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Help and SupportThough it may be difficult, reaching out is crucial to finding the support that will allow you to provide for your family. Look to statewide programs and philanthropic organizations for assistance with food, shelter, education, health services, and even transportation. Use the videos, tips, and information on this page to find help and support for you and your family.
For Services in Your Community
• Call your town’s 2-1-1 (www.211.org) or 3-1-1 number to find out about services available in your area.
(These numbers do not require dialing an area code.)
For Government Services
• Contact the Federal Citizen Information Center (http://www.info.gov/) for answers about government services. You can call toll-free 1-800-FED-INFO or find information posted on the FCIC’s family of Web sites: www.USA.gov; www.pueblo.gsa.gov or call toll-free 1-888-8PUEBLO; www.kids.gov; or www.consumeraction.gov.
• Visit www.Govbenefits.gov to get help in reaching out to federal agencies for government assistance.
For Food Assistance and Health Services:
• Call 1-877-KIDSNOW (1-877-543-7669) or visit www.insurekidsnow.gov to get help on health insurance for your children.
For Help with Housing
• Call or e-mail Hope Now (www.hopenow.com, 1-888-995-HOPE or 1-888-995-4673). Created by the U.S. Department of Treasury and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Hope Now is an alliance of reputable counselors and companies that provide assistance to homeowners in distress.
• Contact the HUD Approved Housing Counseling Agencies (www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/hcc/hcs.cfm, 1-800-CALL-FHA or 1-800-225-5342) to get information about counseling agencies around the country that can provide advice on housing issues.
For Financial Counseling
For Child Care and Education
• Get in touch with the Child Care Aware program from the National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies (www.childcareaware.org/en or 1-800-424-2246), which helps parents locate child-care programs in their area.
Share Your Strength In addition to seeking resources that will help you through these times, you can be a resource to people in your community and your family. Reaching out and helping others is a great way to feel good together and remember just how strong all of you are.
Share your story Talk to other families about what you are going through. Sometimes talking about tough times can help relieve stress or can spark ideas and solutions.
Volunteer Identify the causes that your children or family cares most about. For example, children might like to help out at the local animal rescue center, or perhaps your family can visit an elderly friend at a local nursing home.
Create a giving circle A couple of times a year, tour your home, and work together to identify items that your family no longer uses or needs. Gather these items in a bag and then go together to your local Salvation Army, Goodwill, or homeless shelter to donate these goods.
We Are Together
Regardless of your situation, you are not alone. Though it may sometimes be hard to remain hopeful in the face of challenge and change, your entire family will find strength in your positive outlook. Take time each day to remind one another of the love that you share. Together, you can make it through difficult times and grow even stronger as a family.
- Parent/Caregiver Magazine
- Revista para adultos
- Children's Storybook
- Cuento para niños
- Q&A with Jean Chatzky, Financial Advisor (English and Español)
Jean Chatzky Q&A
Q: I feel uncomfortable asking my family for help. How should I approach this?
A: First you need to assess whether your family has the resources to help you. If they do, then you’ll be less uncomfortable – and so will they – if you approach it as a business transaction, not a personal one. Figure out how much you need and a schedule on which you think you’ll be able to pay it back and then ask for it in specific terms. Offer to put the terms of your deal in writing. And try to stick to the schedule you lay out. If you will not be able to make your payments, make sure that you let your family know what’s happening in advance. Not having the necessary conversations is what makes this situation more uncomfortable. And it goes without saying, if your family says they are not able to help you, assume they are being truthful and move on.