During this recession, more people than ever are needing extra assistance. Here are some resources for those in need.
Got laid off? Here’s are some questions that many people who have lost their jobs are asking these days:
I’m unemployed and need help. What happens if my unemployment checks run out and I still can’t find a job? Where can I get help for my daily needs?
More people are finding themselves in situations they never dreamed they would ever be in; some have lost their jobs and others have found themselves struggling as low-income earners. Unfortunately, very many of us are finding ourselves at the end of our financial rope. What then can we do?
Image by NY Times
We’ve gathered together some resources and options that may hopefully help those in this financial predicament.
Help For The Unemployed: Beyond The Unemployment Checks
If you are underemployed or unemployed right now, you are not alone. With the current state of the economy, it’s not surprising if you’re on a job hunt. Since many folks are seeking employment, jobs take longer to find. If you are not seeking unemployment benefits or your current benefits have run out, there are a few resources to help you get past these hard times.
How To Get Money For Housing and Other Necessary Expenses
If you are jobless and meet certain financial criteria, you can apply for an unemployment bridge grant through Modest Needs to cover certain necessary expenses. The money is granted to a person who is recently unemployed through no fault of their own and has not yet found a job nor received unemployment benefits.
The grant itself is remitted to you for a small emergency expense that may involve your home, child care, health insurance or car. The maximum amount of the grant is $1,000 or your monthly housing payment, whichever is greater. Because the money is a grant and not a loan, you don’t have to pay it back. Other grants offered to individuals by Modest Needs include self-sufficiency grants, back-to-work grants and independent living grants. You’ll need regular access to a computer to keep track of the grants, and you may also need to use a scanner to send certain parts of the grant application.
How To Get Food
FeedingAmerica is formerly known as America’s Second Harvest. When you visit the FeedingAmerica website, you can enter your state or zip code to find local food banks including links to their websites and contact numbers. Food is distributed for free to those who qualify based on need, income and family size. Contact your local food bank to find out about their requirements and distribution schedule.
Grocery relief is available through Angel Food Ministries, a non-denominational organization serving 35 states. Low-cost food packages are ordered online and picked up at local distribution centers. A family of four can purchase a week of food for $30. From the Angel Food Ministries site, you can place an order at your closest distribution center. Food can be paid for by credit card, debit card, cash, money order or food stamps.
How To Get Heat
HEAP (Home Energy Assistance Program) is a federally funded program to offset the costs of heating for eligible low-income earners. A one-time direct payment is made to a utility company for heating. Usually, it takes 2 to 3 months from the time you apply to get your application processed. Ask your local utility company how you can apply. If you are unable to wait this long, the Citizens Energy Oil Heat Program offers discounted oil to eligible people residing in certain states.
How To Get Medications
If you are taking ongoing medication, the loss of a job and health benefits can be a major crisis. Some cannot afford to maintain COBRA payments to keep their health insurance when they are unemployed. The program called Partnership For Prescription Assistance offers access to free or low cost medication through hundreds of public and private patient assistance programs. Use the Partnership For Prescription Assistance website to search for your medications and to see the programs you may qualify for.
How To Get Clothes, Toys and Household Items
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul offers emergency financial assistance, food, housing help and emergency transportation to anyone in need. Their thrift stores are a great place to buy low-cost, gently used clothing, shoes and coats. Thrift stores have plenty of useful items including small household items and toys for children. Check out the Society of St. Vincent de Paul website to find local thrift stores in your neighborhood. For just a few dollars, you can get many essentials. Sometimes shirts and trousers cost as little as 50 cents!
How To Get A Job
If you haven’t already, you can also take your job search online by looking into these job boards:
- Job.com: a great resource for local jobs, career advice and other services to help you manage your career and job.
- Executive Search Online: a leading nationwide job matching service for more experienced executives. Pay levels for these executive jobs are typically higher.
- Beyond.com: an extensive career network that’s set up as a community of niche sites in various industries.
- EssayEdge: an essay editing resource for those who need a little help with their college, graduate or other academic admission essays. They help out students seeking to gain admission to the colleges and universities of their choice.
- ResumeEdge: a resume editing resource for those who need a little help writing a high quality resume and / or cover letter. They are the leading provider of resume writing services online and the chosen resume partner of well-known job sites such as Yahoo! Hot Jobs, CareerJournal and Dice.com.
- Resume Rabbit: a resume distribution service that submits resumes to top online job sites such as Career Builder, HotJobs, Monster, Dice, etc, as well as job search engines.
- Snag A Job: an online tool to help you find hourly jobs. This service provides you with access to part-time and full-time hourly jobs.
- Yahoo Hot Jobs: a popular online job board.
- GoFreelance: an online community for freelance professionals and companies looking to hire skilled freelance experts. They house thousands of freelance and work-at-home jobs in the US and worldwide.
Consider freelancing as a way to tide yourself over while you’re looking for permanent, full-time work. The extra cash you earn this way along with the assistance programs you join may help you through this temporary rough patch.
History proves that the economy will eventually improve and before you know it, you’ll be back to work and on your feet again.