Last Updated on June 6, 2023 by Anne-Sophie Reinhardt
A study by the Heartland Alliance found that millions of Illinoisans are either living in poverty or on the verge of it. Nearly one-third of Illinoisans live in poverty or have low income. Illinois’ poverty rate is higher than it was before the recession, which means Illinois has a worse recovery than the average state. The Chicago suburbs continue to be a place of poverty, and it has been for the past several decades. Women’s rates of poverty are 20 percent higher than those of men, making the situation even worse for single mothers who, in many cases, must deal with this alone, along with their children. Single mothers in Illinois can take advantage of several programs designed to help them as well as low-income residents. You will find the list and instructions on how to apply for them below:
Homeless Prevention Program
Homeless Prevention Program offers rental and utility assistance and supportive services that are directly related to preventing homelessness for eligible individuals and their families in danger of foreclosure, eviction, or homelessness, or who are already homeless. The program aims to stabilize families and individuals in their current homes, reduce the time they spend in shelters and help them find affordable housing.
Continuums of Care provide services to prevent homelessness. The network is made up of local governments, non-profit organizations, and community groups that provide services to the whole state.
Unemployment insurance, a program run by the state, aims to replace some of your lost wages if you’re out of work. It is insurance for emergencies, such as when you’re temporarily or permanently unemployed, or you can’t work full-time due to lack of work.
If you meet the legal requirements, the program will provide you with some income during your job search, up to 26 weeks maximum in one year, depending on the date of claim. The unemployment insurance program does not cover wage loss if you’re unable to work because of illness or if you choose to be idle.
Child Care Assistance Program
Together, the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) Child Care Assistance Program and your local Child Care Resource and Referral agency (CCR&R), work to help families get the resources and information they need to select and find the best child care.
Illinois Summer Food Service
Summer Food Service Programs (SFSP) aim to provide nutritious meals for children living in low-income neighborhoods during the months of July and August when schools are out.
You do not need to fill out an application to get a free meal, and you don’t have to provide proof of your income. They do not ask questions for kids and teens under 18 years old who can simply show up at a summer meal location for a free lunch or breakfast.
To find a Summer Meals Site near you, call (800) 359-2163, or text FOODIL to 877877. If you are in need of emergency or supplemental food, please also visit Feeding Illinois’ website.
Illinois Monetary Award Program (MAP) Grant
Obtain the Illinois MAP Grant from the Illinois Student Assistance Commission by Illinois residents attending approved Illinois colleges who demonstrate financial need based on information on the FAFSA.
The amount of the maximum award you can receive may change each academic year. You can estimate your MAP award using the MAP estimator. There is a limited number of MAP grants available, unlike the Federal Pell Grant. Students are therefore encouraged to submit the FAFSA application as soon as possible following October 1.
Bottom Line: Help For Single Mothers In Illinois
There is a big variety to choose from when it comes to asking for assistance. The federal government and nonprofits work hard to support the community they are in, the best that they can. To learn more about other assistance offered to help single mothers in the state of Illinois, visit these articles: