Learn more about how your child is developing through one of Minnesota's programs that support families who have children birth to 7 years of age. Programs offer a variety of services that include developmental screening, parent support, fun activities to support a child’s development, and connections to other helpful services.
Public programs and resources that help with food, health care, housing, transportation, and utilities
- Financial Assistance
There are several options below to learn about a variety of financial assistance programs available to families in MN, including eligibility screening and application access.
- Bridge to Benefits: learn about potential eligibility and next steps
- Bridge to Benefits is an initiative by Children’s Defense Fund-Minnesota that offers an online screening tool to help determine potential eligibility for the following work support programs and tax credits: Healthcare programs -- Medical Assistance, MinnesotaCare, Advanced Premium Tax Credits; Early childhood programs --Child Care Assistance, Early Learning Scholarships; Utility program -- Energy Assistance; Food programs --Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), School Meal Program, Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program; Tax credits -- Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC) and Working Family Credit (WFC). Bridge to Benefits also has a direct referral system that connects families to local organizations that help with the application and enrollment process for the program for which they appear eligible. Click here to complete a quick Bridge to Benefits screen to learn about these financial assistance programs for which you may be eligible.
- MN Benefits: apply for benefits
- Users can apply for benefits from the following nine programs in less than 20 minutes — Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program; Emergency Assistance; Housing Support; Child Care Assistance Program; Diversionary Work Program; General Assistance; Minnesota Family Investment Program; Minnesota Supplemental Aid; Refugee Cash Assistance. The mobile-friendly application works across all browsers, computers, laptops and phones and is available in Spanish, with more languages to come. It’s easy to upload documents, and no account login is necessary. Apply now at MN Benefits (mn.gov)
- Contact your local county to ask questions and learn more
- Community Action Agencies
- In Minnesota, 24 Community Action Agencies and 11 Tribal Nations serve families in all 87 counties across the state, providing poverty solutions through various programs and services including: homeless prevention and housing assistance, utility bill assistance, healthcare enrollment, food and nutrition services, Head Start early childhood programming, financial asset building, regional transit, and more.
- Energy Assistance and Weatherization
- Minnesota Food HelpLine
- Call, chat or email to get help from the Minnesota Food HelpLine to see if you qualify for SNAP (formerly known as Food Stamps) or to learn more about food shelves, free meals, farmers’ markets, or other food resources in your area.
- County Programs for Food Support
- Apply for county programs, including Minnesota Food Assistance Program (MFAP), Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP), SNAP Food Support, and WIC.
- Free Meals for Kids - Hunger Impact Partners: Mobile App
- Download the Free Meals for Kids mobile app will help families and kids find free meals at schools and other sites across Minnesota.
- Food Shelves and Food Distribution
- Free food support
- WIC (Prenatal to age 5)
- Healthy eating and breastfeeding support program for women, infants and children. Benefits include nutrition information, healthy foods, and referrals to other services in the community.
- Health Insurance
MNsure is where individuals and families can shop, compare and choose health insurance coverage that meets their needs. For more information on MNsure, click here.
- Get free help from an enrollment expert (MNsure-certified assister). To learn about the different kinds of assisters and how they can help you every step of the way, click here.
- Housing Benefits 101
- Ask for help using phone (1-866-333-2466), chat and email options. Explore housing options, discover what works for you and make a plan.
- Affordable Housing Options
- Subsidized housing, HRA Housing Choice Vouchers, Privately Owned Affordable Housing
- Family Homeless and Prevention Assistance Program
- Short-term help for low-income families, youth and single adults who are homeless or about to become homeless
- Help to Find Housing
- Community agencies that help families find housing
- Homeless Services: Coordinated Entry Access Points
- If you are experiencing homelessness, at risk of homelessness, or don't have a place you can stay for very long, get help from Minnesota's Coordinated Entry System
- Housing Stabilization Services (HSS)
- A Medicaid service for adults with disabling conditions experiencing housing instability. Heads of households can qualify and the entire family benefits.
- Rental Housing Assistance
- Need help finding and paying for rental housing
- Emergency, domestic violence and youth shelters
- Transitional Housing Programs
- Housing and supportive services to individuals and families who are homeless or in need of safe housing.
- Job Training and Career Development
- Transportation Services
- Organizations that provide or arrange transportation
- Local Bus Service
- Find local bus options
- Greater MN Transit options
- Clickable map that contains information for Greater Minnesota public and tribal transit providers, as well as intercity bus routes and stops.
- MN Transit
- Find public transit information for the seven-county metro area (Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott and Washington counties).
- Medical Transportation
Organizations that provide rides to non-emergency medical appointments for people around their community. Pregnant people that are on Medical Assistance are eligible for free medical transportation to appointments.
- Transportation to medical appointments may be free for newborns, children and youth through age 20 years who are receiving Medical Assistance. Contact your Child and Teen Checkups Coordinator for help.
Pregnant and Expectant Families
Healthy Development and Screening
Developmental and Behavior Concerns
Disability Services and Resources
Early Learning and Child Care
Family Well-Being and Mental Health
American Indian Families
Caregiving and Community Support
Dental and Health Care