Alabama Resources for Troubled Times
Update: we’re putting together a more current collection of useful links and resources, including tips on employment searches and personal finance, and other strategies to deal with economic pressures and rising unemployment.
Employment is a major concern in Alabama, still hovering around 9% statewide. Your first stop should definitely be the Alabama JobLink (https://joblink.alabama.gov/ada), which not only posts available positions but also offers many useful resources and tips. If you need specific information about unemployment benefits (including filing online), it’s all on the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations website (https://dir.alabama.gov/uc/ICCS/).
The need for financial resources puts an incredible strain on individuals, especially in hard times. People seeking relief from debt often end up deeper in debt as a result of short term loans or by taking an emergency cash advance against a paycheck or annuity. Most cash advance loans require you to pay back the monies you borrowed when your next paycheck is deposited into your checking account. Although Alabama has a very large number of working poor who often fall victim to schemes involving usurious lenders and outright fraud, the reputable sites that offer cash in advance require the borrower be making enough money per month to be able to pay back the loan. Of course such theoretical rules sometimes don’t fit the situation in a real life world.The result is a borrower not be able to repay the loan in a timely manner and ending up paying late fees and penalties. We urge you to report any instances of payday loan or cash advance schemes that do not live up to their claims, or that result in unstated fees. The Alabama Consumer Affairs Department lists reputable lenders and organizations and can help you avoid needless financial victimization.
Related to cash advance loans,but in a slightly different vein, is the advice to not spend money extravagantly. There are usually alternative options available and with the use of the internet it is much easier to do comparison shopping and find the best deals. Just one example should suffice. Buying an engagement ring can get expensive if you insist upon a diamond. But there are alternatives to a diamond. The synthetic gemstone cubic zirconia is known for its uncanny resemblance to a diamond. Searching for an online site that sells cubic zirconia rings should make it clear that it is possible to buy a stunning, even dazzling diamond “look alike” engagement ring at extraordinary low costs. Cubic zirconia rings are a suitable gift for any occasion, whether it’s an anniversary, a birthday, or just a special token. Instead of paying thousands, an impressive cubic zirconia ring can be had for under fifty dollars. In these troubled times this synthetic gemstone brings a bit of light to a rather dreary landscape.
For personal economic resources, it’s hard to beat ADECA (Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs) for information specific to the region. With so many Alabamans facing foreclosure issues, it’s always worth looking into your loan refinancing, debt consolidation, and credit management options.
A helpful site with many Alabama-specific resources, especially legal information on bankruptcy and foreclosure, may be found at Avvo’s Alabama page(http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/Alabama-Free-Legal-Resources). This site also offers plenty of useful regional healthcare information, too!
If you are aware of any programs or services which might be of use to our readership, please share via the contact us form. Resources that we are seeking would include any businesses that are in search of labor, skilled, highly trained, or otherwise. Contractors and builders who normally recruit via traditional media may find it useful to employ our Grapevine to spread the word.
There are some programs that may lead to work in other environments, perhaps even out of state (Jobs Plus is one example) and even out of country (many programs exist, including some related to medical tourism and other NGO opportunities especially with our sister organizations in Costa Rica and Sudan).
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