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We had a great thread on Frugal living earlier - how about one on where to get help?

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The Straight Story Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 08:48 PM
Original message
We had a great thread on Frugal living earlier - how about one on where to get help?
Earlier thread:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

The past few weeks I have been trying to hit up some agencies for aid, with some success - but one of the main aid agencies here you have to dial a number (FirstLink it is called) and it is always busy. You can't hit up food banks/etc without going through them first and getting assigned a reference number.

I even called someone I knew for the adopt family program, for whom I have raised money for in the past, trying to get my daughter on the list (I don't need anything myself for Christmas except a damned break) and she told me I had to go through them.

BUT - I do have some tips to pass along from the past that has been successful for myself, and some from current times that may help those in need (currently if you are in Columbus, Ohio call 211 for aid with heating/etc - if you press the # for food they will refer you to firstlink...sigh)

In the past a few tips:
When I was in CA I was having issues with getting set up for worker's comp, so I called the Governor's office (yeah, Ahnold) and pitched a bitch, and they connected me with someone hirer up in the food chain and it was approved over the phone with no hassle.

Back years ago when I was with the X wife and I was raising a family of 5 on $6/hr and was injured at work, whenever I had issues I would call my state/fed senator's office and talk to someone and they would put me in touch with someone at the utilities that I could deal with and get extensions, after I was told I would not get anymore (I was fighting between worker's comp and welfare and wasn't getting any money from either, I eventually settled out of court with worker's comp after I won my case).

If you have ever 'been there' or you work some where or know someone who does help people in need, have tips, etc for people in need of assistance please share your tips/stories.

Right now I am waiting, and waiting, and waiting, on CA unemployment to send me my next set of papers (I am in Ohio right now - and yeah I am Calling the Gov's office Monday) so I can get paid by em and get my life back on track. By my reckoning they are 2 weeks behind and owe me some money now (I owed them the first 6 paychecks due to some damned error or other, but that was 10 weeks ago and now they owe me....) but having them owe me money does nothing towards me having any :)

I will be OK soon, god willing, but so many others won't - so let's see what we can do to help em out with ideas on how to get help and where to turn.

Thanks, TSS/Todd
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thunder rising Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 08:51 PM
Response to Original message
1. When the shit gets real bad, go in the bathroom and look in the mirror.
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The Straight Story Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 08:52 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. I did
And I realized I needed to shave, but have no razors.

But your sharp reply will do just fine ;)
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silverojo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 09:47 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. Judging by your comment
I assume that, when you look in the mirror, shit is what you see.
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SmileyRose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 10:02 PM
Response to Reply #1
8. You should be ashamed of that post.
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Mojorabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 09:16 PM
Response to Original message
3. This is suposed to be a great organization
for inexpensive food help
http://www.angelfoodministries.com/
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Starry Messenger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 09:19 PM
Response to Original message
4. I just saw this mentioned yesterday on DU.
http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/211.html

Dial 211. I hope this is the sort of thing you are looking for.
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SmileyRose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 09:54 PM
Response to Original message
6. Georgia department of labor
Edited on Fri Dec-05-08 10:01 PM by SmileyRose
started an internship program where unemployed folks get free training in something new while still getting their unemployment benefits. They have only recently started to advertise it. Supposely nearly 80% of participants get hired.

This state also has the 211 clearinghouse for financial assistance with the basic necessities of life.

Edit to add we learned the social worker at the local nursing home was absolutely more than willing to lead us in the general right direction when we took in my disabled retired uncle and were having a lot of red tape problems. Sometimes if you just call people up and tell them in a sentence or two what you need they will offer something to point in a direction.

When no one in my house had full time employment for several years in the 90's and suddenly the property taxes shot up and we did not have the money I called the county, got passed around, had to be persistent but finally found out since my husband was disabled we qualified for an exemption.

Habitat for Humanity here led us to a different organization that is now defunct that sends out volunteers to "winterize" the house with little to no cost for the materials. Atlanta Gas light used to have a program too but since we went to deregulated gas I don't know what they have.
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silverojo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 09:54 PM
Response to Original message
7. How to get food and other help
Ask your local church. They can usually refer you to a local food bank. Or else, if it's a larger church, they might work with a local supermarket, and they can give you food vouchers for the branch in your area. That's what we discovered, when we were in REALLY dire straits.

Call your city, county, and state governments. It's the quickest way to find out what's available in your area.

Call the welfare office. Even if you don't qualify, they can often steer you in the right direction to find help.


BTW, Todd, I hope things get better for you soon.
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The Straight Story Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 06:20 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. God willing they should soon, but for many others it is only going to get worse
my personal life sucks right now but I am working on that.

I know there are many out there who could use ideas (like from that other thread), especially people who have never went through really tough times before. One of the questions folks ask is 'what do I do now' and I am hoping we can get some ideas rolling to at least give them some hope/answers.

I know there are hotlines out there to call for mortgage issues, etc, hoping that those who have found such resources can share their experiences with others (as opposed to just googling and hoping that you found some help, it is always nice to hear what worked and didn't work for others).

Someone the other day on DU posted about a website called elance for free lance programmers, I hadn't heard of it before (if I did I forgot about it) and it was nice to know that they had good experiences with it, saved me a lot of time looking for something like that and hoping that the reviews were worthwhile (ie, I trust the opinions of DU'ers over just general reviews of sites).

Then there are health care issues, like cheaper prescriptions (or free) - my wife's are almost gone and I need to get refills, hard to do with no cash flow, but they are cheap and i should be able to cover it, others however have many more and can't. How do they get by, what tricks do they know that I don't?

Add frugal to resources and I think we can help a ton of people when the going gets rough.
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