12 Community Programs for Single Parents
Are you discouraged by the lack of for single parents, or by being told that you simply don't qualify for ? In most communities, there are a lot of alternative programs for single parents, but they are not necessarily easily to find. Here are 12 community programs to scout out in your local area:
Single Parent Support Groups
Do an online search or check the community section of your local newspaper to find meet in your area. Most groups offer a combination of support and family-based . If you have trouble finding one, , because we all know you're not the only one in your community.
Other Types of Parenting Groups
Mommy and Me (or Daddy and Me) Classes
Does your local YMCA, health club or library offer classes for parents and children? Some places offer scholarships or sliding-scale payment options. Types of "" classes include exercise, yoga, music, cooking and more.
"Mom's Day Out"
Churches and other community organizations often offer Mom's Day Out. Some are simply free babysitting services, while others include free automotive services (like tire rotations and oil changes), in addition to spa and beauty services. If you hear about one in your area, be sure to take advantage of it.
Parent Education Classes
Most communities offer some type of parent education program, whether through the local schools or a community education association. Inquire about babysitting and scholarships, too. Whether you're taking a parenting class or pursuing a hobby or passion, community classes are also a great opportunity to as a single parent.
Most food banks require referrals through programs like . However, some smaller food banks are more flexible. Try calling churches in your area, or your local town hall, for and food pantries near you.
Get to know the owner of your local thrift store or consignment shop. Not only will you find money-saving deals, but he or she is a also a valuable source of information and may be able to point you toward other community programs for single parents.
The community board at your local coffee shop can also provide valuable information. In fact, for many small community programs that can't afford traditional advertising, community boards are a main communication channel for getting the word out to parents in need.
Many states offer assistance through 2-1-1, which operates much like 9-1-1 but provides free referrals to local social service agencies, groups and organizations. Simply from any phone and tell the operator what kind of help you're looking for.
Places of Worship
Contact churches and other faith-based organizations in your area, and ask them whether they have . Some facilities offer classes like DivorceCare, Love and Logic and Financial Peace University, as well as back-to-school backpack drives and holiday toy charities.
Finally, contact your local town, county and state officials for assistance. The more they know about the challenges single parents face, the more willing they'll be to support new initiatives that benefit single-parent families and the community at large.
Video: Special Government Programs For Single Moms with the Wallet Doctor.
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