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Community and Internet Resources

Finances: General Financial Assistance


American Red Cross offers a wide range of community services. The variety of services include home delivered meals, food pantries, rides to medical appointments, homeless shelters, transitional housing, fuel assistance, HeadStart, latchkey programs and many more. Some chapters also offer limited financial assistance in times of emergency. Contact your local Red Cross chapter to learn of the assistance they offer.

Community Action Partnership is a national organization of Community Action Agencies (CAAs) working to fight poverty at the local level. Community Action Agencies provides a variety of assistance to those living in poverty. Programs vary from one agency to the next and may include information and referral, energy assistance, food pantries, meals on wheels, budget counseling, homeownership and rental assistance, health care assistance, and much more. To locate the agency that serves your area, visit the Partnership's website or e-mail info@2004communityactionpartnership.com.

IDAnetwork offers information on Individual Development Accounts (IDA). IDA savings programs, available in most states, provide an opportunity for low-income people to receive saving matches for an education, a home of their own or creation of a small business. Every dollar you save will be doubled, perhaps even tripled or quadrupled. To learn how you can use an IDA to save for your future, e-mail idainfo@cfed.org.

New Sign Modest Needs is a non-profit organization reaching out to hard-working individuals and families who suddenly find themselves faced with small, emergency expenses that they have no way to afford on their own. They do so by offering grants up to $1000 to assist persons to afford small, emergency expenses like those we've all encountered before: the unexpected car repair, the unanticipated visit to the doctor, the unusually large winter heating bill. Modest Needs issues payments directly to the creditor on your behalf. Cash grants are not made to individuals. For more information, visit their website or e-mail questionsmodestneeds.org.

United States Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families, via their Office of Family Assistance (OFA), oversees the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program. State TANF programs provide financial assistance and work opportunities to needy families. To learn more about your State TANF Program contact your state's Human Services agency.

State Listings


Hennepin County via their Economic Assistance Department, offers several forms of emergency financial assistance. Emergency assistance is short-term, one-time assistance for persons in a financial crisis because of fire, flood, storm, illness, accident, theft, utility shut-off, eviction, foreclosure, moving expense, necessary home repairs, or need for furniture or appliance replacement or repair. Each emergency assistance program has different eligibility criteria and different benefits. For more information, call (612) 348-7605.

New York

New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) offers cash assistance to needy men, women and children. If you are unable to work, can't find a job, or your job does not pay enough, temporary assistance may be able to help you pay for your expenses. Assistance is offered if: you are homeless, you have little or no food, your landlord has given you eviction papers, you do not have fuel for home heating, your utilities are shut-off or are about to be shut-off, or if you or someone in your family has been beaten, abused or threatened with violence by a husband, wife, partner or other member of the household. If you live outside of New York City, call or visit your local department of social services in the county where you live and ask for an application package. If you live in New York City, call or visit your local Income Support (Welfare) Center, or Job Center. For more information, visit your local Social Services Office or e-mail OTDA at nyspio@dfa.state.ny.us.


Catholic Social Services of Southwestern Ohio is an agency of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, existing to advance the human dignity and welfare of those people in need by providing comprehensive social services. While they do not offer financial assistance, they do offer a very nice list of organizations that do. On their website, they offer a Help for the Needy web section, offering information on such sources of assistance as food pantries, meal kitchens and emergency shelters. They also offer a list of organizations that offer emergency rental assistance to Southwestern Ohio residents. For more information, visit this web section or call the CSS Resource Center, (513) 241-7745.

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[Updated September 30, 2005]
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