NEED HELP? With more than just your electric bill? STOCK PHOTO

Staff Report

There are community resources available for seniors, low-income customers, and those in crisis situations. Here is a list of resources.

Help for Seniors

• American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) – Provides information, education, advocacy and service for the needs and interests of persons 50 and older

• American Society on Aging – Offers educational programs, publications and information and training resources targeting the elderly

• Florida Department of Elder Affairs – Helps administer human services programs for the elderly

• Elder Helpline – Serves as an information resource for local elder services. Call 1-800-96-ELDER (1-800-963-5337)

• Florida Council on Aging (FCOA) – Provides education and information concerning Florida’s diverse aging interests

• National Council on Aging (NCOA) – Offers a variety of services and programs for the well-being of older persons

• NCOA’s Online Benefits Checkup – Finds benefit programs that can help pay for medications, health care, food, utilities and more with a free, easy-to-use online tool

• Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders (SHINE) – Assists with Medicare, Medicaid, and health insurance questions by providing free, one-on-one counseling

Help for Low-Income Households

• Florida Housing Coalition – Provides information, training and technical assistance on affordable housing issues

• – Contains the

best, most up-to-date legal information for people with low incomes

• Lifeline Program – Pays a portion of a monthly telephone bill, depending on income and eligibility

• National Energy Assistance Referral Project – Provides guidance on community agencies that distribute LowIncome Home Energy Assistance. Call 1-866-674-6327

Local, State and Federal Info

• The Salvation Army – Offers services throughout Florida for food distribution, disaster relief, rehabilitation centers, children’s programs and more.

• Florida Relay Service 711 – Communication link for people who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, blind, or speech-impaired who use specialized telephone equipment (TTY-TDD).

• Donate Life Florida – Sign up online and possibly save up to eight lives and enhance many more by joining Florida’s organ, tissue and eye donor registry

• Volunteer Income Tax Assistance – The VITA program offers free tax help for low- to moderate-income Floridians who need help in preparing their own tax returns

• Lee County Neighborhood Stabilization Program – Offers home ownership assistance to help lower mortgage payments and rehabilitate older homes

• Florida Health Finder – Provides an easy, online tool to search for Florida health care facilities

• Social Security Administration – Helps explain how to apply for benefits, replace a Medicare card and locate a local office

• 2-1-1 Helpline – Call or click for your local 2-1-1 helpline for information and assistance for which you may be eligible