Dealing with lack of everything
May 14, 2015 3:17 PM   Subscribe

Basically, stuff happened in the last 1-2 months and I lost everything. Currently, trying to survive and wait it out. I'm searching for any resources related to unemployment/no income that I may have missed accidentally searching on my own.

Currently I have 2 months of rent paid for a apt (basically Fuck You money) and multiple lawsuits ongoing filed by my only surviving abusive parent. I've tried reasoning with other relatives but they are deep in denial and are avoiding/ignoring me. I have tried contacting my brother to see if he can give me my savings but he is too "busy."

I've applied to SNAP/govt resources but I still need to wait a min 7-14 days for it to be approved. I do have FAFSA/TAP but that won't kick in until Fall '15 earliest. I have tried to find a job but I've run out of money and had to cancel my phone plan/empty metro card. I do have my PC/wifi but I can't exactly eat that.

Right now I'm rationing my meals (large box of ramen and 3x boxes of cereal) but I don't know how long I can live off that without being ill later on. I can't travel that far as I'm not familiar with the NYC area and I don't really feel safe as I don't have a working phone.

Although, I do have a appointment with a therapist but that's in 1 week and not sure how I can even get there considering I have $0.

Are there any other government resources that could help? I'm not a minor but right now I feel fairly hopeless due to my situation (23/F). Thanks.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (14 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I'm not in NYC, but a quick google gets you some foodbank resources, and other homeless/unemployment resources. These should at least get you on the path to some food. Its unclear in your post what resourced other than SNAP you've applied for.

I have tried contacting my brother to see if he can give me my savings but he is too "busy."

You might want to contact the mods to clear this up; why can't you access your savings? With more detail, there might be a solution to this. There are some pretty awesome knowledgeable folks on metafilter and oftentimes have mind-blowing solutions to problems like this…but typically, quite a bit more information is needed.
posted by furnace.heart at 3:38 PM on May 14, 2015 [2 favorites]

I'm so sorry about what you're going through.

While technically you aren't a minor, there are places you can get specialized help as a young person -- in my experience there are some agencies that will assist young people up to age 24. I am not familiar with NYC (you're in NYC, right?), but take a look at the places on this list and see if any of them might be a good fit.

From the list, this program, which is described as "provid[ing] New York City youth between the ages of 14 and 24 with paid summer employment for up to six weeks in July and August," seems like it might work for you. I'm not sure if they're still accepting applicants, but you should definitely look into it.

There are a few other places on the list that advertise helping people up to age 24, but you shouldn't hesitate to call the other agencies on the list too. The people who work in those places will also be familiar with options for people who are a bit older. Even though you have an apartment, you may be able to receive assistance from places that work with homeless or at-risk youth.

If you end up having trouble acessing therapy or medical care because of your financial situation, Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center provides free medical and dental care for people aged 10 to 30.

Go get food from a food bank on furnace.heart's list today or tomorrow -- they exist to help people in your situation and may be able to connect you to other resources too.

Please stay safe!
posted by cimton at 3:52 PM on May 14, 2015

Find a community garden and offer to help out in exchange for produce. You will get very unhealthy if you don't start eating fruits and vegetables. If you let a mod know your location a bit more specifically maybe people can tell you about food and other help programs within walking distance.
posted by mareli at 4:26 PM on May 14, 2015 [2 favorites]

If you are a student, go to your university advisor, ask for help. It will help if you let the mods know where you are in NYC, maybe cross streets. There are soup kitchens where you can get a meal, food banks where you can get food. You can apply for some jobs online, give your phone #, but note Please contact me by email. You can go to restaurants and retail places near you and ask if there's any work to be had.

New York City is pretty safe in the daytime, especially. There are libraries; great place to get out of the house, and you can check out resources there.
posted by theora55 at 4:44 PM on May 14, 2015

Pawn or sell your stuff.

The food you have will last a week or 10 days without scrimping or hunger. Seconding food banks.

Dial 211. That's the clearinghouse for social services. They know all the available resources 24-7.
posted by irisclara at 4:54 PM on May 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

2 cardboard signs and a red marker. First sign is the brief reason why you need help. Other is a charity drive style thermometer drawing, with a modest goal like $40. Try uptown - 50's to 80's. Move at least 5 blocks when you've reached the goal. Don't spend more than 2 days in a row at same spot. I had a friend who was able to get $20-$80 a day from 'spanging.
posted by Sophont at 5:50 PM on May 14, 2015 [2 favorites]

And if you live alone, and apartment is in good shape, there's airbnb.
posted by Sophont at 5:52 PM on May 14, 2015

I think irisclara means 311, maybe. I would start with the Food Bank locator mentioned above.

Also, this is probably (definitely) a crap job, but might work for something temporary:
posted by three_red_balloons at 6:05 PM on May 14, 2015

Another possible desperate way to make money: egg donation. Could be $8000+. Not a light commitment, obviously, but something you could think about.
posted by three_red_balloons at 6:08 PM on May 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

Ways to make some money online that I have tried and succeeded at:

Inbox Dollars

Both are extremely tedious, take awhile to receive payments and pay little . . . but it is something you can do with nothing but a wifi connection. Also, maybe look into selling plasma.
posted by ainsley at 6:58 PM on May 14, 2015

Hi there - I live in the city and have quite a few Quest Bars -like - at least 10, maybe 15 or 20?, of various flavors - that I got for a low-carb diet a long time ago. I've never been able to get into them, but haven't brought myself to throw them away (they are good until November of this year). They are super high in protein, and could stave off hunger for sure. Are you interested in having them and if so, how could I go about getting them to you? I don't really know the etiquette here - but you can pm me, or email me at fredmofo at
posted by microcarpetus at 8:05 PM on May 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

Information about free and low-cost legal resources is available at the MeFi Wiki Get a lawyer page. Your local legal aid organizations may be reachable through email or online applications, and may be able to offer free legal advice and information about unemployment and other public benefits. You may also be eligible for free legal assistance for the multiple lawsuits filed by your abusive parent.

Organizations that assist survivors of abuse may be able to help you with your phone, transportation and other issues. You can get referrals to local organizations by contacting the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. In addition, offers an email hotline for questions about where to find help.

Also, is it possible to enroll in summer school? You mention FAFSA, and maybe your school's financial aid office can offer assistance with obtaining loans or other funding for school during the summer.
posted by Little Dawn at 8:18 PM on May 14, 2015

Disclaimer: I work for an organization that provides coordinated benefits/resource access and legal assistance at 60+ locations in NYC. There may be a food pantry within walking distance of your home. I would have put this in a memail, but since you're anonymous I'll self link our site directory (which will link you on to the websites of a very significant share of community based organizations doing this type of work in NYC).

I'm not a caseworker but a couple of things I happen to know:

There are emergency food stamps, and there are many food banks/pantries around the city. If you qualify for SNAP, you also qualify for discounted phone service through the Lifeline program. You will definitely be able to access free legal and health services.

The greater problem is -- being poor in the US is really exhausting. Locating and connecting to all the benefits/resources you may be able for is like... a part time job in itself, and there are many "tips and tricks". For example, getting onto the federal work study program may turn out to be crucial for you maintaining your food stamp benefits as you go back to school this fall.

Good news is -- there are people (mostly social workers) specializing in exactly this and who will help you as long as you reach out. This way, you'll be able to use more of your energy for say -- applying for a job.

Remember: this is just temporary!!
posted by yonglin at 9:38 PM on May 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

Sorry I am very late. Please memail me. I would like to help a little and I am local to NYC.
posted by Salamandrous at 8:32 AM on May 21, 2015

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