Your spouse just told you he was leaving, walked out the door, and you haven’t seen him since. Or similarly, your partner just kicked you out, and you have nowhere to go. What do you do when you are suddenly on your own, without sustainable food or shelter, especially when children are involved?
When my children were young and hurt themselves, if they ever saw blood, I would remind them to do three things in this exact order: 1) STAY CALM, 2) CALL FOR HELP, and 3) APPLY PRESSURE (TREAT THE WOUND). The same three steps are true when a family is in crisis.
STEP ONE: STAY CALM. Take a deep breath. Cry. Breathe deeply again. Recognize that you have suffered a terrible blow, but that you can do this, one step at a time.
STEP TWO: REACH OUT FOR HELP. In addition to family, friends, and church group, there are countless organizations in Texas, public and private, to help provide your family with necessary services.
In Texas, you can apply for SNAP food benefits, Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance (CHIPS), Medicare, TANF cash help, women’s health services, and long care services all in one easy place, Your Texas Benefits at www.yourtexasbenefits.com. If you need help applying for benefits, and don’t have internet access, you can call 2-1-1, or 1-877-541-7905. After selecting a language, press 2, and staff are available Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
If you have children with your spouse, you can apply for child support through the Texas Office of the Attorney General (OAG). While the OAG cannot help you with a divorce action, they can help set child support, whether you are single or married, through a Suit Affecting the Parent Child Relationship (SAPCR). You can apply for services online at www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/child-support, or by phone at (800)252-8014. If you prefer to go into the office in person, the OAG allows walk-ins without an appointment to any of their “storefront offices.” A list of your local offices can be found at www.csapps.oag.texas.gov/locations/offices. The closest office to Katy, Texas, is located at 4600 Hwy 6 N, Ste 300, Houston, TX 77084.
STEP THREE: APPLY PRESSURE (TREAT THE WOUND).
Mental Health, Housing, Food, Transportation, and More
Another invaluable resource is Houston Case Managers, a community service guide offering easy to understand articles and resource information to anyone in the greater Houston area. For mental health resources, affordable housing, assistance with food and transportation, Houston Case Managers can assist individuals and families with getting on their feet. HCM can be contacted at www.houstoncasemanagers.com.
In conclusion, when you are injured, physically or emotionally, remember these three things: 1) STAY CALM, 2) CALL FOR HELP, and 3) APPLY PRESSURE (TREAT THE WOUND). You are stronger than you know, and there are incredible resources to assist you. Do not lose hope. You will recover and heal!