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I am currently enrolled in massage therapy school. My husband is currently in rehab and won't be able to run his business for about 1 year. I am doing what I can with his business as well as keep my business going. Also, I care for our 2 year old child.
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It sounds like you have your work cut out for you. I am sorry to hear that so much has fallen on your back. People like you who are caregivers for others should receive as much as possible that this country has to offer. I hope something that I suggest will help.
There is training money available in your state for you to get a better job. Your local Career One Stop can help you. They have information about Federal job training programs, Workforce Investment Act training, apprenticeships and more. Career One Stops can help you do a career and skills assessment to see where you are and where you need to go. They will even help direct you to money sources to pay for the training you need. For more information, check out www.careeronestop.org.
If you are turned down by this office, be sure to contact your congressman's office for other suggestions.
There is a local free business consulting service that can help you with your husband's business. Here is the program:
Over 500,000 Businesses are Assisted by Small Business Development Center Programs on an Annual Basis Start-up and existing businesses can receive referrals to business experts, training in information access techniques, an equity financing course, educational assistance, and more. To find a center near you, contact the following: Association of Small Business Development Centers, 8990 Burke Lake Road, Burke, VA 22015; 703-764-9850; Fax: 703-764-1234; www.asbdc-us.org; Email: email@example.com.
I am not sure if your husband is considered to have a disability at this point. But you should find out and you should take advantage of any program that may help you. The first place you should check to see if he might be eligible for anything is your State Vocational Rehab office. State Vocational Rehabilitation offices are the main entry point for services within your state. Services differ from state to state, but they can provide medical information, vocational training, adaptive equipment, business assistance, counseling, and more. To locate your state vocational office, contact your state operator or check out the website www.govengine.com or a listing can be found at www.jan.wvu.edu/SBSES/VOCREHAB.HTM.
Your state Vocational Rehabilitation offices want to keep you a productive member of society, and they will do what it takes to get you on your way. If you are denied any of these services, you have several places you can turn for help. The first stop is your state Client Assistance Program. They will help you learn your rights and handle the appeal to get you what you need. They can take your appeal process from the first stages, all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary and it won't cost you a penny. Make sure you carefully read through the information and contact the programs listed below to learn more about what benefits are available to you, as well as your rights.
Florida Division of Vocational Rehabilitation2002 Old Saint Augustine Road, "A"Tallahassee, FL 32301-4862850-245-3399800-451-4327Fax: 850-245-3316http://www.rehabworks.org/
Client Assistance ProgramWebster Building - Suite 1002671 Executive Center CircleWest Tallahassee, Florida 32301-5092 850-488-9071800-342-0823800-346-4127 TTYFax: 850-488-8640 http://www.advocacycenter.org/programs/cap/index.html The Client Assistance Program, a part of the Advocacy Center for Persons with Disabilities, Inc., was established to help with any problems related to services provided by Vocational Rehabilitation.
Abilities of Florida2735 Whitney RoadClearwater, FL 33760727-538-7370, ext.316800-955-8771 (Florida Relay Service)http://servicesrcsub3.timberlakepublishing.com/content.asp?contentid=363The Self-Employment Resource Program provides the knowledge, tools and support services needed to assist people with disabilities to realize the dream of self-employment.
Here is a listing of programs that may help in this area.
1. Check Out the Website www.disability.govDisabilityInfo.gov is the federal government's gateway to disability-related information and resources. You can find information on employment, housing, health, income support, technology, transportation and independent living.
2. Financial Aid for People with DisabilitiesThis is a free report written by the American Council on Education and provides a wealth of information on how to fund a college education. It takes you step-by-step through the financial aid process, explaining the types of aid available and what you will be expected to pay. What is great about this report is that it explains how to make sure that disability expenses are covered and what government agencies fit into the financial aid process. It details how disability benefits can be protected while in college and provides a list of scholarship information for those with disabilities. This report is available through the Education Resources Information Center (ERIS) at 800-LET-ERIC (538-3742) or online at www.eric.ed.gov.
3. Find All Federal Government Money Programs for DisabilitiesThey are described in a book called the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance. This book is available at your local public library or the U.S. Government Printing Office www.gpo.gov. You can also search the content of the book for free on the web at www.cfda.gov.
4. Free Job Training, Help And Money for the DisabledWe cannot emphasize enough the help that is available from your state. We have known people who have gotten $11,000 to start a business at home and $15,000 to finish a degree because they were suffering from low self-esteem. Terri Handshoe got her college education paid for, as well as had an interpreter and books covered during schooling. Sandy Smith got a $3,000 custom designed telephone system, which allowed her to work for a major hotel chain. You can receive:
You should also go through the basic assistance programs to see if you are eligible for assistance. There is an income requirement stated on some of the programs. Even though your income may be a bit greater than what is stated, you should still investigate the program for eligibility because many of these programs have some flexibility in their applications and some may not consider income what you consider income. So in the program's eyes you are making less than you think you do. It can't hurt to ask.
Uncle Sam wants women and kids to have healthy food. The Women, Infant and Children (WIC) Program's mission is to safeguard the health of low-income women, infants, and children up to age 5 that are at nutritional risk by providing nutritious foods to supplement diets, information on healthy eating, and referrals to health care. WIC foods include iron-fortified infant formula and infant cereal, iron-fortified adult cereal, vitamin C-rich fruit and/or vegetable juice, eggs, milk, cheese, peanut butter, dried beans or peas, tuna fish and carrots.
In addition to the regular WIC program, a majority of the states have chosen to operate the WIC Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (FMNP), established in 1992, it provides additional coupons to WIC participants that they can use to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at participating farmers' markets.For the national office contact WIC, www.fns.usda.gov/fns/ --Income Eligibility Requirements: $35,798/Yr for a family of 4
Even if you are not approved for the U.S. Department of Energy's Weatherization Assistance Program, you might still be eligible for short-term assistance on your utility bill from the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, LIHEAP offers heating and cooling subsidies and energy crisis intervention to assist in weather-related or fuel supply shortages and household energy-related emergencies, such as utility shutoffs.
For the national office contact Office of Community Services, Division of Energy Assistance, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 370 L'Enfant Promenade, SW, 5th Floor West, Washington, DC 20447; 202-401-9351; toll-free 866-674-6327; www.acf.dhhs.gov/programs/liheap --Income Eligibility Requirements: up to $28,418 for a family of 4
Most every state has grant money to train their workers. Many big businesses take advantage of this money, but most small businesses have no idea it's there. Workers don't realize that they can tell their bosses or prospective employers about this program so they can get the job they want or the raise they deserve. To contact the national office or to find your local one-stop career centers in your area, contact: Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-5426, 200 Constitution Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20210; 202-693-3580; One-Stop Career Center Locator at http://www.servicelocator.org/ Income Eligibility Requirements: None
There is a large collection of hundreds of programs around the country offering money or discounts to help people pay their utility bills. Although most of the grant programs have income limits, there are discount programs that have no income limits. To find programs you may qualify for in your area you must search: 1) your city or township government, 2) your county government, 3) your state government, 4) local non-profit agencies and local development corporations, and 5) your utility company. Make sure you check with all of the following offices for help in locating appropriate organizations in your area: 1) your local library, 2) your local elected officials, 3) your local United Way, and 4) all housing agencies in your area. Local government offices can be identified at www.govengine.com and your local United Way can be identified at http://national.unitedway.org/myuw/. Listed below is a sampling of similar local programs around the country. You can also contact you local area office on aging by calling 1-800-677-1116 or go to http://www.aoa.gov/eldfam/How_To_Find/Agencies/Agencies.asp You should also seek out your local community action agency near your to see if they have a program to help you. You can find your local agency at www.communityactionpartnership.com/about/links/map.asp or by contacting Community Action Partnership in Washington, DC at 202-265-7546
A lot of Local Utility Programs can be identified on the web by going to www.hud.gov, then choose your state under the title "Information by State." Most state pages have a link called "Renting Help Page." Click there even if you are a homeowner. Most Rental Help pages have a link called "Help With Your Utility Bills," which describes programs for both renters and homeowners.
Listed below is a sampling of the types of programs that are available around the country.
Seniors Making $24,400 Can Get $280 DiscountEnergy Assistance Program Rate, Sacramento Municipal Utility DistrictSacramento. CAhttp://www.smud.org/residential/bill/eapr.html
50% Discount For Seniors 65+ Making $31,992Utility Discount Program, Mayor's Office for Senior CitizensSeattle, WAhttp://www.cityofseattle.net/humanservices/mosc/utility_discount_program.htm
25% Discount On Water, Sewer, And Solid Waste For Seniors Making $19,248Low Income Assistance Program, Tacoma PowerTacoma, WAhttp://www.ci.tacoma.wa.us/power/ResidentialServices/low_income_assistance.htm
Pay Only 10% Of Income If Income Less Than $19,245Percentage of Income Payment Plan, Public Utilities Commission of OhioOhiohttp://www.puco.ohio.gov/PUCO/Consumer/information.cfm?doc_id=93
Pay No More Than 6% On Utilities If Income Under $24,464Universal Service Fund New Jersey Board of Public UtilitiesNew Jersey http://www.bpu.state.nj.us/home/USFQA.shtml
The Federal Trade Commission has many publications to get you on the road to good credit and can also tell you your rights in dealing with collection agencies. Contact Public Reference, Room 130, Federal Trade Commission, Washington, DC 20580; 877-FTC-HELP; www.ftc.gov.
You can also get free counseling at your local County Cooperative Extension Service listed in the government section of your phone book under County Government. Or contact one of the non-profits that can help with your debt:
National Foundation for Credit Counseling 801 Roeder Rd., Suite 900Silver Spring, MD 20910800-388-2227www.nfcc.org
Credit Counseling Center of AmericaP.O. Box 830489Richardson, TX 75083800-493-2222www.cccamerica.org.
Remember that these non-profits get money from credit card companies so they are not likely to explain your bankruptcy options to you. And make sure no one charges you money for their services.
There are a number of national groups that provide free money and services through a network of local offices. Check each of the groups below and see what their local offices have to offer.
- Catholic Charities USA1731 King St., #200Alexandria, VA 22314703-549-1390www.catholiccharitiesinfo.orgOver 14,000 local organizations offer a variety of services for many different community problems, including child care, elderly services, emergency financial services, rental assistance, and more. To find an office near you go to their main web site and see "Need Assistance? Find A Local Agency?" and put in your state.
- Salvation Army National Headquarters615 Slaters LaneP.O. Box 269Alexandria, VA 22313703-684-5500www.salvationarmyusa.org/Families in need can receive a wide range of services including, utility assistance, transitional housing emergency food, clothing, and more. For an office near you, contact the headquarters above or http://www.redshield.org/.
- United Way of America701 North Fairfax St.Alexandria, VA 2314703-836-7112 www.unitedway.orgThe United Way is a national organization that raises money for thousands of local non-profit organizations that offer money and services to people in their community. Your local United Way can identify non-profits in your area that may offer the resources or services you are looking for. To find a local chapter, go to the web site and enter your zip code under "Find A Local United Way."
Over 1,000 local non-profit offices offer free money and help to improve your life in almost any area. Although these agencies do get money from the federal government, they also get money from other sources, and as a result, no two of these offices are exactly alike. But most all of them help in the area of employment, bill paying, child care and self employment. The following is a sample of programs you will find when you contact an office near you. Along with the program, we also identify the local agency providing this program. These programs are specific to these areas. Check with your local office to see what they offer.
Get a $3 grant for every $1 you saveCommunity Action Partnership http://www.managingmymoney.com/
Free Cars, if you pay repairs and registrationCAP Agency Shakopee, MN http://www.capagency.org/pages/service.htm
Free Crisis Nursery, up to 73 hours of overnight care and 10 days day careCAP Agency Shakopee, MN http:// www.capagency.org/pages/service.htm
Eviction PreventionTEAM, Inc Derby, CT http://www.teamcaa.org/housing.htm
$10,000 to start a businessCommunity Action Program, Inc of Western Indiana http://www.capwi.org/new_page_9.htm
$700 for child careCommunity and Family Services, Inc. Portland, IN www.comfam.net/pages/childcare.html
$350 for an air conditionerCity of Des Moines, Iowa http://www.ci.des-moines.ia.us/departments/CD/Comm%20Serv/L-I%20Assist%20Programs.htm
$1,000 to repair your furnaceCity of Des Moines, Iowa http://www.ci.des-moines.ia.us/departments/CD/Comm%20Serv/L-I%20Assist%20Programs.htm
To find a community action agency near you go to: http://www.communityactionpartnership.com/about/links/map.asp or contact Community Action Partnership, 1100 17th St NW Suite 500, Washington, DC 20036; 202-265-7546; Fax: 202-265-8850; www.communityactionpartnership.com; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org;
If your local agency doesn't have what you need, ask for names of other organizations that might be able to help.
There are 2 major sources for finding money from these groups:
A. The Foundation Center of New York City maintains a database of all foundations that provide money to non-profit organizations or individuals. Their information is available on the web at http://fdncenter.org or from their participating libraries by contacting 212-620-4230 (or they are also listed on the website).
B. The Guidestar company in Williamsburg, VA also maintains a database of foundations and they can reached at 757-229-4631 or at www.guidestar.com. Much of their database is accessible for free on the web.
There are a number of national volunteer organizations around the country that offer grants and other free services to solve problems for people in their community. The Lions Club awarded over $340 million in grants since they started, and the Kiwanis Clubs give out over $100 million every year.
Find your local club for each of the organizations below and contact them for information on their programs. If they do not have an ongoing program that specifically suits you, you can ask if you can send a letter of request for their consideration. It can't hurt to ask. We've used these clubs in this way to help people in our "Show Me The Money Contest."
These organizations run programs that offer money for:
-day care services -scholarships-summer camp -travel -free eye glasses -cataract surgeries -health problems -travel -medical equipment -money for emergencies
- Kiwanis International3636 Woodview TraceIndianapolis, IN 46268-3196USA317-875-8755http://www.kiwanis.orgFind a local Kiwanis club: http://www.kiwanis.org/clubloc/
- United States Junior ChamberP.O. Box 7Tulsa, OK 741021-800-JAYCEEShttp://www.usjaycees.org/Find a local Jaycees chapter: http://www.usjaycees.org/chapter_links.htm
- Lions Clubs International300 W 22nd StreetOak Brook, IL 60523630-571-5466 ext 356http://www.lionsclubs.org/Find a local lions club: http://www.lionnet.com/united_states.html
Wow. You are probably tired just from reading all this, and you haven't even started any of the real work yet. That's the problem with life nowadays. It's a lot bigger and complicated than it used to be. When I grew up in the 50s there used to be just one place to turn to for help, and that one person seemed to know it all. Now times have changed. No one person knows everything anymore. Life's become so complex. Even I, who has been studying money programs for over 25 years, and am likely to be the best one in the country at it, still don't feel like I know it all.
You can't trust a "no" answer anymore. No, just means that they don't know anything. It seems that success in this world goes to those who don't take no for an answer and find a way to solve the problem no matter what the experts say. The experts are wrong too many times to trust them completely.
It's fun to continue to learn new sources of help and new skills for finding money. I always believe that the sources you identify this time and don't use will be of value to you some time in the future, but you just don't know it yet.
I hope our sources give you some help. Hang in there, it's a big world and there are lots of sources waiting to help you, but they won't come looking for you, you have to go looking for them.
Matthew LeskoEntrepreneur and Best Selling AuthorInformation USA, Incwww.lesko.com