There often comes a time in life where you have to ask for help. As adults, we pride ourselves on our independence. We may feel weak if we admit we can't go it alone. Or, we may just be afraid of stigmas against people who need assistance.
But the truth is, everyone needs help at some point. The choice to seek it is a brave one.
So if you've stumbled upon hard times and need assistance for yourself or your family, check out these organizations that are dedicated to extending a helping hand.
I Have A Dream Foundation
The I Have A Dream Foundation works to help low-income youth academically, emotionally and financially over a long-term duration. The foundation connections with children no later than third grade, and works with them on a regular basis. They help students get into college and then prep them for careers and assist them in fostering a healthy and civically engaged life.
The foundation says it has helped about 18,000 students since it opened in 1981, sending them to universities such as Stanford, Harvard and New York University.
Parents As Teachers
Parents As Teachers is a nonprofit serving more than 195,000 people in all 50 U.S. states. According to the organization, it "promotes optimal early development, learning and health of young children by supporting and engaging their parents and caregivers." Its primary method of assistance is parent education via in-person meetings and group sessions.
Since opening 20 years ago, LIFT has worked with more than 100,000 individuals in America to lift them out of poverty. The organization, with bases in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington D.C., works with low-income parents and caregivers of children younger than 8 years old to build "personal wellbeing, social connections and financial strength," a spokesman for the company said.
Parents who need help will be matched with a LIFT coach to offer guidance in their career, education and finance. LIFT members will "graduate" after two years.
LIFT also provides funds for emergency needs and to promote long-term sustainability.
Help from LIFT is free but comes with four requirements:
- Be a parent or caregiver of a child 8 years or younger (expecting parents are included)
- Have stable housing for the next six months
- Employed or in an education program
- Available and interested in coaching
For assistance, call one of the organization's four offices:
- Chicago: (312) 316–1899
- DC: (202) 289-1151
- Los Angeles: (213) 744–9468
- New York: (347) 584-4010
The Family Promise organization "provides food, shelter, and support services for homeless families," according to its website and "advice and advocacy for at-risk families to prevent their becoming homeless."
The organization, which says it has helped more than 825,000 individuals, conducts its educational outreach and assistance through "thousands of volunteers." It also boasts an 82 percent success rate for finding homeless families housing within nine weeks of their coming to the organization.
Bridge of Hope
Bridge of Hope is a network of Christian churches and volunteers across the U.S. that work to combat homelessness, mostly among single mothers. Individuals in need will receive assistance from a case manager and six to 10 Christian "neighboring volunteers." These volunteers will act as a familial system, there to offer "emotional support and encouragement," the site says, while encouraging a faith-based life.
The case manager will work to find immediate housing and provide money-management training.
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