Help for Single Mothers in California

Last Updated on January 4, 2024 by Meghan

California, often referred to as the Golden State, is not just a land of breathtaking landscapes and a hub of innovation and culture; it also stands out for its comprehensive support system for single mothers. The state recognizes the unique challenges faced by single mothers and offers a variety of programs aimed at providing assistance in essential areas like healthcare, nutrition, housing, and education. These initiatives reflect California’s commitment to ensuring that single mothers have the resources and opportunities they need to thrive.

Here are some of the key programs and grants available to single mothers in California:

  • MyHome Assistance Program: Aimed at first-time homebuyers, this program offers a deferred-payment second mortgage to assist with down payment and closing costs. It’s a part of the California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA) and provides different levels of assistance depending on the type of loan. Income limits vary by county. Further details can be found on the CalHFA website
  • CalWORKs Homeless Assistance: Part of the CalWORKs program, this initiative provides emergency shelter and assistance with security deposits and rent for families experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless. The program is available to current CalWORKs recipients or applicants. More information is available at your local county welfare office
  • Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) in California: LIHEAP assists eligible families with their home heating and cooling bills. Payments are made directly to utility companies on behalf of the household. Eligibility is based on household size and income, which must not exceed 60% of the California State Median Income. Details about applying can be found through the California Department of Community Services and Development
  • Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP): WAP provides services to make homes more energy-efficient. This can include installing carbon monoxide detectors, removing mold, or replacing inefficient heating units, which helps families lower their energy bills. Eligibility is based on household income and residency status.
  • California’s Universal Meals Program: This program offers free breakfast and lunch to all schoolchildren in California, regardless of income. It builds upon the federal School Breakfast Program (SBP) and the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) to prevent malnutrition and food insecurity​
  • California Medi-Cal: California’s version of Medicaid, Medi-Cal, provides medical services for children and adults with low income. It covers a wide range of individuals including pregnant women, children, and non-elderly adults up to certain income levels. Plan options vary by county and include commercial plans like Anthem Blue Cross and Kaiser Permanente. Application can be made through Covered California
  • California Healthy Families Program: This program offers low-cost insurance for children and teens in California, providing health, dental, and vision coverage. While new enrollments are directed towards Medi-Cal, it continues to offer coverage for those already enrolled.
  • Medi-Cal Access Program (MCAP): MCAP offers low-cost health insurance for uninsured, middle-income pregnant women who aren’t eligible for no-cost Medi-Cal. The program provides comprehensive coverage with no copayments or deductibles. Babies are automatically covered for up to two years. Application for MCAP is available through Covered California
  • Medi-Cal Dental Program: Also known as Denti-Cal, this program provides dental services for adults and children under Medi-Cal. It covers a variety of services including diagnostic, preventive, and emergency services for pain control. For more information, contact the Medi-Cal dental helpline at (800) 423-0507​
  • Cal-Learn: This program is mandatory for pregnant and parenting teens under 19 years of age receiving CalWORKs. It supports these teens to attend and graduate from high school or its equivalent. It provides assistance for child care, transportation, and educational expenses. Rewards for academic performance are also part of the program. Cal-Learn services can be applied for at a county social services agency office​
  • California Special Program for Women, Infants & Children (WIC): California WIC assists families with special checks for purchasing healthy supplemental foods, nutrition education, and referrals to healthcare and community services. Eligibility is based on residency and income guidelines, and the program is open to pregnant women, new mothers, infants, or children under five at nutritional risk. For application details, visit the WIC mobile websiteCalifornia Mortgage Relief Program: This program is designed to assist households that have faced financial hardship due to COVID-19. It offers up to $80,000 in mortgage relief to eligible families. The program is applicable for those who own and live in a single-family home, condo, or a permanently affixed manufactured home in California. For more information, you can visit the California Mortgage Relief website

These programs demonstrate California’s holistic approach to supporting single mothers, covering a wide range of needs from housing and healthcare to child nutrition and education. By tapping into these resources, single mothers in California can find crucial support as they navigate the challenges of parenthood and personal development.

For more detailed information about these programs, you can visit the official websites of the California Department of Social Services, CalHFA, and California’s LIHEAP​.​

Directory of single mother grants in California

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