Four Crucial Resources for Single Parents During the Coronavirus

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| 9 min read Financial Assistance

The coronavirus crisis hasn’t been easy for anyone, but if you’re a single parent, this time is more challenging than ever. Navigating a volatile job market and learning how to homeschool your children are just a few of the hardships facing single parents during this unprecedented time. To help, we’ve put together a list of resources for single parents during the coronavirus—it includes everything from free online games for your kids to ways you can find financial help during coronavirus to pay your bills.  

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Ways for single parents to get help during the coronavirus

The coronavirus has been a challenging time for people all over the world. Thankfully, as things get harder, people are showing compassion and empathy toward others more than ever. Rest assured, if you’re a single parent and you need help, there are people and programs ready to help you. 

1. See if these government benefits apply to you

  • The CARES Act that was passed in response to COVID-19 has a few safety measures in place for single-parent families. According to NPR, individuals who earn less than $75,000 will receive a check for $1,200 plus $500 for every child in their home. To receive this stimulus check, it is required that you have submitted your 2018 or 2019 income taxes. Additionally, this act makes testing for COVID-19 free and requires private insurance companies to cover COVID-19 treatment.
  • If you are currently employed at a business that has fewer than 500 employees, under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) that was passed in mid-March you may be eligible for paid sick leave to take care of your child. You may also be eligible for tax credits, food assistance programs, and additional unemployment benefits. To find out more about how this new law applies to you directly, review the FFCRA Questions page put together by the Department of Labor.  
  • If you’re short on funds to buy groceries, see if you qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Eligibility requirements vary by state and depend on how many people live under one roof—use the state directory tool to choose your state and find out if you qualify. If you are not a US citizen, you may still be eligible for SNAP benefits. Read through their non-citizen policy to learn more. 
  • Temporary Aid for Needy Families (TANF) provides supplemental income to parents who are having trouble making ends meet. There are specific guidelines to receiving benefits—check the TANF website to see if you qualify. 
  • The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has a housing choice voucher program that is commonly referred to as, “Section 8 Housing.” If you are struggling to make rent payments or find affordable housing in your area, contact your local public housing agency to see if you are eligible for housing assistance. 

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2. Crowdfund to help cover any financial burdens you are facing

Crowdfunding is one of the quickest ways to get the financial help that you may need. Additionally, with government support systems and grants taking weeks or even months to pay out, crowdfunding can be an incredible alternative to find funding. So, what is crowdfunding exactly? It’s the act of reaching out to friends, family, and even strangers, to ask them for their support. With millions of people in need of support right now, you’re not alone in asking your social network for a little assistance. 

If you decide to start fundraising for coronavirus, be as honest and transparent as possible about how the coronavirus is affecting you as a single parent. Whether you’ve lost your job and you’re having trouble paying for groceries, or you need help buying school supplies to start homeschooling your child, your needs are worthy of other people’s help. If you want to check out some fundraisers before you get started, browse through these fundraisers for families affected by the coronavirus.

3. Find a relief fund that fits your need

If you’re a single parent who is having trouble making ends meet financially, there are many relief funds and grant programs that can help you. While most relief funds are set up to support small businesses and nonprofits, there are many that support individuals, as well. Depending on your specific need, there is certainly a relief fund to assist you.

  • If you’re having trouble paying your rent, take a look at the rent relief fund. Frederick Joseph is sending out grants of $200 to individuals who are going to be short on rent this month due to coronavirus related challenges.
  • America’s Food Fund was started by Leonardo DiCaprio and Laurene Powell Jobs to ensure that everyone has reliable access to food during the coronavirus pandemic. Funds will be distributed to World Central Kitchen, Feeding America, and similar organizations mitigating hunger and food shortages around the United States. To benefit from this relief fund, visit this link to find your local food bank supported by Feeding America. 
  • Candid.org has an easy to use search function where you can look for relief funds in your area. Do a quick search to see if any relief funds in your local community apply to your situation.  

4. Check out these free online options for entertainment during coronavirus

With kids out of school, many single parents are navigating the challenges of learning how to homeschool their children. We know it can be tough to pick up teaching, or to know exactly where to begin. To help out, we put together a few resources to make sure you have all the tools you need to keep your kids entertained while you and your family self-isolate. 

Bring the classroom to your living room with these resources

  • While schools are closed, Audible is offering free streaming for children’s stories to make sure children have access to educational resources or the opportunity to escape into a good book. 
  • Lakeshore Learning has a whole section dedicated to free resources such as lesson plans, worksheets, and craft ideas to encourage a learning environment at home during the coronavirus.
  • In light of COVID-19, Khan Academy is offering free educational resources for parents to encourage remote learning while schools are closed. 
  • The National Geographic Kids Science Lab offers some very interesting and fun science experiments for you and your family to try at home. 

Watch a wildlife cam 

  • The Monterey Bay Aquarium offers live cams that you can watch. A few options are available for viewing, but the penguin cam tends to be a big hit.
  • Explore.org offers a multitude of cams to choose from—everything from bald eagles to the Channel Islands kelp forest is available for free viewing. 
  • The San Diego Zoo might be closed, but the animals aren’t fazed. Pop into a live cam and watch some of your favorite animals relax. 

Play a game to keep boredom at bay

  • The free 3D gaming platform, Roblox has been a popular place for children to hang out during the coronavirus quarantine. Learn more about how Roblox keeps their platform safe and family friendly in their message to parents
  • If you have younger kids at home, PBS Kids offers all kinds of free games to choose from on their website. Your child will surely be entertained for a few hours working through all the different options PBS offers. 

Stay healthy and active with your child

  • FitOn is a completely free fitness app designed around at-home workouts. Grab your kids, pick a workout, and get started on some fun family fitness. 
  • Nike Training Club is offering their premium subscription for free while the coronavirus crisis is affecting the world. These workouts tend to be a bit more advanced, but you can always adapt any workout to the needs of you and your family.
  • Corepower Yoga is offering a free week of virtual yoga classes. This is a great option if you need a few minutes to decompress—or, if your kiddo is up for the challenge, have them join.

Fundraisers started for single parents during the COVID-19 crisis

Shasta started a fundraiser when she and her children all tested positive for COVID-19

The reality is that there will be many single parents with coronavirus in the coming months. Shasta started this fundraiser for herself and her two children, who all tested positive for COVID-19, as she is no longer able to work to cover everyday expenses. So far, she’s raised over $200 to help her family cover costs while they work on getting healthy again. 

People looking to help single moms during coronavirus have donated to Leslie’s fundraiser

Leslie Warner’s cleaning business slowed to a halt when the coronavirus outbreak hit. Her family’s only source of income completely disappeared. Leslie started a GoFundMe and has raised over $800 so she can continue putting food on the table for her two children.

A fundraiser was started for Ryan Loche’s children after he passed away due to coronavirus

When single father, Ryan Loche, passed away due to complications with coronavirus, a fundraiser was started to help financially support his children. If you’re debating whether or not to start a fundraiser, know that there are people looking to help single dads during coronavirus and families affected by COVID-19. 

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We’re stronger together: Reach out to your support system

Asking your community to help you through the coronavirus is easier than ever with free fundraising through GoFundMe. If you’re feeling unsure or overwhelmed, keep in mind that the whole world is going through change right now—people may show up to support you in surprising ways. When you’re ready to get started, create your fundraiser, tell your story, and share it with your network. Together, we’ll all help each other through the coronavirus crisis. 

Start a GoFundMe