Seeking out help in times of stress

Published 2:59 pm Wednesday, March 25, 2009

If your income is not covering expenses, you may face tough choices. Reaching out for help during financial stress may make the difference in whether your family emerges from the crisis intact. Supportive people in one or more of the following agencies may help.

Finding work

Visit your local career center for the following services: Skill assessment and developing a career plan, free Internet access, résumé writing programs, telephones and fax machines. They also provide lists of job openings through the Job Central National Labor Exchange and have staff who can assess job skills and make referrals. To locate the one nearest you, call 1-877-US2-JOBS or visit

Credit Counseling

Contact your local service center for the following counseling services: budgeting, debt, bankruptcy, foreclosure and homebuyer services. Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Alabama’s, toll-free number is 1-800-662-6119.

General Assistance

211 is a national program that connects people with important community services, including housing, food and utility assistance assistance.

Dial 211 from any phone for help finding resources in your area or visit

Faith organizations

Many provide temporary assistance in the form of food, clothing and household items.

Alabama Sustainable Agricultural Network

ASAN is a network of growers, consumers and information. They host educational events including sustainable agriculture field days and an annual food systems forum. For more information, visit or call 256-751-3825.

For more information on this or other financial topics, e-mail Ruth Brock, Regional Extension Agent at