The state Hawaii has a population of 1.42 million and a poverty rate of 11%. Hawaii has a high cost of living making it difficult for low income single parents and families to provide everything needed for their families. Hawaii has seen their poverty rate drop over the past few years thanks to the variety of assistance programs available. This guide will list and explain the assistance programs available in Hawaii.
Financial Assistance in Hawaii
Hawaii Financial Assistance
This program provides financial assistance to low income single parents and families in Hawaii. This program also assists with job preparation, as well as work and support services to assist adults in finding better employment.
In order to be eligible for this program you must be a resident of Hawaii, be of low income, and having a child aged 19 or under living in their household. To apply for this program and to learn more check out the Hawaii Financial Assistance page or call 1-855-643-1643.
Hawaii Unemployment Insurance
This program provides temporary financial relief to those who have lost their job through no fault of their own. To be eligible for this program you must be a legal resident of Hawaii and have worked in Hawaii in the past 12-18 months. You will receive a payment weekly or bi-weekly and the payment is based on the amount you made per week with your previous employer.
To learn more about this program and to apply online please click here.
Food Assistance in Hawaii
Hawaii Supplental Nutrition Assistance Program
The Hawaii SNAP program provides low income single parents, families, and individuals with their food expenses on a monthly basis. The benefits are received through an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. These cards are swiped at the point of sale when paying for the groceries, and are reloaded with more funds on a monthly basis.
To be eligible for this program you must be a resident of Hawaii and meet the income requirements. To see the income eligibility requirements and to learn more about program check out the Hawaii SNAP page.
Hawaii Special Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
The Hawaii WIC program provides nutrition assistance, nutrition education, as well as health care and social service referrals to pregnant, postpartum, and their children up to age 5. In order to be eligible for this program you must be considered low income, and be deemed at a nutritional risk by a health care provider.
To be eligible you must meet the income guidelines are done in accordance with the amount of people living in your household. To take a look at the full income guidelines, and to apply please check out the Hawaii WIC page.
Hawaii School Breakfast and Lunch Program
The Hawaii School breakfast and Lunch Program provides schools with nutritious foods to allow them to serve free breakfasts’ and lunches to children who live in low income households. If you qualify your child will receive free or low cost breakfasts’ and lunches at their school
In order to be eligible for this program, you must be a resident of Hawaii and meet the income requirements. The income guidelines for this program are based on your income in relation to the number of people living in your household. To apply for this program you must contact the school your child attends, you can use this list of Hawaii schools to find your child’s school. To take a look at the income guidelines please click here. To learn more about this program check out the Hawaii School Programs webpage.
Hawaii Summer Food Service Program
The Hawaii Summer Food Service Program offers free or lost cost meals to Hawaii children during the summer months when there is no school. In order to be eligible for this program the family has to be of low income. If your child qualifies for the School Breakfast and Lunch Program they will also qualify for this program. The income requirements are also the same as the School Breakfast and Lunch Program. To learn more and to see the income guidelines check out the Hawaii Summer Food Service webpage.
Hawaii Food Banks
If you are really having a tough time affording food for you and your family, the state of Hawaii has multiple food banks available. These food banks are non profit organizations that receive funding and grants to supply and offer free food to the needy. Check out this link for a look at all the food banks in Hawaii.
Medical Assistance in Hawaii
It can be very difficult for low income single parents, families and individuals to afford the necessary health care needed. Fortunately Hawaii offers a good Medicaid program.
Hawaii Med-QUEST is the name for Hawaii’s medicaid program.There are two versions which go hand in hand being Quest, and Medicaid Fee-For-Service. Basically, if you are aged 65 or over, or disabled, the health services are provided under the Medicaid Fee-For-Service program, for all other individuals the health care is provided by Hawaii QUEST.
Under Quest medical care and mental health care are covered however dental care is not. Under Medicaid all services are covered such as:
- doctor’s visits
- prescription drugs
- lab tests and X-rays ordered by doctors
- hospital care
- eye care
- dental care
Depending on you and your family’s specific situation, not all services will necessarily be covered, or some services might require co-pay.It is a lot easier for children and pregnant women to qualify for medical assistance as the income guidelines are lower. To learn everything you need to know about Quest and Medicaid in Hawaii, and to apply, check out the Hawaii Medical Benefits page.
Hawaii and the Affordable Care Act
The state of Hawaii is one of the states that have adopted the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obama Care. The Affordable Care Act makes it easier for residents of Hawaii to qualify for Medicaid, as the income levels required to qualify are lower, especially for adults.
Child Care Assistance in Hawaii
Child care is very expensive making it difficult for single parents and families to afford child care, thus preventing them from working full time. Fortunately there are programs available.
Child Care Connection Hawaii (CCCH)
This programs helps low income families with child care costs through subsidies reducing the cost of child care for their parents. In order to be eligible for this program you must be of low income and currently have a job, or actively participating in job training. Check out the Hawaii CCCH page to learn more.
Hawaii Head Start Programs
The state of Hawaii offer Head Start Programs which promote and help the readiness of young children from the ages of 0-5 by enhancing their cognitive, social and emotional development. In order to be eligible for this program you must be of low income. To take a look at the income guidelines please click here. Check out this Hawaii Head Start Locator to find programs in your area of Hawaii.
Housing Assistance in Hawaii
Paying for rent and housing expenses such as bills can be expensive and very difficult for single parents and low income families. Fortunately Hawaii has a good amount of programs to offer assistance in these areas.
Hawaii Low Income Housing Program
This program will allow residents of Hawaii to receive reduced rent payments in dwellings owned by the local Public Housing Agencies in your area of the state, whether it be an apartment, single houses or condos. Basically, the State of Hawaii provides funding to local Public Housing Agencies (PHAs), these local housing agencies will then use these funds to provide the low income families or single parents safe and sanitary housing with rent payments that they can afford to pay. The eligibility for these programs is based on income limits set by the state of Hawaii.
To begin the application process, you must go through your local Housing Agency. This list of Hawaii Public Housing Agencies provides an in depth list of all the Housing Agencies located across Hawaii. Once you find the Housing Agency in your area, you can contact them to find out the specific income guidelines required, as well as any details or questions you might have about the program.
Hawaii Section 8 Housing Voucher Program
The Hawaii Section 8 program makes it easier for low income single parents and families to be able to afford their housing of choice on the housing market by reducing their rent costs. This program is somewhat similar to the Public Housing program except with this program you get to choose your apartment/home. It can be difficult locating a well priced apparent that is safe and sanitary, so this program enables you to afford high quality apartments. Once you have chosen your home, or if you already have a home you would like the rent assistance, the Housing Agencies provides a voucher to your landlord which covers a good portion of your rent payments. You will only pay a portion of your total rent payment, usually 30-40% of the total rent cost.
To be eligible for this program you must be consist low income and meet the income requirements. Similar to the Public Housing Program,, you must apply through your local Hawaii Housing Agencies to get started.
Affordable Apartment Search
It can be difficult to find for those of low income to find safe and sanitary apartments in Hawaii that are affordable. You can use this Hawaii affordable apartment locator to help you find affordable and sanitary apartments around Hawaii.
Hawaii Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
The Hawaii LIHEAP program will help cover the costs of utility bills (electric or gas) to low income resident of Hawaii. It is hot year round in Hawaii so the constant air conditioning can really cause some expensive energy bills.
Hawaii Weatherization Assistance Program
This program works similarly to the LIHEAP program however this program concentrates more on allowing your home more energy efficient, which results in lower energy bills. The program will help pay for any new air conditioning needed to reduce your energy bills. To be eligible for this program you must be of low income. Click here to take a look at the income guidelines. Also, check out the Hawaii Weatherization Program webpage.
Hawaii Down Payment Assistance Programs
The state of Hawaii offers programs that assist those looking to purchase their first home. These programs assist with down payments allowing you to qualify for a mortgage. Also some of the programs allow you to minimize your down payment to only 5% of the mortgage. Click here to take a look at the Home Buying Programs available in Hawaii.
Transportation Assistance in Hawaii
Free Medical Transportation
You can receive free transportation to any doctors appointments, tests, and medical treatments you might have. There are a variety of these programs available that operate through funding they receive from the state of Hawaii. This program is available to anyone receiving Medicaid, or Quest in Hawaii. Check out this link for Hawaii transportation services.
Uber and Lyft are driving services that work similar to a cab or taxi however the drivers pick you up in their own vehicles. These services are a lot cheaper then cabs which can lead to a good savings over time. Uber and Lyft are primarily available in Honolulu.
Legal Assistance in Hawaii
Hawaii Law Help Organization
This useful database features several different areas of legal advice and services you might need. It has a variety of information on how and where to find legal advice based on your issue. Many of the legal services provided helps with issues such as, domestic violence, immigration issues, employment issues, evictions, family law and more. Check out the Hawaii Law Help Organization webpage for more information.
Legal Aid – Hawaii
The Legal Aid Society in Hawaii provides free legal services to the low income and needy across the five major cities in the state. Check out the Hawaii Legal Aid webpage to find the legal services that are available to you.
The state of Hawaii has many thorough assistance programs designed for the low income and needy single parents, families and individuals throughout the state. If you feel you need assistance there is no harm in applying in as many programs as you feel you need.
Links and Resources
Find Local State Assistance Financial Help Programs for Single Mothers
Click on any one of the states below on the map (or via the table) to go to our local state assistance guide for that specific state