The state of Colorado has a population of over 5.3 million with a poverty rate of 12%. The poverty rate for children is at 15%. Colorado also has an unemployment rate of 5%. There are over 600 00 people in Colorado living in a state of poverty. Many single parents, families and individuals struggle with basic expenses, and are in need of assistance. Fortunately, the state of Colorado has a variety of assistance programs available. This guide will list and explain all the assistance programs in Colorado.

Financial Assistance in Colorado

Many single parents and families struggle providing their family with everything they need to maintain a healthy lifestyle. If you are of low income there is some financial assistance available.

Colorado Works Program

The Colorado Works program provides cash relief to low income families to assist with bills and expenses. This program also assist parents with job training and helps adults find better employment.

To be eligible for this program you must be a legal resident of Colorado and  be of low income. You can apply online here. To learn more about the Colorado Works Program check out the Colorado Works webpage

Colorado Unemployment Insurance (UI)

Colorado UI provides financial relief payments to those who have lost their job through no fault of their own. The amount of money you will receive depends on the amounts made with your previous employer. You must be able and looking for work each week you are receiving benefits

To learn more about Colorado UI and to apply check out the Colorado UI website.

Food Assistance in Colorado

If you are struggling providing your family with adequate food there are some useful food assistance programs available to you.

Colorado Food Assistance Program

The Colorado Food Assistance Program provides low income families across the state with food benefits to ensure families have the food they need to stay healthy. The benefits are received on a card called the Colorado Quest card which had funds loaded onto the card. Simply swipe your card like a debit card when you are ready to check out with your groceries. The card is loaded with additional funds on a monthly basis.

To be eligible for this program you must be of low income, meeting the income requirements.  To learn more and to apply, visit the Colorado Food Assistance webpage.

Colorado Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)

The Colorado WIC program provides free nutritious food, nutrition education and even health care referrals to pregnant, postpartum, and breastfeeding women and their children up to age 5.

To be eligible the applicant must be deemed a nutritional risk by a health care provider. You must also be of low income, meeting the income requirements.

To apply for WIC you must contact the WIC office in your area of the state. You can use this Colorado WIC locator to find your nearest WIC office. To learn more about WIC, feel free to visit the Colorado WIC webpage.

Colorado School Breakfast and Lunch Program

The Colorado School Breakfast and Lunch Program offers free reduced prices on breakfasts’ and lunches for children while they are attending school. Your income decides whether or not the meals are free or reduced in price. If your family is enrolled under the Colorado Works Program, your child will automatically be eligible to receive benefits under this program.

To apply for this program you must contact the Colorado Education Department. To learn more about this program you can visit the Colorado School Nutrition website.

Colorado Food Banks

If you and your family are in desperate need of food, the state of Colorado does have several food banks available. The food banks offer free food to those in need. To find a food bank n your area of the state, check out this list of Colorado Food Banks.

Medical Assistance in Colorado

Medical costs are very high making it necessary for everyone to have a health insurance program. If you are of low income you can qualify for medical coverage under Medicaid.

Colorado Medicaid

The Colorado Medicaid Program provides free health care services to low income families across the state of Colorado. If you do not have any other health insurance coverage and are of low income you can be covered under Medicaid. This program covers the costs of a variety of health related expenses such as:

  • doctor’s visits
  • prescription drugs
  • lab tests and X-rays ordered by doctors
  • hospital care
  • eye care
  • vaccinations
  • treatments
  • dental care

Eligibility for Medicaid is based on specific income guidelines based on family size in relation to annual income. The income levels required for children , making it easier for children to qualify. Depending on your income you might have to pay for some of the services with co-pay. To learn more and to apply for Medicaid, check out the Colorado Medicaid webpage.

Colorado Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+)

The Colorado Child Health Plan Plus program is the health insurance program for children who do not qualify under Medicaid. The CHP+ program covers all the same services as Medicaid inducing vision and dental services. Depending on your income there can be monthly premiums  to be paid, however they are usually very low.

The income levels required under CHP+ are a lot lower then Medicaid, which makes it a lot easier to qualify under CHP+. To apply and to learn more about CHP+ check out the CHP+ website.

Child Care Assistance in Colorado

Child care costs are very expensive making it difficult for low income single parents and families to work full time because they have care for their child. There are some assistance programs available that helps with child care costs.

Colorado Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP)

The Colorado CCAP program offers child care assistance by paying a portion of your child care costs. A great feature about this program is you  are able to choose your own provider. To learn more about this program and to apply, you can visit the Colorado CCAP website.

Colorado Head Start Program

The Colorado Head Start Program offers child supervision and will engage young children from the ages of 0-5 in activities that allow them to enhance the social and behavioural skills in preparation for school.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. To learn more and to apply, visit the Colorado Head Start website.

Housing Assistance in Colorado

Housing and rental costs are difficult for low income single parents and families. If you are struggling with your rental costs there is some help available.

Colorado Low Income Housing Assistance Program

The Colorado Low Income Public Housing program offers reduced rent costs in housing that is owned by Public Housing Agencies. The housing you are placed in is usually apartments, however it can also be condos and single standing houses. The Housing Agencies receive funding that enable them to offer the safe and sanitary housing in greatly reduced rent costs.

To apply for this program you must contact the Housing Agency in your area. An appointment will be scheduled where your financial information will be discussed. You can use this Colorado Housing Agency Locator to contact the Agency nearest your location.

Colorado Housing Choice Voucher Program

The Colorado Housing Choice Voucher Program also offers reduced rent payments, however with this program you choose your own housing arrangements. It can be difficult locating a well priced apartment of high quality, so this program enables you to living in living arrangements that you otherwise could not afford to live in. 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.

This program also requires you to contact the Housing Agency nearest your location.To apply an appointment must be made to discuss your income etc. You can use this list of Colorado Housing Agencies to contact the Housing Agency in your location of the state.

Colorado Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

The Colorado LIHEAP program is designed to assist low income residents of Colorado with their energy bills, primary with your heating and cooling bills. If you are of low income you could qualify to have a good portion of your energy bills paid for you. Colorado has cool winters and hot summers making energy bills difficult to mange for low income families, so this program can be very helpful to those in need.

To apply for this program you must of be of low income, meeting the income requirements. To learn more and to apply, check out the Colorado LIHEAP webpage.

Colorado Energy Office Weatherization Assistance Program (CEOWX)

The Colorado CEOWX program aims to make homes more energy efficient, which will result in lower heating and cooling bills. This program will also offer home energy upgrades such as repairing or replacing furnaces and AC units.

To qualify you must meet the low income requirements and have children living in your household, unless you are over the age of 60. To learn more about this program, check out the Colorado Weatherization Assistance webpage.

Colorado First Time Home Buyer Programs

The state of Colorado offers a variety of programs geared towards those looking to purchase their first home. The programs offer down payment assistance, closing cost assistance, and help with finding low interest rate mortgages. To see a list of all the home buyers programs available, check out this Colorado Home Assistance Resource.

Colorado Coalition for the Homeless

This program offers assistance for those on the verge of eviction or foreclosure, as well as those who are already homeless. This program will help families avoid eviction, move families to safer homes and even provide medical and mental health care. This program assists over 18 000 patients each year. To learn more about this program check out the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless website.

Transportation Assistance in Colorado

Colorado Non Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT)

The state of Colorado NEMT program offers free transportation for medical trips. The transportation will drive you to any of your doctors appointments, tests and treatments you might have. These programs are available free of charge to those who are currently enrolled under Medicaid or the CHP+ plus program. To learn how to schedule the transportation and more, visit the Colorado NEMT webpage.

Uber/Lyft

There are two driving services that work like a taxi service, however ordinary people drive you where you need to go in their own vehicles. The prices are a lot cheaper than taking a cab, saving you good money over time. There are Uber and Lyft drivers available throughout the state of Colorado. Check out uber.com and lyft.com to learn more.

Legal Assistance in Colorado

Legal costs and advice is usually very expensive making it hard for the low income get the legal assistance they need. If you are of low income you can receive free/discounted legal advice.

Colorado Legal Services Organization

The Colorado Legal Services Organization features several different areas of legal advice someone might need. It has a large database of where to find legal advice based on your current situation. Many of the legal services provided helps with issues that include domestic violence, immigration issues, employment issues, evictions, family law and more. To find legal assistance for your needs, check out the Colorado Legal Services Organization website.

The state of Colorado offers a wide variety of assistance programs that will improve the qualify of life for the under privileged citizens of Colorado. If you are of low income you will qualify for a program that will help you get through tough times.

Links and Resources

Colorado Benefits Page

Colorado Housing and Rental Assistance

Colorado.Gov

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