WelFare Assistance, and Utility Assistance....we Are in Desperate Need of Help

Updated on January 19, 2011
G.M. asks from Peoria, AZ
12 answers

My husband just lost his job the other day. Where do I go to ask for assistance until we find a job? I am applying for jobs myself, and there are prospective jobs out there for my husband, but in the meantime, we have a 17mos old and a 6 year old and in need of food assistance and temporary cash assistance along with utility assistance. We are new at this whole thing. It is devistating, shocking, but we are keeping our heads high and we are busting butts to look for another job. How, and where should we ask for help? Should we go down to the WelFare office, or should we apply online, and what other assistance is there out there? Any tips/suggestions/help anyone can advise, will be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much.

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So What Happened?

We are going to end up in the streets before WelFare helps us. Questions after questions after questions. You can't get no one on the phone, and the internet is not updated with your status. You think you're done answering everything they need you to, and. then letters after letters come with more questions. My GOD do they actually help? After so many years of paying taxes on this, and now we need the help, it is taking forever and an act of God to get things done. It's discouraging really. I appreciate everyone's help on here. Thank you so much. :-) Sometimes it feels like you're the only one going through this and there is no one out there to lean on. Thank you mamapedia friends for being there. :-)

More Answers



answers from Minneapolis on

See if your city as 411 a number you can dial for assistance. They can usually lead you in the right direction if you have that number.

If he qualifies hop on unemployement immediately as the wait time can be 6weeks or more right now. Apply online takes just a few minutes.

also Foodstamps can get sped up for job loss, WIC you 17 mo old will qualify but not your 6yr old but will help a bit, Call the 6yr olds school and let them know so you can get either Free or reduced lunches, Churches help in situations like this, there should be many food pantry's to go to in the area (google search them)

Get deferances on loans if you can't pay them, Student loan can do this and even others if needed. Once you get into a place like WIC they can help you tremendiously for all other needs

I also want to say you can get through this...things do happen for a reason, my husband lost his job 18 months ago and now has been happily employed at a new place for a year now, we were out of work for a while and I was scared as we had just found out we were expecting our third when he lost his job, now we live halfway across the country closer to family again, with a happy healthy 5yr old 3yr old and 8mo old and doing fine! You will get through this! Take the help while you need it that is what it is there for!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

This happened to my husband when we had a 4 month old and a 2 1/2 year old. It was horrible. I had no idea what to do or where to go. I didn't even know about mamasource. Is your husband a veteran, by chance? If so, email me and I will give you some info.

We ended getting on food stamps, right away. It's not as bad, or embarrassing, because they issue a debit card. It was a hassle, the procedures of getting the assistance, but once it got rolling, it was always timely.

Call the welfare office and ask them, but there is probably an online information site. Whatever can be done online, do it. You will likely need to go there and verify in person, identity. Ask if they offer appointments, otherwise get there before the doors open to mitigate the wait time.

WIC was a great resource. They gave us food that day, to my recollection.

Your utility company could likely offer assistance too, but you may need to substantiate the income loss.

Did your husband get a severence package? My husband got one week pay. I called his "former" boss and gave him a piece of my mind and he ended up giving my husband an extra week in pay.

Review your expenses and cut back immediately on anything that is not necessary. If you have cable tv, consider going to the totally basic where you just get your local channels.

The advice about going to your child's school and asking for 'subsidized' meal assistance is great. You may also even get breakfast too and a reduced or no cost. You could likely go online for that too, at the info.

Obviously, if you have a student loan, getting it deferred may be a necessity.

Obviously, unemployment is a no-brainer. You may also look at public health insurance assistance...especially for the little ones !
So the biggie is your home. Are you guys okay there? If there is any concern, maybe speak to a family member for a short-term loan.

Also, and this is just an idea, but maybe go through your old stuff in your house and sell it on Craigslist or have a yard sale.

My husband was out of work for a couple months. It was terribly hard and very humbling, but he ended up getting a job and then he was offered a better one at the midnight hour.

You have gotten great information thus far and we will keep you in our prayers for a speedy financial recovery.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Gainesville on

Many states will expedite food stamps if someone loses their job like your husband so take heart that you may get help pretty quick in some areas.

WIC is also pretty quick and it provides a lot for the baby.

Contact your 6 year old's school and apply to get either free or reduced lunches.

Check to see about applying for most things on-line. That makes the process go quicker.

Catholic Charities or other organizations will help out with utilities.

Once you get going the agencies that you talk to will start pointing you in the direction for more assistance in your area.

If you have any credit card debt, contact the companies asap and speak to someone about reducing or suspending your payments so that you don't get into a bigger hole with them.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

If it is possible, he may be able to apply for unemployment, have him contact his HR department.

Go ahead and go down to the social services office to apply for assistance:

here is the online information you need to see your options for your states utility assistance, food stamps, child and medical needs and such:

also, google food banks in your area, here's one:
http://www.icmaz.org/default.aspx (they also help with utilities I believe)

If there is an Angel Food Ministries in your area, they are wonderful for discounted groceries, we've had to use them before, and they accept food stamps:

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

Sorry to hear about your situation. Has your husband applied for unemplyment? I am not sure how it works in AZ but in Texas it will pay you while you are looking for a job. It requires that you do a certain number of job searches per week. In Texas under certian circumstances if you are on umeployment you can also qualify for other assistance programs. I would check into the umemployment benefits- it will provide some income while you both look look for work, they will also beable to direct you to other programs. I have been unemployed for 14 months now and while I have not been able to find a job yet we are fortunate enough that my husbands job pays well enough that I can stay home for now. Hang in there and things will get better. There are lots of programs out there that can help you. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

Close to Peoria, I know there is St Mary's Food Bank. They have a website and should be able to help you out.
Also, Community Church of Joy at 75th Ave and the 101 has a food bank called the Oasis. You might want to call them - I'm sure they'd be able to help. Good Luck!


answers from Phoenix on

I know where you are at because my husband and I are in a very similar situation. There were a lot of excellent points made by all the moms that posted. Thank god for this site!

I know you are in the peoria area however i have a few places in surprise for you:
St Mary's Food Bank in Surprise is Located on Elm St off Bell Road and Dysart. Kinda right behind/next to The Maricopa County Sherrifs Office and DMV. (if you Google St. Mary's FoodBank you can find more precise Directions)
I have gone there a few times and its a miracle! You pay for $15-25 of food and get quite a bit more! I couldn't use everything they gave me, but it definately got us by for some time (just redonated what we didnt use)

Also off Dysart and Bell is the WIC office (Adalante)

Call up APS and SW Gas and any other utility you have and ask what they can do for you. They usually have options for you.

Call your morgage lender and get paperwork started immediately on a "loan Modification" or something in regards to keeping your hope if that is in fact what you want to do. Its a very long and drawn out process so the earlier you start the better.

You can apply for benefits online at: https://www.healthearizona.org/app/Login.aspx
for any kind of welfare assistance without having to go into an office.

If you do go to church, talk to your pastor about your situation, they may be able to offer some help. If not, try looking into a church or fellowship. They may not be able to offer cash, but they may be able to give you a peace of mind, members may bring over food, offer to take the kids while you and your husband can spend some time alone. There are some excellent parish's out there.

Good Luck! I wish you guys the best. God Bless you and your family!



answers from Oklahoma City on

Here in Oklahoma City they have a phone number to call, it is 211. They are also known as Heartline. They have a database of places that help with anything you might need. I would look in your local area to see if they have something similar. Good Luck with finding a job.


answers from Lansing on

I would go to your local DHS office. After you fill out all the paperwork and do their first set of meeting, you should be set up with your own caseworker.

I will warn you though, DHS is slow. And it takes a long time to get back wtih you if you were accepted or denied food stamps, medicaid, etc. I don't know how long it takes for heating/utility assistance.

I waited for over 2 months to get denied by them, and after I appealed it, I waited another month.

I would also go to your health department (ours in Michigan is done from the County and it's not affiliated with DHS) and sign up for WIC. Even though it's not much, it's still a REALLY big help.

Good Luck and I hope you both find a job really soon!



answers from Phoenix on

You have gotten lots of great info below. I wanted to suggest on your home though...try speaking to your mortgage company. And not jsut someone that answers in customer service, they can't help. But get to a foreclosure or modification department. My hubby has been off work for 9 months now and our mortgage co put us on a "forebearance" plan that cut our payments in half and we stay on until he is employed again then re-modify it to a payment that will work in our new budget. Lots of the mortgage co have been decent cause they really don't need another house.

Other than that we have used unemployment, WIC, didn't qualify for food stamps or ins (barely) becuase I work. But have used the utility help.....I think I got that info from WIC, phone numbers etc to call for all of the utilities and cash assistance etc. Churches and St. Mary's food banks are great places for assistance as well.

Good luck! I hope one of you find something soon!


answers from Spokane on

Go to your closest Health & Welfare Department, WIC office, Department of Labor and Community Action in person. I know there's stuff you can do online, but most places need you to turn in paperwork personally. Also, definitely hit the food banks and while you're there, ask them for leads with help in this area. They'll know your area and can point you in the direction you need. I've been there myself so I know how hard this is. Big hugs.

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