Thanks to Cynthia for this wonderful article on resources for those needing to make ends meet.
There have been times when all of us have been in less than desirable circumstances and have had to be creative in ways to gain the necessary resources to get by. This blog will incorporate all of the creative solutions submitted by all of you to help lightworkers not only survive but begin to thrive again.
Perhaps there are others in your geographical area needing services and can be matched with those having the services to offer. Let’s consider paid, bartered and trade of time and services. What do you need and what options are you open to?
For those requiring immediate services such as food and shelter, many churches will either have food banks available to the general public and some will donate gift cards to local grocery stores. Although it does help to be a church member, many places of worship will also assist in paying for utility bills once a church representative meets with you and verifies the need.
Most communities have a Department of Social or Human Services that are able to provide food assistance to individuals and families (food stamps). There is an application process but approval is usually the same day or within a few days. In the meantime, they also provide those in need with groceries on the spot. Departments of Social Service also provide information on eligibility to receive medical aid (and include resources for elder care). Not all are qualified but it’s worth it to check into it. These organizations will also have access to information about low-cost or free clinics that may be available in your area.
In addition, most hospital emergency rooms don’t refuse services to anyone regardless of insurance status. It is part of their mission to serve all who need care. Hospitals may even offer financial aid services for those who cannot pay. Your local Department of Social Services will also have information about local hospitals offering financial aid programs.
Hospitals are also a good source of information about local organizations that assist with certain living expenses (utilities and possible childcare). For example, a local hospital in my area provides a list of organizations that may be able to help supplement services that one may require. The information (in this case) is distributed within the hospital’s billing and accounts office.
Many cities also have Community Service Boards (CSBs). CSB’s are organizations that offer counseling, mental health care and medication on a sliding-fee scale. In most cases billing is deferred. These agencies may be experiencing backlogs but it does not hurt to check into them. Again, hospitals and social service agencies should have information on these resources. Some cities have free clinics that help with medical and basic dental (consider the ER for antibiotics if care is needed for an oral infection, etc.).
For pet owners, many animal welfare organizations and shelters will provide food and shots for free for families with pets. Many small, private organizations provide free pet food to help pet owners keep their animals. These organizations do not want pets surrendered. Some resources are listed at the end of this article.
Think about what services you may offer to bring in immediate cash. House cleaning, pet care and dog walking? If you own a power washer, perhaps someone needs your services. Is there someone you know that needs help with tutoring their children, errands, laundry, auto detailing or home repair? These are suggestions to help get the creative juices flowing. Please add your suggestions by way of the comments.
To find what you need, simply search by what you are looking for: shelters, food banks, financial assistance, etc., or try these resources and sites below:
department of child services – search criterion
department of social services – search criterion
catholiccharitiesusa.org (food, possible financial and other services)
financialhelpresources.com (Search by State)
shelterlistings.org (Lists all types of housing by State)
artistshelpingchildren.org (Lists shelters by State and other services)
laborready.com (Jobs where one can work and get paid the same day, they may take a fee out)
zenjobs.com (Day labor)
Pet Food Assistance Programs (Pet Food Banks) If your food budget has outpaced your income, and you’re having trouble finding the money for pet food, call 1.856.302.6373
loveyourpetexpo.com/pages/petfoodhelp.html – Cached
or Search by pet assistance programs: humane society pet food assistance, aspca pet food assistance, local pet assistance, etc