Here is an email I sent to someone in my church who asked for my resource booklet.  I used to give out Help in the Winter but the people who created that guide are no longer maintaining it and have removed the link.  Very sad, but I understand how hard it must be to maintain a guide like that.

Here’s my email, and I will try to compile my own variation of “Help in the Winter”, a pdf-printable copy that you can easily download and share.

Remember, the goal is SELF-SUFFICIENCY WITHIN THE SYSTEM.  It’s impossible for church and family to help with all needs.  We’re just trying to help people learn the many very real resources that are out there to help them in the community and the government.


The site that maintained the Help in the Winter Guide is no longer maintaining that resource and I don’t have a copy on this computer.  HOWEVER, 9News maintains a very similar guide, so I am sending you PDFs of two of the 9News guides and one from MetroCareRing.

[The links are:
I can see that I need to take some time to compile a Word document with all of these resources, so I’ll do that hopefully this weekend.
In the meantime, here you go, this will get you started.
Also, I *always* sit down with people and run them through, especially if they are elderly, disabled, or single parents.  It takes about 30 minutes and they will need income info.  But at the end, it lets you know State and Federal programs that they might be eligible for, as well as Prescriptions.
Speaking of Rx, my resource for that is   I can usually find Rx programs for people if they don’t have Medicare or VA benefits;  pain meds are the notable exception but don’t give up until you’ve checked.
For medical, I send people to the MCPN clinics found throughout Aurora and Denver.  It’s a sliding scale medical service — they do not handle anything orthopedic.  The other good resource is the Caritas Clinic at St Joseph’s Hospital.  I send ALL medical problems to them.  They treat people very well and don’t dismiss health concerns, also a sliding fee.
For true life or death emergencies, any ER will do (although you will get a bill).  Otherwise, UCH (Fitzsimmons) and Denver General are pretty much the only hospitals that will take uninsured and charge on a sliding fee or set them up on Colorado Indigent Care Program (CICP).  
I’ll see if I can put together my comprehensive list since Help in the Winter is now gone.


Food stamp benefits are set to increase on April 1 due to federal funding through the stimulus package.

Able-bodied Utah adults without dependent children will no longer be limited to using food stamps for just three months out of every 36.


MR #09.07: 2009 Stimulus Act – Increase in Maximum Food Stamp Benefit Amounts


Effective April 1, 2009, the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act increased the following benefit amounts:

  • Maximum Monthly FS Benefit amounts increased by 13.6%.
  • Minimum benefit amount for a one and two person FS unit increases from $14 to $16.

The Gross and Net Monthly Income Standards have not changed.

Free or Low-Cost Health Care

Federally funded centers provide care on a sliding fee scale to the uninsured. You can find a list of these centers at:

Here are just a few…

 910 E. 100 N. Ste 155, Payson, UT 84651-1638

 215 W. 100 N., Provo, UT 84601-4433

 4745 S. 3200 W., Salt Lake City, UT 84118-2822

Free or Low-Cost Prescriptions

Basic Review of Benefits available to you

Online collection of Teresa’s Relief Society Self-Sufficiency resources

There is a new page for Cancer Resources in Colorado, linked both under Welfare and Resources by State – Colorado:

Women’s Wellness Connection, formerly Colorado Women’s Cancer Control Initiative, launched a new statewide hotline (1-866-951-WELL), making the free breast and cervical cancer-screening program more accessible to low-income, uninsured and underserved women across the state.

You have to work with your Women’s Wellness Connection caseworker to enroll in the program, so call the hotline and get it started!

I recently delivered a meal to a less active sister who just had cancer surgery. 

I never do ordinary visits.  I tell them straight out I’m not a social worker but the Relief Society usually asks me to help people find ALL of the resources that might be available to them, and ask if they’d like me to help. 

There were three adults in the household and it was very clear that they were each medically underserved, and also that there’s a lot of trouble.  One housemate is unemployed and her husband was just arrested for a crime for which he could do 35 years in prison.  Another housemate has bad health problems.  Drugs, at least, marijuana, are likely an issue.  The children of the two women are in foster care.

We still serve them and help them to become self-sufficient WITHIN the welfare system, and over time, perhaps we can help them make truly substantial changes in their lives.  If you’re up on the Poverty training on this website, you know that that can only happen if we spend time with them and love them, and “re-parent” in a way that sets boundaries and expectations and consequences without judging or talking down to them.

The Assessment

This woman is on SSI Disability and Medicaid and is about to undergo chemotherapy.  It’s quite difficult to make ends meet, so I am taking her the information called Help in Winter from (see the Helps by State – Colorado section).  Perhaps we can help her find utility assistance, other resources for groceries, bus tokens, and even Section 8 housing.

Her male housemate works, has no insurance, and was going without needed meds.  I could see just from looking at him that he was quite unhealthy.  He asked if I could help him find a sleep disorder clinic but I told him let’s start with the very basics and get him some general healthcare.  Then he mentioned he wasn’t on his thyroid meds any more, and others.  Good grief!

Free or low-cost medications for needy people

Folks, there is no reason to go without meds!  There are enough programs, we should never let our brothers and sisters go without meds!  Many of these common blood pressure and thyroid meds cost only $4 but these people don’t know about it!

Target, Walmart, Costco, Sams Club, Walgreens, and many others have common GENERIC medications for as low as $4-12 for a 30-day supply.  Always check there, first.

Then, look on my Prescription resource page.  Places like and help you find discounted or completely free resources, often from the pharmaceutical companies.

Help them get the Prescription

Of course, the reason they don’t have their meds is often because they couldn’t afford to see the doctor to refill the prescription.  So for this housemate, I’m hooking him up with either the Metro Community Provider Network (MCPN) just down the street from where they live, or the Caritas Clinic at St. Joseph’s Exempla Hospital.  Either one will help him get a free or low-cost appointment with a medical resident to get a check-up and a prescription.

For information on Caritas or MCPN, see the Help by State – Colorado page.

The point is, if you are reading this article, just know that my goal is to change the way we help the people that we home-teach and visit-teach and serve through the Bishop’s welfare activities.  We are helping them learn how to find their own resources so that they can help themselves throughout the long-term.

Nothing is so much calculated to lead people to forsake sin as to take them by the hand, and watch over them with tenderness. When persons manifest the least kindness and love to me, O what power it has over my mind, while the opposite course has a tendency to harrow up all the harsh feelings and depress the human mind. — Joseph Smith 

It begins with my mother.  She was a social worker turned homeless person who passed on her wisdom and insights and many gifts to my sister and myself. 

Twenty years of dealing with mental illness and homelessness does something to you.  You vow never to let that happen on your watch again.

It’s not about making people weaker through enabling them to continue in destructive lifestyles.  It’s about making them stronger through tough love and learning to help them where they are, balancing seeing them as they could be with not expecting them to be there quite yet.

Take them by the hand, and watch over them in tenderness

This stuff isn’t easy.  I made mistakes and offended people and got discouraged many times.  When I was released from being Relief Society President, I darned near left the church!  I have a whole series of articles that could go under the header, ‘Rescuing a Relief Society President’… and by the way, two years later, it’s clear that the cause was not heavy service but my own pride and personal failings, and I’m doing much better, now, thank you!

Anyway, I hope this blog will help many, many ward members and Relief Society Presidents and welfare workers of many different faiths and persuasions help those they serve.

God bless you!