Resources for the underfunded
At least once daily, our customer service department gets a call asking for information on grants to help those suffering severe financial hardship. Since GrantWatch is a listing service for nonprofit grants, all too often, we find ourselves unable to assist. Occasionally, these callers are able to find the grant they need in our grants for business or individuals categories, but the application process can be a deterrent. Some people use our crowdfunding platform YouHelp.com to collect funding from friends and families, but when faced with a ‘5 days notice’ to pay your rent or face eviction, a quicker and more permanent solution is needed.
What to do when you are in a crisis
We at GrantWatch wanted to help, so we did some research and found a few state and local resources that can assist by providing contact information for local financial assistance.
211 is a phone number that is explicitly reserved to enable people in need to speak with a community resource specialist who can help them find local to social services for everyday needs and in times of crisis.
Currently, active 211 systems cover all or part of 50 states and some of Canada. They offer information on the following types of services:
- Basic Human Needs Resources – including food and clothing, shelters, housing, utility assistance.
- Emergency information and disaster relief
- Mental Health and Health Resources – including counseling, support groups, drug and alcohol treatment, health insurance programs, Medicaid and Medicare, maternal health resources, health insurance programs for children, medical information lines, clinics, and hospitals.
- Employment and Education Support – including job training, employment services, transportation assistance, and education programs.
- Older Adults and Persons with Disabilities – including adult daycare, community meals, respite care, home health care, transportation, and homemaker services.
- Children, Youth, and Family Support – including childcare, after school programs, educational programs for low-income families, family resource centers, and recreation programs, mentoring, tutoring, and protective services.
- Information on physical and or emotional Domestic Abuse.
Benefits.gov is the official benefits website of the U.S. government, their mission is to increase citizen access to benefit information while reducing the expense and difficulty of interacting with the government.
The site’s core function is the eligibility prescreening questionnaire or “Benefit Finder.” Answers to the questionnaire are used to evaluate a citizen’s situation and compare it with eligibility criteria for more than 1,200 Federally-funded benefit and assistance programs. The site also features a recommendation engine that customizes the user’s search for benefits based on their location or interest in a category.
The Salvation Army. They do the following:
- Help Disaster Survivors
- Provide Food and Shelter
- Provide financial assistance
- Combat Addiction
- Share God’s Love
- Assist the Unemployed
- Fight Human Trafficking
- Offer programs to stop Domestic Abuse
- Offer educational programs to kids
- Serve the LGBTQ Community
The core mission of Catholic Charities is to provide service to people (regardless of their faith), who are struggling with poverty and other complex issues. These services include:
- Affordable Housing
- Immigrant and Refugee Services
- Integrated Health
- Food & Nutrition programs
- Disaster relief
In addition to providing relief and support to those in crisis, they help members of the military, veterans and their families prepare for, cope with, and respond to, the challenges of military service.
Volunteers provide home comforts and critical services on bases and in military hospitals around the world. They support military families during deployments and emergencies.
Community Action Agency (CAA) etc
Do a web search for a local Community Action Agency (CAA). They have several resources to help the needy. In addition, most churches, The United Way, and The Urban League are other organizations that offer resources for those in crisis.
Do you know of a place in your community that offers resources to help the needy? Please tell us about them in the comments.