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Are There Grants Available to help Me?

Discussion in 'Coffee Break and Community Discussion Forum' started by Nikki, Sep 21, 2015.

  1. Nikki

    Nikki Well-Known Member

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    Hello All -

    I am going to get a bit personal about my life, and I am hoping someone out there may be able to point me into the right direction.

    I am a single mother of three boys, (14, 9 and 3). Two of my sons are on the autism spectrum. My youngest is severely autistic and non-verbal. I work full time and I am renting a small mobile home in a park in Maine.

    I've worked 10 years and make pretty good money in comparison to the jobs available out there. My dream is to own a home. While I make enough money to qualify for a home loan, my credit score is not near the required 640.

    I have around $3000 dollars in unpaid medical bills on my credit report which is dragging my score down. I already have an active personal loan, so I can not apply for another right now to pay off that debt.

    My other issue is that I have no credit cards. I have been told I need one to build my credit up. But to get one of those, and because my score is so low, I need to pre-pay for the card.

    I was curious if there are any grants out there that I may qualify for? I've tried searching online but each site wants me to pay a fee to get a list.

    I've been working really hard to pay off my debt, but I am desperately in need of getting out of the rental I am in. It is far too small for us and not insulated well - I go through 100 gallons of oil a month in the winter time.

    Thanks in advance for any ideas.

    -Nikki
     
  2. MCW8888

    MCW8888 Well-Known Member

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    Hi Nikki,
    Sometimes when hope seems to be gone, I reach out to my church for help. That always seem to be the assurance for recovery. Try it. There's everything to gain and nothing to lose.
     
    Nikki likes this.
  3. hogheavenfarm

    hogheavenfarm Well-Known Member

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    You may also wish to reanalyze your position. Many times we make a self-imposed prison for ourselves. I certainly have. Is there a compelling reason to stay in Maine? Simply moving further south will probably increase job opportunities and decrease heating bills. I could do the same, and plan to at the earliest opportunity.
     
    Andy Nichols likes this.
  4. Nikki

    Nikki Well-Known Member

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    Im not sure that I would be able to find employment. I do not have a college degree. I worked my way up to my position here over the last decade. My entire family lives here in Maine as well. Believe me, I would rather escape the Maine winters if I could.
     
  5. GStough

    GStough Member

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    Don't let the lack of a college degree prevent you from searching and applying. There are companies out there that value the experience that you can bring to their table over education and, in fact, prefer they it. I know this to be true from my own experience.
     
    PaulJSmith, MCW8888, Emmyd and 2 others like this.
  6. Candi1024

    Candi1024 Well-Known Member

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    I agree to just keep an open mind.
    Owning a house often has high costs of maintenance. Maybe moving to a different rental instead? Something as cheap as possible while you get back on your feet.
    There are grants available for college. At least $5700 a year federally. Not a lot, but I'm sure with the small kids you wouldn't want too heavy of a case load anyway.
    Family could be such a big help when it comes to helping with kids. If they are helping, I wouldn't want to move either.
    Changing companies in the same area could also be a big increase in yearly income. It can't hurt to apply, and since you worked your way up I'm sure you have a nice list of accomplishments. Don't downplay them.
    And there is nothing wrong with a pre-paid credit card if you need to get your score back up a bit.

    Good luck!
     
    Nikki likes this.
  7. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    As Gidget says, it's not about an education, specifically, these days. I learned recently, when guiding my son to interview, if you can a) turn up on time and b) be there regularly, that's a WHOLE lot better than many others...
     
    Bazinga, PaulJSmith, GStough and 2 others like this.
  8. hogheavenfarm

    hogheavenfarm Well-Known Member

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    I too have no degree, just many years of experience. I did actively pursue every ASQ certification I could get as that type of education was within my budget, and it has helped me finding jobs. Work on what you can afford first, the rest will follow.
     
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  9. Nikki

    Nikki Well-Known Member

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    I guess the main reason not to move is my youngest son. As I mentioned, he is severely autistic. He is in a program during the day where they are working on simple skills - i.e., cutting paper, drawing straight-lines, and eventually someday speaking. A simple change in his daily life can create such confusion and make him upset. He is based very much on a set schedule. Changing his whole world may not be good for him right now...
     
  10. MCW8888

    MCW8888 Well-Known Member

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    Pre-paid credit card!! I never thought about this. Thanks.
     
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  11. Eric Twiname

    Eric Twiname Well-Known Member

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    My first credit card was pre-paid.

    I had no credit history, no credit marks of any kind...the credit card company asked for my credit score, and the credit reporting agencies said "Who?"...and I was declined.

    I sent in $500, they put it in a CD as surety, and gave me a $500 credit limit card that I used for the next year or so...then got my $500 back and got an unsecured card.
    There is no issue with this that I ever saw...
     
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  12. BradM

    BradM Moderator Staff Member

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    First, I want to mention how much I respect the work your doing raising those boys on your own. It was very difficult with both me and my wife. I can't imagine doing it on my own.

    Is the bottom of the mobile home skirted?

    You are going to need to increase your credit score. It's going to be anchor to you.
    You need to contact the entity that has the unpaid medical bills. Apologize. Tell them you want to work this out. Tell them you made a mistake and need to get that off your credit. Work something out. Even if it's $40.00 a month, work something out.

    American Express is a good way to start. It costs a fee, but may can get you going.

    Off-Topic....
    There are a lot of good programs now for individuals diagnosed with Autism. Check out the NonParell Institute. I can't imagine the loving fear you have of moving your kids from their existing program. However, maybe you can find one that is as good, or better. Your boys love you. What you do for the betterment of your family may not be the most popular, but they will respect and understand.
     
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  13. Nikki

    Nikki Well-Known Member

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    Thank you Brad. I appreciate your comments.

    The trailer does have skirting around it - but the windows are horrible and walls are thin - the landlord is not a very good one. All of the trailer's floors are linoleum - the actually floor underneath the linoleum is cracked and even holes some places that it is covering. The floors are the worst part of the whole house, and IMO the reason I go through so much heating oil. When I first moved in, there was hole in the closet that was large enough to where I could see outside.

    For the first two weeks, I had to live without water. I moved in, in April 2014, which is still very cold for Maine. I was told some of the pipes had burst and he needed to fix them but he was busy. For two weeks I stayed in my old rental at his request to get the water fixed. This was only told to me after I had moved all our furniture to the new rental. My boys and I slept on the floor in the old rental until I finally had enough and told him to get it fixed. Come to find out, the actually water line was cut to the trailer and needed to be repaired.

    If I had any other options I would have taken a different place. But unfortunately, that's the not the case.

    I make too much money to qualify for low-income help with heat or anything else - which is why I was reaching out.
     
  14. BradM

    BradM Moderator Staff Member

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    Ok... I asked some people who are in Housing and such. They highly recommended this site:

    https://www.auntbertha.com/

    There won't be a grant available, but there is a ton of resources available there that may be able to help you get out of that trailer. There are housing links there that they use.

    Nikki, it's there to help. Take advantage of it. You can get you and the boys into something more winter-friendly before it gets too cold. Good luck!
     
  15. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    To handle your credit card issues, try "Take Charge America"
     
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  16. MCW8888

    MCW8888 Well-Known Member

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    Nikki, there are good people in this space who are now directing you to the right path. The advices are very powerful. Aren't you inspired already?
     
  17. Nikki

    Nikki Well-Known Member

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    I am. Thank you everyone so much for your help.
     
  18. Mikishots

    Mikishots Member

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    Agreed - remember the difference between qualified and competent. A decade of experience is something that is not overlooked by prospective employers. if I had to choose between an applicant that had a degree and no experience or one that had 10 years experience and no degree, it would be a no-brainer.
     
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