Finding affordable housing as a single mom seeking to further your education can be quite a challenge. The program I’m going to tell you about has not spread across the country yet, but it is a unique and wonderful opportunity for single mom students in Omaha, Nebraska. The “Mothers Living and Learning Community” at the College of Saint Mary is a residential option for single moms with as many as two children under ten years of age.
In this program 35 women and their children live in a dorm that is similar to traditional dormitories, but each floor has a playroom and areas for the moms to study. The goal of this sort of family housing plan is to give single moms a traditional college experience and assist them with learning to be the head of a household and live independently after graduation.
Everything I’ve read about the program at My College Guide blog (http://mycollegeguide.org) and the College of Saint Mary website (http://csm.edu) seems to advocate a wonderful program for enriching the college life of single moms and their children.
The Mothers Living and Learning Community contains:
- Community area with computer lab
- 4 community bathrooms including bathtubs
- 2 playrooms
- 4 community kitchens
- 2 laundry rooms
Mothers and children are protected and safe with 24-hour security, keys to individual rooms. Codes for community room doors and access cards for the elevator. What better way to go about getting your education than in a great place that allows you and your children to interact with other families while still maintaining your own home area? If only more colleges would get involved in this sort of program getting a degree would be much easier on single moms!
Be sure to visit the two websites above to learn more about this great program and if you think you would like to look into it for your education there is contact information at the bottom of the CSM website page.
If it’s not feasible for you to move to Omaha, consider checking your local colleges to see if they have any sort of single mom family housing resources.
You are a single mom who is going to school, more than likely you also work so how are you supposed to not only keep up with your classes and take care of your kids, but still work enough hours to afford to pay your rent? It is a challenge, but it’s one that you can meet. After all you’ve already tackled the biggest challenge; you enrolled in school to further your education. Once you leap that hurdle all the little things tend to be easier to deal with, after all you’re becoming a master juggler.
- There are several ways you can find a little relief when it comes to housing costs. Sure there are programs and assistance from the state, but when you really want to feel like you are doing it yourself you still have options. Of course this means that you will have to be creative and open minded in order to find a solution to your rent problem.
- Look for an apartment or house that is designed for low income single parents. These sorts of homes approve tenants who make less than a certain threshold of income and the prices are adjusted to fit within that income level. Many times these are not government programs and don’t require assistance they are simply homes that are owned by a company who chooses to have affordable housing for lower income families.
- Talk to your landlord about working out a deal on the rent such as painting or landscaping the yard for a reduction in the rent each month. This will enable your landlord to see a rising property value and you to save money along the way. Any improvements to the property that you can handle are negotiating points.
- Consider a roommate! If you have an extra bedroom why fill it with toys when you could be collecting a portion of your rent money to let someone live with you. If you have a lot of room, another single mom could be the ideal boarder; and you would be helping her as well. If that isn’t the case another student might make a good roommate.
Don’t get frustrated and discouraged when you find that you can’t seem to make enough money while going to school to pay the rent, just start thinking outside the box and come up with a creative way to solve your rent problems.
Single moms who are furthering their education often find themselves worrying about how to afford housing for their family while they are in school. Full time students especially may not be able to work enough hours on the job to pay their bills. Luckily, there are grants and financial aid programs to help single mothers cover all the bases while they are earning their degree.
Many of these grants are offered through the government and private organizations to assist single moms with everything from groceries and utilities to their family housing costs. It takes a lot of patience to sift through all the available resources to find the ones that offer grant money to single moms for family housing.
There are certain grants and funding opportunities that you will want to avoid. These are basically scams and can easily part you from your hard earned money. You certainly don’t want to get suckered into a “guarantee grant” or any grant that asks you to pay money to apply and qualify for the grant. Check with your local better business bureau or college to find out whether an opportunity is legitimate before you put in the time and effort to apply. We all know what a letdown it is to count on something and find out that it was not a real opportunity.
Don’t become deterred by the fact that many grants that cover family housing aren’t specifically designed to benefit single mothers. Like I said you have to take the time to sift through every type of grant that you come across to find if it will provide what you need. Look for low income grants, as well as single parent or single mother grants.
Some programs you may want to check into are:
Don’t let the worries of not being able to afford family housing stop you from pursuing your education – there are many ways to find money for expenses while you are in school, many of them you don’t even have to re-pay. Get your education, as it will only serve to better the lives of both you and your children.