The state of Michigan has a population of just under 10 million with a poverty rate of 16.2%, which is one of the highest in the United States. The poverty rate in children is even higher at 22.5%. This means that over 1.5 million people in the state of Michigan are living in poverty struggling to pay bills and provide for their families. Fortunately, there are numerous assistance programs available in Michigan. This guide will list and explain all the assistance programs available.

Financial Assistance in Michigan

Michigan Family Independence Program (FIP)

This program provides temporary cash assistance to low income single parents and families throughout the state of Michigan. The cash assistance is to be used on various bills and expenses such as rent, utilities, food and more. This program also helps adults prepare for and find jobs to increase their income.

In order to be eligible for this program you must be a legal resident of Michigan, having a child/children under the age of 19 living in your household, and be of low income, meeting the income requirements. To learn more about this program and to apply check out the Michigan FIP webpage.

Michigan Unemployment Insurance

This program provides financial relief to those who have lost their job through no fault of their own. You will receive weekly or biweekly payments based on the amount you made with your most previous employer. You must actively looking for work each week you receive the cash benefits.

To be eligible for this program you must be a legal resident of Michigan, and have worked in Michigan within the last 12-18 months of applying. For more information and to apply check out the Michigan UI website.

Food Assistance in Michigan

Many single parents and families struggle to put the proper amount of food on the table for their families. Fortunately there are some good food assistance programs available for the low income.

Michigan Food Assistance Program (FAP)

The Michigan FAP program provides food benefits to the low income single parents, families, and individuals across the state of Michigan. The benefits are administered onto a card the recipient receives called the Michigan Bridge Card. The card is used at the checkout, when you are ready to pay for your groceries.

To be eligible for this program, you must meet the low income requirements. To learn more and to apply check out the Michigan FAP webpage.

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

This program program provides numerous nutritious foods, nutrition advice, and also includes health care advice for pregnant, postpartum women, and their children up to age 5. In order to be eligible for this program you must be considered of low income, and also be considered at a nutritional risk by a health care provider. In order to be eligible for this program you must meet the low income guidelines. In order to apply for this program you must contact the WIC office nearest you. To learn more about the WIC program check out the Michigan WIC webpage.

Michigan School Breakfast and Lunch Program

The Michigan School Breakfast and lunch program provides children of low income families free or low cost breakfasts’ and lunches while they are at school.  In order to be eligible for this program you must be of low income, meeting the income requirements. If you are receiving SNAP benefits your child will automatically be eligible for this program.

To apply for this program you must contact the school that your child/children attends directly. Use this Michigan School Locator to find you child’ school.

Michigan Summer Food Service

This program provides free meals to the children of low income families aged 18 and under during the summer months when they might not have the same access to food that they would have while they are in school. In order to be eligible for this program you must be of low income, meeting the income requirements. It is important to note that if you are receiving TANF, Food assistance, or if you children is enrolled in the School Breakfast and Lunch Program, then your child will automatically be enrolled in the Michigan Summer Food Service program as well. Check out the Michigan webpage of school food services to learn more.

Medical Assistance in Michigan

Health care costs are through the rough make any health care difficult for those who don’t have a health plan. If you are low income you will more then likely qualify for one of the following plans:

Michigan Medicaid Health Care Program

This program provides free or low cost health services to those who have no medical insurance, or inadequate medical insurance. This program covers the costs of a wide variety of health related costs and expenses such as:

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

Depending on your family’s specific income situation, not all services will necessarily be covered, or some services might require co-pay. Eligibility for Medicaid is based on your income levels in relation to your age, and the age groups of people in your household. For more information on Medicaid and how to apply check out the Michigan Medicaid webpage.

MICHILD -Michigan Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

The Michigan  MICHILD CHIP program provides free or very low cost health care services to children who would otherwise not qualify under the normal Medicaid income eligibility guidelines. It is a lot easier to qualify for this program as the income limits are a low lower, allowing most children to qualify under this program. It provides all the same services as Medicaid and includes mental health coverage. Check out the Michigan MICHILD to learn more.

Housing Assistance in Michigan

The state of Michigan offers rental assistance and general housing assistance to the low income  single parents and families in the state.

Michigan Low Income Housing Assistance Program

This program will allow residents across the state of Michigan to receive reduced rent payments in dwellings owned by the local Public Housing Agencies in your area of the state, usually you will be living in an apartment, however it can also be single standing houses or condos. The State of Michigan 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.

To begin the application process, you must go through your local Housing Agency. This list of Michigan Public Housing Agencies provides an in depth list of all the Housing Agencies located across Michigan. 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.

Michigan Housing Choice Voucher Program

This program is somewhat similar to the Low Income Housing Program as the Housing Agencies assist in the entire process. This program also provides rental assistance to low income single parents and families by providing families with ‘vouchers’ that will allow them to only have to pay a portion of their rent costs. With this program you are allowed to choose your own living place to use the reduced rent vouchers. This program provides direct payments to your landlord, which pays a good portion of your rent payment with you paying the remaining portion of the rent, sort of like copay. Most of the time you will only have to pay 30% to 40% of your total rent payment.

To apply you must contact the Local Housing Agency nearest you to set up an appointment and get started.

Michigan Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

The Michigan LIHEAP program provides financial assistance to Michigan residents by covering a portion of their energy bills, primarily helping with heating and cooling bills. To apply for this program you must be a legal resident of Michigan and be considered low income, meeting the income requirements. To apply for this program you must contact your local county office with can be found using this locator.

Michigan Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)

The Michigan WAP program provides free home energy conservation services to make your home more energy efficient which results in low energy bills, saving you money. Thing such as air leakage, insulation, and testing of your furnace and AC unit or performed free of charge. In order to be eligible for this program you must be of very low income, meeting the income requirements. To learn more and to apply check out the Michigan Weatherization web site.

Michigan First Time Home Buyers Program

The state of Michigan has a variety of First Time Home Buyer Programs that offer down payment assistance, closing cost assistance, as well as assisting in finding the cheapest interests rates. Check out this great Michigan Home Buyer Programs resource for a look at all the programs in Michigan.

Michigan Homeless and Eviction Prevention Program

This program provides assistance to those in danger of becoming homeless, or in danger of eviction. Depending on your situation you can receive financial assistance to help you stay in your current home. This program will also help locate safe and sanitary, yet cheaper living arrangements for you. Check out the Homeless Eviction and Prevention Website to learn more and to apply.

Child Care Assistance In Michigan

Child care costs can be very expensive placing a financial burden on parents across the state. Fortunately there are a few useful programs that provide child care assistance.

Michigan Child Development and Care Programs (CDC)

This useful program provides child care payment assistance to low income families across Michigan. To be eligible for this program you must be of low income, and either be employed, or attend school. Check out the Michigan Child Development and Care Program website to learn more.

Michigan Head Start Program

This program provides child care services in a learning environment for children ages 0-5 to help enhance their emotional, cognitive, and social development. This program is only available to low income families. To be eligible for this program you must be of low income, meeting the income requirements. There are over 90 Head Start programs located across the state of Michigan. Check out the Michigan Head Start website to learn more.

Transportation Assistance In Michigan

Getting around when you don’t own a vehicle can be difficult, especially with expensive cab fares, however there are a few other options available.

Medical Transportation Services

If you need any rides to medical treatments, appointments, or anything medical related you can receive free rides if you are a Medicaid member, or a member of the Healthy Michigan Plan. Check out this medical transportation resource to learn more.


Taxis fares can be quit expensive across the state. A cheaper alternative to finding transportation can be found by using Uber or Lyft. These driving services will take you where you need to go, as ordinary people will pick you up and take you to your designation in their own vehicle, thus allowing for cheaper fares which save you a good amount of money.

Legal Assistance in Michigan

Legal advice and assistance can be very expensive making it difficult for many to get the legal help they really need. Fortunately there are some discounted and free legal services for the low income people of Michigan.

Michigan Law Help Organization

The Michigan Law Help Organization provides legal assistance to the low income people of Michigan. The organization has a large database of discounted or free legal services available throughout the state in a variety of subjects. Most of the legal services provided helps with issues such as, domestic violence, immigration issues, employment issues, evictions, family law and much more. To qualify for most of these services you have to be of low income, however some of the services are available to everyone. Check out the Michigan Law Help Organization webpage to learn more.

As seen in this guide, there are many different assistance programs available to Michigan residents for many difficult situations you might find yourself in. If you are struggling financially, remember there is most likely some sort of assistance program that will help you get through difficult times, refer to this guide as often as you need to see what help can be available to you.

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