and development. It’s also important for your own well-being! Fortunately, there are many ways to make sure you and your child have enough to eat.
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in Illinois. SNAP helps you buy food that meets minimum nutrition standards. Unlike TANF, you may only use SNAP benefits for food. To access SNAP, you’ll need to apply online for a Link Card. Eligibility is based on your income and household size.
- Women, Infants & Children (WIC) in Illinois. WIC serves low-income pregnant, breastfeeding or postpartum women and children up to 5 years of age. If you qualify, you’ll receive supplemental food, nutrition education and healthcare referrals. For Granite City WIC call 877-3433. For Belleville WIC, call 233-6175 then press 5.
- Summer Food Service Illinois. This program lets children receive nutritious meals during the summer when school is out. All children 18 and younger may have breakfast or lunch at any service location statewide. Text FOODIL to 877877 or call 800-359-2163 to find the Summer Food Service closest to you. You may also learn more online.
If you’re working or attending school, you’ll need someone to care for your child.
Some moms have relatives, friends or neighbors who are able to provide care. In other cases, you may need to find quality care through a church, community center or similar organization. You may also need help covering the cost of child care.
- Head Start and Early Head Start provide early education, health, nutrition and social services for parents and children under 5. Eligibility includes children whose parents receive TANF or Social Security benefits, children in foster care and those who are homeless.
- Early Head Start supports low-income pregnant women and children under 3. It helps you access prenatal and postpartum care, as well as child care and early education for your child.
- Head Start serves preschoolers between 3 and 5. The program supports parental engagement, and kids receive comprehensive early education to promote kindergarten readiness.
- You can find a local Head Start online by entering your city or Zip code. You may also call 866-763-6481 if you have questions.
- The Illinois Child Care Assistance Program helps you pay for child care on a sliding scale depending on your income. The State of Illinois has an online eligibility calculator to find out how much assistance you could receive.
Regular doctor visits and immunizations are an important part of a healthy childhood. Here are some resources to help you access healthcare services for you and your child.
- Illinois All Kids covers children under 18 whose parents’ income meets eligibility requirements. Depending on your income, you may pay a small monthly premium. You may also pay a small portion of the cost of prescription drugs. Learn more by visiting All Kids Online or by calling 866-255-5437. All Kids helps with the following healthcare services for your child:
- Doctor visits
- Hospital stays
- Prescription drugs
- Dental checkups
- Medical equipment, physical therapy and speech therapy
- Illinois Family Care can help you with the cost of your own healthcare. It covers parents of children under 18, and you may qualify if your income meets state eligibility guidelines. Coverage includes doctor visits, hospital care, emergency room care, prescription drugs and other medical services. Learn more by visiting Illinois Family Care online or by calling 866-255-5437.
In addition to these resources, Mosaic will refer you to qualified pediatricians to support your child’s healthy development, as well as local OB/GYNs for your own health needs.
If you need help with an unplanned pregnancy or resources for single mothers, contact Mosaic today. We are here to make sure you have everything you need to give your child a positive start in life!