Nonprofits/Women's Groups to Assist a Displaced Chronically Ill Person?
May 3, 2018 2:37 PM   Subscribe

Much to my dismay, I am chronically ill and am really in need of help. I recently left a toxic home environment, so while some stress has been relieved, I'm still in an unsettled situation without the ability to fully support myself. I am young, unmarried and currently staying with professional contacts who have been a great help, and they've advised I reach out to women's groups or nonprofits/organizations who may be able to help. I'm asking here for help in my search.

Hi everyone, thank you for taking the time to read this.

I'm asking for help finding nonprofits/charities that may be able to help me, because I'm already overwhelmed with trying to work as much as possible, cook, take care of myself and deal with future planning/everyday tasks.

Unfortunately, I do not have family support, but I am set to begin a graduate program that will provide some funding in a few weeks. I need the financial assistance and it seems to be my only option. Getting a personal loan is proving hard for someone without a solid work history and regular income from chronic illness. School won't provide much funding, though, and I am faced with having to work more than my body can handle to make ends meet and take care of myself, which can ultimately jeopardize my health even more and prevent me from saving money, which is also a goal during grad school.

I have severe health conditions that have kept me from holding a full-time job, though I do pull in some part-time work online. Thyroid and digestive issues, insulin resistance, and chronic fatigue, which is the main barrier to working enough to support myself. To give an idea of my current state, I'm not able to digest or absorb nutrients well, or eat enough, which makes things worse. But I do my best with what I have, and try to make my small meals nutrient-dense.

I've tried to apply for disability in the past and that isn't an option; I'm not even able to afford drs anymore, and all conventional treatments that seem available for my conditions have just made me worse. Disability seems to hinge on a patient being treated by a dr, and eventually no specialists could help me. I wasn't given low-cost medical insurance, and had to stop paying the high rate I was given. I want to move abroad ultimately and seek alternative care elsewhere, but really could use some help in the meantime to help me survive now.

When I was younger and my conditions weren't as serious (or diagnosed), I hoofed it all over large cities and used buses, worked full-time, and shared housing with others, sometimes sleeping on others' couches. Unfortunately, the caveat with my health is that I don't have any money, but living that way isn't good for my health. Even living with other people in general can work against me instead of for me, with my need to sleep often or irregularly, my poor immune system and my need to optimize my environment for myself so I can function as efficiently as possible.

I barely have energy to care for myself, let alone do adequate housework. But in my past living situations I often had to lose sleep, time and energy in order to work around housemate's kitchen use, events and agendas, get my dishes out of the way or 'do my part' around the house. Anyone who has ever had to cook all of their meals with natural ingredients knows it's a lot of work for normal working people, let alone sick people. Ideally, I would have someone to help take care of me that I could trust. Most ideally, I would just be able to work my butt off and take care of myself without assistance. But neither are the case right now, though I'm willing to do whatever it takes to help myself.

I'm being general about my health and exact situation for privacy purposes and to give a general background for this post, which is focused on asking for direction in seeking financial/housing assistance. But I can give more details if you message me. I've never had to seek this kind of assistance before, and really hadn't considered it, given that it seems I can't get government assistance. But any advice would be more than appreciated.

I'm strongly considering relocating to Philadelphia, for good reasons I've verified with others, so if anyone knows of helpful groups there, that would be great. However, I am open to anything. I won't disclose my current state of residence here, but again, I'll be glad to give more details if you message me.

So: Does anyone know of nonprofits or similar groups that could help a person in my situation?

Just a note: Please don't respond with unhelpful remarks discouraging me from doing grad school -- it is the only source of long-term financial assistance I have coming my way, so it is my only option, for now. I'm well aware that it isn't optimal for someone in my state of health, but it is my only option.

Thank you.
posted by dancer4life to Health & Fitness (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If your income is low enough you should be able to apply for medicaid, depending on your state, and possibly food stamps.
posted by bearette at 3:14 PM on May 3, 2018 [1 favorite]

And if you don't qualify for medicaid you should qualify for
posted by bearette at 3:16 PM on May 3, 2018 [1 favorite]

Go to the United Way. They function as an umbrella organization with links to many other nonprofits. In certain circumstances, at their own discretion, they can even give/lend you money. Source: Someone who used to work for them although quite a few years ago.
posted by Puppetry for Privacy at 3:23 PM on May 3, 2018

My grandmother was poor when she applied for disability but was still able to retain a lawyer. Generally consults are free, and from her situation they only get "paid" if they win your case by taking a portion of back owed disability payments. Don't discount disability until you get a free consult with some lawyers and with the SSA directly.

Also, talk with your school about disability accommodation. They may be able to provide certain housing or other assistance AND point you in the right direction from a financial perspective. They may also be able to help in terms of healthcare - does your school have a campus health center for instance?

Definitely check into healthcare insurance options so you can see a doctor who may be able to help with applications or medical records.
posted by Crystalinne at 3:34 PM on May 3, 2018 [3 favorites]

In many areas of the United States, dialing 2-1-1 will hook you up to a referral service for agencies in your area.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 3:42 PM on May 3, 2018 [1 favorite]

I work at a public library and we have in-service talks all the time about community social service resources. If I was in your shoes, I would go to my local public library and make an appointment with a librarian (it can be helpful to them to know you're coming if your question will take more than 10 or 15 minutes to answer; my library has a "book a librarian" program where you can schedule an hour with someone to help you with your research project). The librarian is likely to have suggestions for contacting social services organizations, and if they don't know who can help you, they'll at least know where to start asking.
posted by gideonfrog at 4:21 PM on May 3, 2018

Response by poster: Hi everyone, thank you so much for the helpful responses! I sincerely appreciate it
posted by dancer4life at 6:23 PM on May 3, 2018

This site has many kinds of resources - just type in your zip code. I discovered lots of things I didn't know were possible, such as $10/month internet service, free cell phone, help with utility bills. If you qualify for SNAP (you do), that can open a lot of other doors.
posted by AFABulous at 7:01 PM on May 3, 2018 [3 favorites]

« Older San Francisco: Dinner for a Group   |   seeking your favorite chill, instrumental-only... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.