Getting Financial Help During Difficult Times
After helping a family friend who was recently laid off after working for almost 30 years for the same company I realized that not everyone knows that there are options out there that can help financially. With so many horror stories coming from these economic times I feel that it is crucial that people know that there are options out there.
In these uncertain economic times it may be difficult for some to make ends meet. With layoffs at an increasing rate and the wounds of “Bloody Monday” still quite fresh families might need additional help getting through the month.
Government services sometimes referred to as “welfare” has gotten a bad rap for being for those that abuse the system or for those that are drug abusers or lazy. But times have changed and even those that are hard working and doing the best that they can have been met with an economic situation that is not forgiving. More families are one or two paychecks away from being homeless and hungry and not from a lack of trying to support their family but more so from outside forces. There are services out there to help, it simply takes a little research and in some instances some paper work to get the help that is needed. Some of these services are:
- Food Banks – Food banks offer the necessary staples and sometimes extras for families that are in need of food stuffs. In addition some food banks also offer other services as well. Check with your local food bank to see what they have to offer.
- State Services – The State Government offers a wide variety of services as well; food stamps, financial help, daycare assistance, medical insurance and housing are a few of the services that are offered by the state government. Check your local state government for applications and guidelines for help. With the recent turn in the economy many states have lowered the yearly income threshold making more benefits available to those with higher incomes.
- The Federal Government – The federal government has a website that can assist in showing the types of grants that are available. On the site you can enter the specifics of your family situation to find out which grants you and/or your family are eligible for. There are many types of grants offered for various situations so it is possible that you will find a grant that could be helpful for you and your family.
- Churches – Churches and Synagogues are also a great resource when you are in need of help. Some offer programs, others get help from the surrounding community so that they can help each other. Check with your church or place of worship to find out your options.
- Private Agencies – There are several private agencies in any community that can offer help as well. Usually food banks are a good resource to let you know what other types of services or help you can get from other companies in the area.
- Local Services – There are also services to help you with different bills such as electric, water, phone and cable bills as well. Check your local community and state for such programs or call your provider and ask if they have any programs.
Check around to help find the services that are available in your area. Sometimes community centers, libraries, food banks and other facilities have information on such services. In addition you can try looking online for state or city specific information.
Check your pride at the door asking for help can be difficult especially if you do not want to seem like you are in need. Just remember it is more important to take care of your family than it is to be prideful. Ask for the help you need you might be surprised by the answer you receive and do not be embarrassed that you need help. Remember this is just a temporary situation and you want to do something about it now before it gets worse.
Times are tough it is true and now is the perfect time to seek help before things get worse and to protect yourself and your family.
GovBenefits is a partnership of many Federal agencies and organizations with a shared vision - to provide improved, personalized access to government benefit programs.
Unemployed and Hungry In The US
BILL MOYERS JOURNAL | Hunger in America | PBS
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