How to get Free grants for felons and ex felons form government – Getting back to society from prison is a challenging task in itself. A lot of ex-prisoners struggle to get their jobs back after serving time in jail or prison or getting back to normal life. This makes it certainly difficult for the felons to start a new chapter in their lives easily. Fortunately, the federal government and nonprofit organizations have provisions for grants and assistance programs for ex-felons to help them to make ends meet.
This guide will uncover the secrets of grants designed by the government for felons and ex-felons and how they can assist you in terms of your needs. Grants by the federal, state, local government, and private organizations assist felons in opening a business, starting a nonprofit organization, pursuing a college education or fulfilling their housing and other basic needs.
How Can Felons And Ex Felons Find And Apply For Grant?
Felons and ex-felons with a criminal record can discover funding opportunities by doing in-depth online research and getting in touch with state and local government agencies, advocacy groups, financial advisors and nonprofit organizations. Offenders need to research thoroughly and be aware of the eligibility criteria before applying as few grants have particular deadlines and application procedures.
Depending on the location and the branch you’re applying there may be different limitations and how you can apply or use the fund. For instance, there can be limitations on how felons can use funds for their job training or education. Few programs enable them to pay for books, education, training etc. The eligibility criteria of the program have age, income, citizenship, household size, and household income restrictions.
What Are The Different Sources Of Grants For Felons And Ex Felons?
Felons and next felons can qualify for grants from different organizations and agencies throughout the United States of America. A lot of people believe that a felony record may prevent them from qualifying for grants and funding opportunities but this is not true. Following are the sources that you can avail to in times of your need.
The federal government is one of the largest providers of grants to low-income individuals including felons and ex-felons. Grants.gov is the gateway to federal government grants. Federal government programs aim to fund the ideas and to project and stimulate the economy. Federal grants are available to people with criminal records and felons.
Every state has its own eligibility criteria and application procedure for individuals including felons and ex-felons. These grants are available to felons and ex-felons just like the general public. In some cases felons may find it difficult to qualify for state grants due to their criminal record. You can contact your state department agency to explore the funding opportunities.
While the federal and state governments are the two primary sources of grants for felons and ex-felons, do not forget to explore options from local governments as well. Many towns, cities, and counties in the US reserve funding for felons and assists people with criminal records.
Many philanthropic foundations, nonprofits, community organizations, private individuals and corporations provide scholarships and financial assistance for needy people including felons and ex-felons.
A lot of online crowdfunding sites such as GoFundMe, and Kickstarter assist ex offenders to finance their businesses or bring new product ideas and fulfill their needs. GoFundMe is a popular personal financing site through which you can fund your needs. Crowdfunding websites welcome people coming from different walks of life and fund their campaigns.
What Are The Available Grants For Felons And Exclusions From Government?
Medical Assistance For Ex-felons
Medicaid is a federal and state-sponsored program that offers adequate healthcare coverage to low-income adults, disabled individuals, pregnant people, and older citizens. The state and federal governments work together to fund the program.
You can access the Medicaid Government Grants for Struggling Families as long as you can meet the regulatory requirements of the program. Few states have extended the federal Medicaid coverage to low-income adults including those with felony convictions and if your state has opted for the expansion then you can qualify for the coverage.
Individuals with felony convictions can get coverage from Medicaid health insurance if they are not presently incarcerated. You need to have income less than 138% of the federal poverty level.
The Affordable Care Act also known as Obamacare provides access to premium health insurance programs for uninsured people in the United States. An individual who is incarcerated can purchase a marketplace plan once released. Once released can use the marketplace to access health coverage.
The Affordable Care Act has extended Medicare coverage to all low income adults including individuals with felony convictions. You need to learn whether your state has opted for the Medicaid expansion to qualify for assistance. Those who are serving jail or prison receive coverage to the criminal justice system where they can purchase private health insurance or get coverage from government-sponsored programs after their release.
Income is an important eligibility criterion that will determine your health insurance option. Felons with limited income and resources after leaving prison can qualify for lower out-of -pocket costs or reduced monthly premiums on purchasing health insurance through the marketplace.
Housing Assistance For Ex Felons
The Department of Housing and Urban Development or HUD offers a wide array of Housing Assistance for Felons and extra loans and enables them to find safe and low-income housing.
Low-income housing projects are available throughout the United States of America where ex-felons who are going through a housing crisis can find an apartment. To take part in a public housing program you need to apply to your local public Housing Authority.
Public housing is different from that of the Section 8 housing choice voucher program and has its own set of waiting lists and eligibility requirements. You can check the official HUD website to learn more.
Counseling For Homeless Ex-felons
Ex-felons who are homeless can receive free therapy and counseling services from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Ex-felons can dial the toll-free number 800-569-4287 to meet a therapist from a nearby housing-counseling organization and find suitable ways of accommodation or grants.
National Low Income Housing Coalition
The National Low Income Housing Coalition is another organization that aims to help out the people with rental assistance. Felons can qualify for both rental assistance and emergency rental assistance. But when you are facing an eviction then they might be able to avoid it.
The rental assistance offers help to individuals as well as families. You need to contact city offices or local churches to get rental assistance. Local churches and city offices might be having rental assistance programs and might help you if you are struggling.
Food And Nutrition Assistance for Felons
Even though the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is not initiated primarily for felons and ex-felons, this program assists families and individuals belonging to the low-income category and helps to meet their nutritional food needs.
You can check the eligibility criteria for the program by visiting the official SNAP program. Programs may vary from state to state or city to city. Assistance with this program comes in the form of an electronic benefit card which works like a debit card and individuals can use the card to purchase food and groceries from participating markets or retail stores.
Education Assistance For Ex-Felons
The federal government is a major source of education assistance for felons. There are limited options for federal financial aid while incarcerated for felony eviction. Once you are released from prison the majority of the eligibility limitations will be lifted. To avail federal student aid you need to file FAFSA.
The federally funded Free Government Grants For Educations assists low-income students including ex-felons to cover their school-related fees and tuition costs is the Pell Grant program. The Pell grants enable ex-felons to attend higher educational institutions, learn skills, earn a college degree, and achieve self-sufficiency in their life.
Unlike student loans, federal Pell Grant is free monetary assistance which need not be repaid based on the financial need of the student. Filing FAFSA is important to receive assistance through this grant program.
The federal Pell Grant has existed for a long time and has assisted millions of people to fund their college or technical school education. Ex-felons can cover necessary expenditures on books, supplies, tuition, computers, and other needs.
The Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant provides assistance ranging between $100 to $4000 for felons and enables them to cover their college expenses. Educational assistance through this program is also available to incarcerated felons.
The priority is given to those who are Pell eligible. Felons will be eligible for financial aid from the federal government if they have been convicted of drug-related offenses or committed a sexual offense.
Child Care Assistance for Felons
It is found that the average cost of child care in the United States costs around $15,000 each year. It is only for a child to be cared for during the week. There are many felons who are unable to afford childcare as they do not have any work. Therefore a good part of the salary will be spent on childcare and things get more difficult for the felons. They are unable to meet their basic needs. But luckily there is child care assistance for felons that will make things better.
There are some states in the country that offer a program named “Pre-Kindergarten”. It is an educational child care program that is open to children that are from 3 to 5 years old. The states cover the expenses for the program. But it is important to meet the low income guidelines to get child care assistance. The state funds the child care assistance program, so it is important for you to research and check whether your state runs such programs.
The federal government shares all the information about child care assistance programs all over the United States. They provide you with a good tool that you can use to locate the child care assistance programs that are available in your states specially for the felons. The tool can also be used to find support for children with special needs.
CalWorks Child Care
The felons that are living in the state of California are open to the child care assistance program that is offered by CalWorks child care program. When you are receiving any cash assistance you will automatically qualify for this assistance. The program provides assistance to those children who are below 12 years old.
Head Start Program
I hope you have heard about the Head Start program as it is one of the most popular federal child care assistance programs. The felons who are eligible can take advantage of the child care program. The program is funded and administered by the federal government and is available in all the states. Felons who are approved for the program can send their child to daycare without paying a penny. The main focus of the program is to provide child care to children below 6 years old
Employment And Financial Assistance For Ex Felons
Getting back to employment after serving prison is impractical to dream about for a lot of felons. For individuals who have committed a crime and have served in jail for some time getting a new job can be challenging. There are government assistance programs that enable them to apply for jobs and reduce their economic burden.
While there are programs that provide free monetary assistance to prisoners, programs aiding in employment and profession are lesser in number. Following are the programs that will enable ex felons to get back on their feet without much hassle.
Unemployment Benefits for Felons
The felons who were working before might face unemployment suddenly and it can cause a lot of financial difficulties. It is true that most of the people would suffer if their income starts suddenly. But do not worry as there are programs to handle these types of situations and one of them is unemployment benefits that are offered all over the country.
Unemployment Benefits is one of the most important things that you might be required to do when you are between jobs. The felons who were working earlier and then their employment states change can easily qualify for these unemployment benefits. But most of the time it depends on the details of your job and when you are between jobs it is a good idea to get unemployment benefits.
The Workforce Innovation And Opportunity Act is a program that helps to provide highly preferred and effective job and placement services for ex-felons. The program enables individuals to take up skill training programs, on their education, and grow in an all-rounded manner. Following are the key components covered in the WIOA Act.
The Adult Program is a key component of the WIOA program which is developed for those who are above 18 years of age and provides them with basic education, job training, basic skills, and supportive services for ex-felons. The likelihood of becoming employed at the end of the program increases by multiple folds.
The Dislocated Worker Program is another assistance program designed for ex-felons that enables them to receive financial aid from government grants and supportive services.
The Youth Program on the other hand is designed for those who are between 14 to 24 age and assists ex- felons in job training or education and becoming skilled to get an employment opportunity.
TANF stands for Temporary Assistance For Needy Families Program which offers financial assistance for free money on a time-limited basis to low-income individuals including ex-felons. The program is geared towards very low-income groups and helps them to cover their basic needs like food, clothing, shelter, transportation, and so on. Candidates have to meet the eligibility criteria and income limitations to qualify for assistance.
One Stop Center Workforce Development Programs
Funded by the U.S. Department of Labor One Stop Center Workforce Development Grants provides free job training, job placement services, and career counseling to ex-felons. The program is designed to enable individuals to gain employment skills and secure a stable job for themselves.
The US Department of Labor administers the Reentry and Employment Opportunities program that assists ex-felons and enables them to move toward self-sufficiency. The reentry and employment opportunities are a one-stop destination for ex-felons who are waiting to enter society smoothly and start a fresh life.
The US Department of Labor provides federal work-study programs to eligible felons. They can obtain work-study programs even while being incarcerated depending on the ability to perform the job and the ability of funds.
The National Reentry Resource Centre provides financial counseling and free monetary assistance for ex-felons as well as many other supportive services for instance counseling, budgeting, mental health support, and employment assistance so the felons can move towards self-sufficiency and get back on their feet.
Also read: How to Get CDL Grants for Felons
Utility Assistance For Ex-felons
The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program is a federally funded grant that helps felons and addicts to pay for home energy bills every year. In other words, if your heating or cooling bill is behind a couple of months then you need to meet the program requirements to qualify for assistance under this program.
The program will not provide you assistance directly but will pay your energy provider on your behalf. A lot of felons receive energy bill assistance through this program every year.
Felons finding it difficult to pay their home energy bills due to their financial situation could apply for the Weatherization Assistance Program. Financial support is provided to felons belonging to low-income categories, whether they are living in multifamily housing, rental apartments, mobile family, complex, or single-family homes.
The US Department of Energy funds the Weatherization Assistance Program which also help beneficiaries to make their home energy efficient and get a safe and healthy living environment.
Business Grants For Felons
Even though grant opportunities for felons and ex-felons are less there are still options available for them to qualify for business grants at the federal, state, and local level.
A great resource for felons and ex-felons to find federal grants grants.gov website. Here you can find thousands of grant opportunities within the government database which you can apply as per your need and eligibility criteria.
The program supports an economically and socially disadvantaged small business that has been operational for a minimum of two years. The program provides technical assistance, training, mentorship opportunities, and development assistance to two eligible businesses.
Felons and ex-felons running businesses can seek funding from this program. To participate in the program you need to make sure your business is certified by SBA.
The US Small Business Administration or SBA provides many other programs. Felons and ex-felons can get funding from SBA in the these ways- investment capital, loans for small businesses, grants and disaster assistance.
The Minority Business Development Agency run by the U.S. Department of Commerce is a federal agency that focuses on the growth and development of minority-owned businesses. Minority business owners including felons and ex-felons can find funding opportunities, secure business contracts, and connect with strategic partners with the assistance of this center.
Organizations That Provide Assistance For Felons and Ex-felons
Finance constitutes to be a major cause of concern faced by felons and ex-felons. They find it challenging to get employment immediately or help from others after coming out of prison. Fortunately, some nonprofits and organizations assist ex-felons with free clothes, transportation, food, jobs, and many other benefits.
A popular nonprofit organization known as Catholic Charities provides useful resources to felons and ex-felons that enable them to start a new life. Here they can find guidance, housing aid, support for employment, and education support. Catholic Charities accept applications from ex-felons and are helpful to them if they repent their wrongdoings and want to restart their life.
Fortune Society lends a helping hand to ex-felons and is a nonprofit organization that helps felons residing in the states of New York City, Rhode Island, and New Jersey. The financial assistance is given to felons in the same way as others. You can get help with housing aid, education and employment from Fortune Society. The organization strives to integrate felons and ex-felons into the society smoothly.
Prison Fellowship is a nationwide program that assists ex-felons and guides them so that they can reenter society without much hassle. Ex-felons can get social and financial assistance from this nonprofit organization.
A lot of reentry programs are run by an organization that ensures the rate of reoffense by ex-felons is reduced in society. The organization helps them to gain employment, lead a healthy life, and attend to their educational goals.
The Delancey Street Foundation carries out a lot of reformational programs and services for ex-felons and assists them to lead a normal life with free money, transitional homes and much more assistance. Ex-felons living in California, New Mexico, New York City, and New Carolina can apply for programs funded by the foundation and avail the benefits.
Felons and felons looking for reentry homes and supportive services can check out the Volunteers of America. The nonprofit organization provides several services and solutions for low-income individuals and extra loans.
Felons going through a housing crisis can locate all sorts of assistance and get help with transitional homes, case management, Victim Support Services, and shelter homes at VOA.
Oxford Homes is an autonomous recovery housing service provider that aims to start a fresh life after coming out from prison. No matter whether you are an ex-felon or substance abuse victim you can receive assistance from this organization.
They provide free monetary assistance and housing solutions to those in need. Felons can apply for financial assistance for the released prisoner’s program or free recommendations from Oxford Homes.
A nonprofit organization known as Job Corps works for the welfare of ex-felons and provides them assistance with internships, education, job training, mentorship, job placement, and many more supportive services. Ex-felons who are between 16 to 24 years old can get golden opportunities to start a normal life with the assistance of the Job Corps.
Apart from the monetary assistance, and professional education help, ex-felons can also receive transportation assistance. The Goodwill Industries Reentry Programs are well suited for needy ex-felons and help them with gas cards, affordable commuting services, transport vehicles, bus passes, and car repairs. The services have been designed to provide a helping hand for ex-felons and break all the employment barriers.
Ex- felons receive transportation assistance from Wheels to Work, a free used car program. The program provides affordable transport solutions to ex-felons. To become a part of the program you need to obtain a driver’s license and have car insurance.
The Inmates To Entrepreneurs is an amazing organization that financially supports felons or other people with criminal records to start their businesses. The organization provides felons an opportunity to make a fresh start without worrying about the fact that their criminal record may prevent them from earning a stable source of income.
The organization provides free online and in-person mentoring and education. A few programs of the organization include in-person courses, free online courses, a video library, Correctional Facility workshops, etc.
A popular organization known as Defy Ventures provides a wide array of programs for felons and ex-felons including entrepreneur boot camp, entrepreneurship training, alumni programs, and business accelerated. The programs are designed to provide eligible felons with schemes, confidence and connections required to create a bright future for themselves.
College Grants And Scholarships For Felons
Ben & Jerry’s
I hope you already know that Ben & Jerry’s company is quite famous for their ice cream but they also plan to give that back to the community. They offer grants for felons every year so that they can meet their objectives and goals. The company focuses on bringing a positive change in the community and makes a lot of donations.
There are education grants for the felons offered by lending tree institutions. They not only offer education grants to the felons but also provide them grants so that they can start their own business. It is also important for you to check out the school where you would like to attend.
You can directly contact your financial aid department and check out the programs that are available for you. They have all the tools and resources to help you find the education grants for felons that are open to you. It also allows you to pay for your college education or professional training in whole or in part.
Osher Foundation Reentry Scholarship
Reentry grants for felons are offered by the University of Oklahoma. The grants help the felons so that they are able to go to college and complete their education. The grants are open to those people who are out of the college for at least five years and are between 25 to 50 years old.
The grant is only open for those felons who are full time or part-time students. However, you need to submit your application for the grants for felons within 15th of December. The grant amount that is provided is around $5,000. You find more information at the official websites of the scholarship.
Institute for Justice and Opportunity
Institute for Justice and Opportunity mainly focus on helping those felons who are going through social problems like obtaining their education. The felons are offered with various types of services that can help them in assisting education needs and choosing the right career. However, to know more about the grants or assistance you can visit the official website of the Institute of Justice and Opportunity.
Life Skills Prison Ministry
Life Skills Prison Ministry is another organization that provides education grants for felons. They provide detailed information on how to get education grants for felons from various colleges.
Apart from that they also provide information on how to get business grants for felons so that they can start their own business. They also clear all your misconceptions related to educational and business grants for felons. For more information you can visit the official website of Life Skills Prison Ministry.
Minnesota State Careerwise
The Minnesota State Careerwise offers financial assistance to the individuals that are convicted. However, to qualify for the benefits you must be a citizen or legal alien. Apart from that you should also have a high school diploma, have a social security number and be enrolled in a negligible educational institute. But remember when you are still incarcerated the education grants for the felons might be limited. For more information you can visit their official website.
As you know, every year there are many organizations that offer education grants for felons all over the United States. However, the organization that is offering grants for felons varies every year but it is easy to find out the companies that offer such grants.
Grant Watch mainly controls the companies that are offering educational grants for felons. They also provide detailed information about the organization that is offering grants for felons
Prison Scholar Fund
Prison Scholar Fund is another organization that offers college grants for felons. The main purpose of the Prison Scholar Fund is to offer the felons a second chance in life so that they can transform their lives. The private donors generally fund the scholarships.
The felons get a second chance as education opens many doors of opportunities for them. The felons that are college-educated earn more than and have a better paying job. To know more you can simply visit their website.
Creative Corrections Education Foundation
The Creative Corrections Foundation is another organization that offers scholarships to the felons to cover the cost of college tuition. It is a non-profit organization that mainly operates in Texas. But anyone can apply for this scholarship, it does not matter where you are residing.
The funds that are offered to the individuals are provided in collaboration with federal, state and municipal correctional departments. They have awarded more than $200,000 in college scholarships to around hundreds of students so that they can attend college.
Prisoner Reentry Institute
Prison Reentry Institute is another place that offers free fellowships to the felons so that they can cover their tuition fees of college. Another thing is that Re Entry scholarships are free money and you do not have to pay them back. You can also visit their website to know more about the scholarships that are offered under Prisoner Reentry Institute.
Reintegrating into society as a felon or ex-felon with a criminal report can be challenging but numerous government agencies, faith based groups, charities, and nonprofit organizations are lending a helping hand to these people so that they can attain self-sufficiency and overcome all the obstacles to start a normal life. The government-sponsored resources provide funding opportunities to local and state governments including nonprofit organizations like Community Action agencies for ex-felons and help them with housing, employment, substance service treatment, education, family reunification, and many other services.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there any Child Care Assistance programs for felons?
Luckily there are Child Care Assistance Programs for the felons to support their child. There are programs like the Head Start Program, CalWorks Child Care and many others. However, you need to be eligible to receive the benefits.
Can I qualify for the grants for felons?
You need to meet the eligibility requirements to qualify for the grants for felons. You must belong from the low income group, must be a resident or legal alien to enjoy the benefits of the grants.
Is it possible to start a small business being a felon?
Yes, it is possible to start a small business being a felon. There are small business grants for felons that help the felons to start their own business or grow their business. There are MicroGrants, US Small Business Administration and grants provided by Ben & Jerry.
Are there any grants for felons?
Yes, there are many different types of grants for the felons so that they can live a peaceful life without worrying. You can find housing grants, educational grants, rent assistance programs, scholarships and many more.