- Food Assistance
- Mental Health
- Sex Offenders
- Substance Abuse
Provides citizens with easy, online access to government benefit and assistance programs. Visit the site to take a eligibility prescreening questionnaire or “Benefit Finder.” Answers to the questionnaire are used to evaluate a visitor’s situation and compare it with the eligibility criteria for more than 1,000 Federally-funded benefit and assistance programs. Each program description provides citizens with the next steps to apply for any benefit program of interest.
For additional government information, you may call USA.gov’s National Contact Center at 1-800-FED-INFO (1-800-333-4636), Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern Time, to speak to an information specialist, or visit them online at www.usa.gov.
Social Security Administration
- Get or replace a Social Security card
- Apply for benefits including: Retirement, spouses and/or Medicare benefits; Survivors benefits; Disability benefits for children or adults; Child’s benefits; Parents benefits; and Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Get extra help with Medicare prescription drug costs
- Appeal a disability decision
Benefits after incarceration:
Hours: All office locations listed below are open M, Tu, Th, F: 9am-3pm; W: 9am-12pm
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
View listings of Mississippi HUD Approved Housing Counseling Agencies: http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/hcc/hcs.cfm?webListAction=search&searchstate=MS
Federal assistance is the best way to deal with this issue upon release as inmates may qualify for Section 8 vouchers from HUD (http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/states/mississippi).
Toll free line hours: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST Monday - Friday, except for Federal Holidays
Jackson Field Office:
Dr. A.H. McCoy Federal Building
100 W. Capitol St,
Jackson, MS 39269-1096
Jerrie G. Magruder, Field Office Director
Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.
Monday through Friday
U.S. Department of Labor Work Opportunity Tax Credit
Mississippi Department of Employment Security
P.O. Box 1699
Jackson, MS 39215-1699
The Work Opportunity Tax Credit is a federal program designed to encourage employers to hire individuals who might otherwise not find employment. Employers who agree to hire individuals from a “target group” may qualify for a tax credit. Visit website to view more information on the guidelines of this tax credit.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, IRIS
VA Benefits: 1-800-827-1000
Crisis Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
The Inquiry Routing & Information System (IRIS), maintained by the US VA, contains a list of toll-free numbers for contacting the Department related to various veterans’ issues. Visit the website link for a complete listing of toll-free phone numbers. IRIS is also a secure messaging system that can be used to message inquiries to the VA.
Federal Student Financial Aid
P.O. Box 84
Washington, DC 20044
Visit this website or call the toll free number to get information on how to finance you college education. Federal Student Financial Aid consists of Stafford Loans, PLUS Loans, Consolidation Loans, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOGs), Federal Work-Study, Federal Perkins Loans, and Pell Grants. Visit the FAFSA website to apply for aid.
Financial Aid Eligibility for People with Felonies
It is a misconception that no ex-offenders are eligible for financial aid. The first step to getting federal financial aid is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA helps determine if you can get financial aid. It also determines how much aid you are eligible to receive.
To be eligible to receive federal student aid, you must meet these requirements:
- Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
- Have a valid Social Security Number (unless you’re from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau)
- Comply with Selective Service registration, if required
- Have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) Certificate or pass an approved ability-to-benefit (ATB) test
- Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student working toward a degree or certificate in an eligible program at a school that participates in the federal student aid programs
- You must not owe a refund on a federal grant or be in default on a federal student loan
- You must have financial need (except for unsubsidized Stafford Loans)
- You must not have certain drug convictions
A new law suspends aid eligibility for students convicted under federal or state law of sale or possession of drugs. If you have been convicted of drug possession, you will be ineligible for one year from the date of your conviction after the first offense, two years after the second offense, and indefinitely after the third offense. If you have been convicted for selling drugs, you will be ineligible for two years from the date of your conviction after the first offense, and indefinitely after the second offense. If you lose eligibility, you can regain eligibility early by successfully completing an approved drug rehabilitation program. The FAFSA Drug Conviction Worksheet will help you determine your eligibility. The worksheet will direct you to complete the FAFSA online. If you have any non-drug related conviction, you are still eligible for federal student aid.
Job Accommodations Network (JAN)
Disability Employment and Training Services
JAN is a free consulting service to increase the employability of people with disabilities by: 1) providing individualized worksite accommodations solutions, 2) providing technical assistance regarding the ADA and other disability related legislation, and 3) educating callers about self-employment options.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person’s race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. It is also illegal to discriminate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit.
You can call to submit basic information about a possible discrimination charge, and we will forward the information to the EEOC field office in your area. Once the field office receives your information, they will contact you to talk to you about your situation.
National H.I.R.E. Network
National H.I.R.E network provides Individuals with criminal records with resources, information and assistance to re-enter employment. The National H.I.R.E. Network also provides training and technical assistance to agencies working to improve the employment prospects for people with criminal records.
The Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP)
Serves low-income individuals who are at least 55 years old and have limited employment prospects. This initiative provides older Americans with part-time community service jobs. Assignments can be for up to 1,300 hours per year and pay (at least) the minimum wage. Job training, classroom training, counseling, and placement in unsubsidized jobs also are offered. Participants can use their experience as a bridge to other employment.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the food stamp program, provides monthly benefits that help low income households buy the food they need for good health. SNAP is a federal program administered on the local level by the Mississippi Department of Human Services.
To get SNAP benefits, households must meet certain tests, including resource and income tests:
- Employment Requirements
- Special Rules for Elderly or Disabled
- Immigrant Eligibility
Follow link for a prescreening eligibility tool: http://www.snap-step1.usda.gov/fns/
Child Find of America
Parent Help line- 18007163468
Parents, family or friends reporting lost or abducted children, including parental abductions, prevention, and child custody issues
If you are looking for employment, Jobline® is a free public service provided by state agencies with assistance from the National Federation of the Blind and the United States Department of Labor. This service is available on the telephone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. New jobs are listed on the system each day, and jobs that are filled are removed. All that is required is a touch-tone telephone to establish your personalized job-search profile.
Love is Respect
If you or a friend is in an abusive relationship, you may feel like you are all alone – know that you are not. We have resources to help you stay safe, build a support system, access legal protection and more. The hotline is available 24/7. You can also text (text “loveis” to 22522) or chat (just click the “Live Chat” button on their website).
For specific sign-up or billing questions and questions about your claims, medical records, or expenses.
National Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Information Center
The National Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Information Center maintains a comprehensive database of the leading drug and alcohol treatment centers for every level of treatment option.
National Alliance on Mental Illness
Information on mental illness, legal resources, referrals and support for Individuals, families, and professionals
Hours 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., ET, weekdays
National CDC STD/HIV Hotline
Nationwide test site referrals, counseling, literature (upon request), clinical trials, information referrals, and a wide scope of other HIV/AIDS/STD/TB-related resource information is available.
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
Report missing children or the sighting of a missing child. Used by families and professionals (social services, law enforcement)
National Domestic Violence Hotline
Video Phone Only for Deaf Callers: 206-518-9361
The helpline is open 24 hours a day and is completely confidential.
National Human Trafficking Hotline
Victims of human trafficking and those reporting potential trafficking situations
National Parent Helpline
Parents and caregivers needing emotional support and links to resources
Hours 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., PST, weekdays
National Runaway Safeline
Our goal is to help teens help yourself while developing a detailed plan of action that is appropriate for you. We use active listening skills to help you process your feelings and handle the facts about your situation. If a teen has already left home the safeline can, if the teen requests, relay messages to parents or set up conference calls.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Whether you are thinking about suicide, are worried about a friend, or need emotional support, there are a million of reasons to call the Lifeline. No matter what problems you are dealing with, we want to help you find a reason to keep living. By calling you’ll be connected to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area, anytime 24/7. Your call is confidential and free.
Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN)
The Hotline Provides:
- Short-term crisis intervention and support
- Answers to questions about recovering from sexual assault
- Basic information about medical issues
- Resources that can assist with the reporting process
- Referrals to resources in your area
- Information for family and friends of victims and survivors
151 West 30th Street
New York, NY 10001
Works to increase access to justice for the millions of poor people who face legal problems every year without help from a lawyer. Probono.net is a national, online resource for legal aid and pro bono attorneys, law professors and students, and related social services advocates.
LawHelp is an online resource that helps low and moderate-income people find free legal aid programs in their communities, answers to questions about their legal rights, court information, links to social service agencies, and more.
Southern Disability Law Center
1307 Payne Ave
Austin, Tx 78757-3027
877-515-5888 Toll Free
SDLC’s work is determined by the projects that are currently supported by our funding sources. The scope of our work depends upon the availability of funding. Presently, SDLC may be able to help you if:
- You are Medicaid-eligible in Texas or Mississippi
- Your household income is very limited, and
- You are an individual with a disability who was denied access to Medicaid-funded medical equipment or other medically necessary services.
National Institute on Mental Health (NIMH)
Offers information on mental health disorders and ability to receive help via live chat. Available in English and Spanish Monday through Friday8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET. You can also call their 1-800 number for treatment referral routing services (this is not a crisis line).
Prisoner Family Support, Information & Assistance Community Helpful Forums: Drug & Alcohol Treatment & Rehabilitation Mental Health Employment
Suicide Prevention Lifeline
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can also access the Lifeline Crisis chat online between 2pm and 2am (EST). Specific Veterans services are also offered. Get help for yourself or for someone else.
Treatment Advocacy Center
The Treatment Advocacy Center is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating barriers to the timely and effective treatment of severe mental illness. Site includes information on treatment, Civil Commitment and other legal resources.
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network
Duke University, NC
411 West Chapel Hill Street, Suite 200
Durham, NC 27701
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network was established to improve access to care, treatment, and services for traumatized children and adolescents exposed to traumatic events.
The Trevor Project
Crisis intervention and Suicide prevention for LGBT youth.
Trevor Lifeline - The only national 24/7 crisis intervention and suicide prevention lifeline for LGBTQ young people (ages 13-24), available at 1-866-488-7386.
TrevorChat - A free, confidential, secure instant messaging service for LGBTQ youth that provides live help from trained volunteer counselors, open daily from 3:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. ET / 12:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. PT.
TrevorText - A free, confidential, secure service in which LGBTQ young people can text a trained Trevor counselor for support and crisis intervention, available Fridays from 4:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. ET / 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. PT at 202-304-1200
Stop It Now!
351 Pleasant Street
Northampton, MA 01060
Call 1-888-PREVENT (773-8368)
The Resource Guide on this website lists a number of relevant organizations including resources for referrals for treatment providers. Stop It Now! also maintains a Helpline for adults who are at risk for sexually abusing a child, for friends and family members of sexual abusers and/or victims, and for parents of children with sexual behavior problems. The toll-free Helpline is confidential and no caller ID is used. The Helpline also offers an email service to answer individuals’ questions and provide guidance and resources.
- find locations for treatment
- take an online alcohol screening
- learn more about alcohol consumption/abuse
Start Your Recovery
StartYourRecovery.org is a free, confidential tool that helps individuals take steps toward a healthy relationship with drugs and alcohol. It was developed with the input of leading clinicians, experts from the White House and SAMHSA, and people in recovery themselves. Here, individuals can hear stories from people with similar life experiences, discover the answers they need for recognizing and dealing with substance use issues, and locate support. Family and friends can learn about addiction and how to encourage treatment and support sober living on the website.