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Are You Worried About Fraud?

SvsCAccording to a 2011 Assessment of the Needs of Elder Floridians,

“A majority of survey respondents (87%) expressed a considerable degree of concern about being a victim of consumer fraud or swindle. Despite high levels of concern for this issue, over one-half of elders surveyed (54%) were not familiar with programs to educate and protect them from abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation.”

Did you know that if you suspect fraud or have experienced fraud, 2-1-1 can connect you to your local, regional and national resources who can help you? (more…)

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2-1-1 Success: Balancing a Budget

Bank on MarionSometimes our best intentions can unintentionally lead us to difficult times. When Ms. Waters* contacted 2-1-1, she was struggling with her bills and debt after trying to take a step in the right direction by opening a bank account. In the process of moving toward building up some savings, she ended up buried in bank fees that she didn’t realize she was accruing. She got pulled into a cycle of trying to get caught up and out of the fees. Having a fixed and limited income, due to her disability, this was a daunting and increasingly impossible task. Her stress levels were going up, and with her disability that meant running the risk of re-occurring health problems.  Marsha Holloway, with the United Way, let us know that Ms. Waters is not alone. She shared that frequently participants in the United Way financial education workshops are in the same situation with a bank having accrued fees that they can not pay due to financial hardship. (more…)

Before You Reuse That Diaper…

diaperneed2Did you know that 1 out of 3 families struggle to afford diapers for their children in the United States? Some families have had to resort to scraping out and reusing wet or soiled disposable diapers.

Community agencies have pulled together on both sides of the cloth/disposable fence of diapering to help meet the need and ensure that children are able to use clean diapers. Marion County agencies have stepped up, offering disposable diapers in addition to other baby needs such as food, clothing and furniture. Nationwide, there is another network of agencies responding with a lending library: of cloth diapers.

The cloth diaper programs lend qualifying families a full set of cloth diapers for your little ones with the agreement that you will return them clean when you don’t need them anymore. Eligibility requirements and program requirements vary from agency to agency, but all of them are FREE. (more…)

National Victim Rights Week

mystrengthpc1This week is National Victim Rights week! Check out the events below:

Mon 4/22 11a-12p Opening Ceremony, downtown Ocala

Tues 4/23 5:30-8:30p Safety Workshop @ Marion County Sheriff’s Dept (692 NW 30th Ave Ocala, FL 34475)

Wed 4/24 3-5p Domestic/Dating Violence Workshop @ Ocala Police Department (402 South Pine Avenue Ocala, Florida 34471)

Thurs 4/25 12p Victims Remembrance Ceremony @ the Courthouse (110 NW 1st Ave  Ocala, FL 34475)

Call 352-369-7139 to RSVP or for more info.

What Can I Do?

  1. Volunteer with an agency that works to Build Safe Communities. Contact 2-1-1 for volunteer opportunities near you.
  2. Shift from being a bystander to becoming an ally (this linked article refers to children, but it applies to adults as well). All community members play an important role in preventing and ending violence in our communities, through compassion, understanding and mentorship. Call 2-1-1 to get connected with local agencies who can teach you how.
  3. Begin within. Ask yourself these questions and if answering them leads to a self-awareness that you need support and want to change, give 2-1-1 a call. We want to support you and can connect you to resources who can support you through that change. Another good question to ask is, “Would someone else answer yes to these questions if they answered them about me?” Marion County has 4 agencies who support those who struggle with anger management and controlling behavior. Give 2-1-1 a call and we can share their information with you to get you started.

Look for the Helpers, Be the Caring People in this World

rogers-framedIn the wake of disaster, especially when it is far away, you can be left with a desire to act, but wondering: What Can I Do? There is a meme with a quote from Mr. Rogers which has been making the rounds on the internet:

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.” — Mister Rogers

Even though the disaster may be far away, there is so much that we can do right here in our county to be the caring people in this world, to be the helpers, in the aftermath of a disaster and in our every day lives. 2-1-1 would like to share a list of ways you can help below. Please dial 2-1-1 to get connected to local resources where you can get started. (more…)

2-1-1 Success: Out of the Woods

veteranMany years ago, John* served our country in the military. Now, 2-1-1 has had the honor of serving him. For the past several years, John was living in the woods in Marion County. An elder in our community, John needed a home so he called 2-1-1. The Information and Referral Specialist connected him with agencies such as Marion County Senior Services, Senior Legal Helpline and Vets Helping Vets. He is very happy to share with us that now, with their help, he has a roof over his head, he has electricity, and he’s now able to focus on getting help with his disability. What he appreciated about 2-1-1 was not only getting connected to resources, but the compassion we shared. He was able to vent about the obstacles he has faced and the Information and Referral Specialist was able to help him use innovative thinking about some alternative solutions to his struggles. Thank you John, for letting 2-1-1 be of service.

*Name changed for privacy

“What Can I Do?”

To volunteer with agencies in Marion County who are working to alleviate hunger and homelessness visit the United Way Volunteer Resource Center.

To learn more about which resources in Marion County provide legal counseling, low-income housing, and utility deposit payment assistance, dial 2-1-1. We are open 24 hours a day.

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