Find Help for Youth in Crisis
Helena Youth Crisis Diversion Project
This easy-to-use online tool – helenayouthcrisis.org – identifies behaviors of concern and guides you to helpful local resources to deal with those behaviors. Getting the help you need doesn’t have to be confusing and exhausting. Local resources are available.
- If you’re experiencing a true emergency and there is immediate danger of harm to yourself or others, call 9-1-1.
- You can also call the 24-hour response line at 406-461-2382. Your call will be returned within 24 hours.
Services that Give a Hand Up
Helena Resource Advocates
Do you ever meet someone who needs a little help, but you don’t know what direction to point them? We all need a little help sometimes, and sometimes that help seems a little hard to find. Check out unitedwaylca.org/need-help/ to learn about the crucial services available in our area to give people a hand up.
Self Help Law Center Resource Guide
Here’s a Resource Guide, updated annually, from the State Law Library Self-Help Center.
Financial Service and Public Benefits Tools
MySmartMoney by United Way
Whether you have immediate needs or want to think about creating a stronger financial future, this website can help you.
Bridge to Benefits
Find out if you qualify for public support programs or available tax credits at mt.bridgetobenefits.org or tell someone you know who can use the information. This partnership between Rural Dynamics, Inc., and the Children’s Defense Fund includes a free, easy, and confidential screening tool to help you learn about programs you may qualify for. It also has a lot of useful information on:
- Asset development
- Health and dental insurance support
- Legal assistance
- Help for senior citizens
- And much more!
Parenting Classes, Activities for Kids, and More
Early Childhood Coalition of the Greater Helena Area
We proudly lead the Early Childhood Coalition (ECC) of the Greater Helena Area. The ECC is committed to supporting young children (0-8 years old) and their families so that they can thrive in school and in life. If you have little ones in your life, you can find opportunities to learn and play together and connect to people striving to make the lives of young children happy and healthy.
Free Tax Help
Free Tax Help (seasonally available)
We’re a proud partner of the Lewis and Clark County Free Tax Help Coalition. This coalition makes free state and federal income tax preparation available for eligible families and individuals in the Helena-area! IRS-certified volunteers help people complete their taxes and take advantage of important tax credits like the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).
- Call the United Way of the Lewis and Clark Area at 406-442-4360 from January to April to find out more!
- If you make under $62,000, visit myfreetaxes.com to file safely for free from the comfort of your home.
- Visit montanafreefile.org to learn about tax sites across the state.
- Want to help out? Local organizations are always looking for volunteers to assist with free tax help programs. Visit montanafreefile.org to learn more!
Find Volunteer Opportunities!
Sign up and get involved at www.volunteerhelena.org. This is your one-stop-shop for finding ways to give a little or a lot of your time volunteering with the great non-profit organizations in our region. Your time is valuable – worth $20.44 an hour for your favorite organization. Volunteering also is a great way to meet new people, build new skills, and spend time with your family, friends, or co-workers.
HELENA RESOURCE ADVOCATES INFORMATION SHARING
Helena Resource Advocates: Info on Housing and Homelessness, Food Security, Mental Health, Transit, and More
Here are some resources to help outline the current state of the gaps, needs, and potential of housing in Helena:
- 2010 Helena Housing Needs Assessment
- 2011 City of Helena Growth Policy: Housing
- 2016 L&C Co Sequential Intercept Mapping Report – Final
- State Coordinated Entry and Assessment Plan
Other papers, studies, and useful webistes:
- 2016 – The Very Poor and the Affordability of Housing
- 2016 HUD Report on Community Re-entry and Public Housing Authorities
- The Homeless Hub – academic articles, white papers, policy suggestions, blogs, and great examples of how communities across North America are addressing homelessness
Helena Resource Advocates: Past Meeting Notes and Other Useful Community Information
- St Peter’s Hospital Intensive Outpatient Program
- The Salvation Army Transitional Living Program
- Good Samaritan Ministries Assistance Programs
- Helena Housing Authority Info. You can submit an application online at HHAMT.org.
We are making available, to those interested, the notes from our General Membership HRA meetings. We invite you to participate in this monthly opportunity to share information, meet people you interact with in the community, and work together to address housing, mental health, transit, food security, and other quality-of-life and basic-needs issues facing our communities. We meet on the second Monday of every month, 3:00-4:00 p.m., usually at Helena Indian Alliance (501 Euclid Ave).
HRA Meeting Notes, 2016
Continuum of Care-specific Information and Point-in-Time Homelessness Survey Results
Our local CoC is the Helena Resource Advocates Leadership Team. We are providing recent CoC discussion notes here. If you are interested in learning more, please call 406-442-4360.
We administer and analyze data from the annual Point-in-Time Survey of Homelessness in Lewis and Clark, Broadwater, and Jefferson counties. In 2016, we administered and analyzed data from our first summer point-in-time survey, as well. Some of the data are included here.
- 2015 Point-in-Time Results
- 2016 Point-in-Time Results
- 2016 summer Point-in-Time Results forthcoming
- 2017 Point-in-Time survey: Thursday, January 26
Point-in-Time data for the entire state (limited to HUD-specific definitions of homelessness) can be found here.
EARLY CHILDHOOD COALITION INFORMATION SHARING
ECC Guiding Documents
The Early Childhood Coalition (ECC) of the Greater Helena Area is pleased to share its organizational and guiding documents with interested folks in the community. The ECC will play a key role in the coming years to realize the Maternal and Child Health Priority Area identified in the 2016 Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP). We also are pleased to be a part of and to be inspired by the Montana Preschool Development Grant’s Preschool Road Map.
ECC General Meeting Notes
Check out our past meetings to get up to speed.
2017 Advocacy and Policy Info
Everyone has an important and unique voice when it comes to advocating for our youngest community members. Educators, policymakers, grandparents, employers, and most importantly parents are all powerful advocates. Advocating doesn’t have to be hard or time consuming. Writing an opinion piece for the newspaper, submitting a letter to your elected officials, or testifying at a city meeting are all great ways to share your voice.
2017 Legislative Session: Statewide Early Childhood Advocacy Information
We are lucky to have Sarah Corbally from Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies working on behalf of all Montana’s Best Beginnings Advisory Councils to help us understand the issues most pertinent to our coalitions in the coming legislative session. She will provide us summaries of legislation, will let us know when legislation requires our input and advocacy at the local level, and will hold regular update calls to help us keep abreast of items of concern and interest for early childhood. Thank you, Sarah and HMHB! HMHB also has become a member of Montana Advocates for Children, joining forces with four other groups interested in early childhood issues. This is great news for littles and their families!
- Minutes from 11-15-16 Advocacy Call – Next call: Tuesday, December 20, 4:00-5:00 p.m.
Legislative Forum 2016 Policy Briefs
On September 15, 2016, the ECC hosted a Legislative Forum to educate local candidates for public office about issues important to our coalition and to allow the public to learn the stances potential policy makers have taken on those issues. Notes from the Forum are here:
Some of the topics discussed include: