Moving can be a financial burden as well as a logistical one, especially when you are under pressure based on your individual circumstances. If you lost your job recently or are otherwise unemployed, the stress of bills may be too much for you to handle -- literally.
Whatever your specific reason is for needing to move, there are faith-based organizations that can offer help in a unique and charitable way and are often filled with people you can trust.
Do religious groups offer cash assistance for moving?
Certain groups write out checks to help with your rent, utilities, medical bills and more. Smaller local religious organizations will help with in other ways -- like storage, physical labor and temporary housing.
Not-for-profit religious groups usually have a stock of donated food items for mobile food units and similar charities. They can offer support in this way, so you can allocate the money you usually spend on groceries to your moving budget.
Types of non-financial help:
- Youth groups participate in community service projects like fundraising money and collecting canned goods
- College groups, like Campus Crusaders, are young people who help with the logistics of your move
- Meals on Wheels programs can deliver food right to your home
- Shelters provide temporary housing until you are back on your feet
- Homeless youth assistance helps struggling young people transition into the adult world with affordable housing and emotional support
- Faith-based support groups also assist in strengthening the well-being of your family during hard times
Do churches ask for reimbursement?
Not all of these groups are the same, so call your local organization. Have an in depth conversation of what you may need and what would or would not be expected of you when it comes to reimbursement. Some organizations may ask for service in return.
If your organization suggests tithing, check to see if you will still need to do so while under financial stress. Often times, these groups look at tithing as a way to pay it forward to those in need when the time arises, and do not consider the money dealt as a "loan" to be paid back.
Do you qualify for help from a religious group?
Anyone facing a major catastrophe in their life should reach out for help. If not, it is still worth reaching out, because religious leaders are in contact with many different charities, and can get you in contact with the right group, at the very least.
You should ask for help if:
- You think you may lose your home
- You can't pay your medical or dental bills
- You can't afford to eat
- You are struggling to get by
Who can ask for help from a church or charity?
If you exhausted all other means, it may be time to reach out to your religious organization or community's faith-based groups to see if anyone can help you. You can also reach out if money is tight and you prefer not to accept any government assistance like WIC or welfare.
Most religious congregations give help to:
- Low-income families with small children
- Elderly individuals
- The physically disabled or educationally impaired
- Families waiting on an insurance claim after a natural disaster
- Homeless youths (or know of a young person who is homeless)
How do I get in touch with religious groups that help?
If you attend a religious service regularly, this is probably the best way to begin reaching out to your organization. Showing up in person will take you far. You can have a face-to-face conversation about your needs with the appropriate person, which may make you feel slightly more comfortable about the situation.
Most religious organizations or places of worship now have websites you can go to for information regarding service times and community outreach. There also might be a section on the website devoted to help inquiries or a contact page to email the group directly. Larger organizations have a main office that will direct your call as necessary.
Tips for reaching out:
- Explain your situation directly to the head of the group
- If you need Internet access, head to your local library
- If your organization does not have a main office, ask another parishioner for a good contact number
- Don't get discouraged if someone says no, because you can try somewhere else
TIP: Services may only be available if the organization's budget allows it. Don't panic if the first person you ask says no. There are plenty of others that will assist you.
While reaching out to your local religious organization is a great option if you're short on cash and cannot do the moving yourself, they should not be taken advantage of. If you are only looking to save a little money on your next move, try these methods:
- Renting a Budget moving truck
- Creating a money-saving budget
- Tips for saving money on a cross country move