Sunday, January 16, 2011

Need Help? Here's Where to Look

People need help all the time. From asking why your computer is DOA to finding out where your next meal is coming from, if you find yourself destitute, here's some places to try if you need help:
  • AskMetafilter. People use this site to seek help on all kinds of issues from relationship problems to travel questions to tech/cooking/health/et al issues.
  • Reddit. This is a huge site with a special section to ask for help from other redditors.
  • Call 211. It's like dialing 911 but this nation-wide number connects callers to all kinds of social service help in their local communities (food banks, emergency housing, job training, etc). You can also visit the online 211 site here.
  • Google. Many problems can be solved, or at least helped, by Googling. I have been able to Google computer problems (and solve them with what I found on Google) and provide referrals for all kinds of things (crisis intervention, medical /legal), etc. just from typing away on my computer.
  • Local churches. There are all kinds of churches; some are more helpful than others with everything from pastoral care to hosting food banks, emergency housing, and other services for people in need.
  • Community "helping" agencies. Such as the Salvation Army (food, toiletries, occasionally shelter), St Vincent de Paul (help with utility bills and food), YWCA (domestic violence support and emergency shelters), state welfare office (food stamps, housing, cash assistance), etc.
  • Ask people. Getting help in it's simplest form comes down to asking people for what you need. Whether you are asking the family to help with a project, standing on a corner with a sign asking passers-by for a spare dollar, asking for a job, or asking friends or relatives for a place to stay, a pleasing personality and the nerve to ask for help when you need it can be one of the easiest and fastest way to get the help you need.

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