How to help

2014-06-08T00:00:00Z 2014-09-22T15:54:05Z How to help

Does your family make enough to meet its basic needs without some form of assistance?

A self-sufficiency calculator designed by the Indiana Institute for Working Families lets people know how much they should be making to sustain themselves, depending on their family size and location in the state. The calculator can be found through this link:

Programs that can aid those not making sufficient income include:

Community HealthNet, affordable health care for people meeting certain income levels, with five locations in Northwest Indiana. Main health center is 1021 W. 5th Ave., Gary. Phone is (219) 880-1190. Or visit

Edgewater Systems, behavioral health care in Northwest Indiana. Main office is 1100 W. 6th Ave., Gary. Phone is (219) 885-4264. Or visit

Food Bank in Northwest Indiana: The food bank contains a list of soup kitchens and food pantries in the Northwest Indiana area for those in need. Call (219) 980-1777 or visit to get more information, donate food and money, or volunteer. The food bank also could use good, clean boxes for food distribution to pantries and a 60,000-square-foot building with docks and coolers to better serve its expanding client base.

Findfood: The U.S. Department of Agriculture has information on where people can  go to find food throughout the nation. People can call either (866) 3-HUNGRY (48-6479) or (877) 8-HAMBRE (42-6273) or visit and type in their city and state. 

HealthLinc, includes primary and preventive care services, health and wellness education, chronic disease management, prenatal care and behavioral health care. Locations are in Valparaiso, Michigan City, Knox and Mishawaka. Main office is 1001 Sturdy Road, Valparaiso. Phone is (219) 462-7173. Or visit

Lake County Minority Health Coalition, 839 Broadway, Suite 300 North, Gary. Phone is (219) 885-9755.

North Shore Health Centers, nonprofit community health center with locations in Portage, Lake Station, Merrillville and Hammond. Phone is (219) 763-8112. Or visit

Northwest Indiana Healthy Start, geared to pregnant and postpartum women in East Chicago, Gary, Hammond and Lake Station. Administration office is 6939 Grand Ave, Hammond. Phone is (219) 989-3939. Or visit

NWI 2-1-1, resource for services in Northwest Indiana, including health care, employment, counseling, volunteering and transportation. To access, dial "211" on the phone for a toll-free telephone call from Lake, Porter, Newton, Jasper, Starke or Pulaski counties. You can also visit the site at

Meals on Wheels, 8446 Virginia St., Merrillville. Phone (219) 756-3663 (FOOD) or visit

Northwest Indiana Community Action, acts as the local aging and disability resource center providing information and assistance on issues affecting older people and those with disabilities regardless of their income. It also is involved in various programs assisting low-income residents, including tax preparation and energy assistance. Main office is 5240 Fountain Drive, Crown Point, (800) 826-7871 or visit Information about the agency's services also can be accessed through the 2-1-1 network.

WorkOne Northwest Indiana, the state's unemployment office, provides materials, Internet links, job fairs, and resources for job seekers. Visit

Utility assistance, the Energy Assistance Program for Lake, Porter, Jasper and Newton counties is handled by the Northwest Community Action agency. The assistance can provide help with heating homes as well as education on how to reduce energy consumption for low-income families. Utility customers can begin applying for assistance by calling to schedule and appointment with their local intake site:

Gary Neighborhood Services, 300 W. 21st Avenue, (219) 883-0431.

Greater Hammond Community Services, 824 Hoffman, (219) 932-4800.

Lake Station Community Center, 275 E. 29th Avenue, (219) 963-0261.

Porter County Community Services, 1005 Campbell Street, Valparaiso, (219) 464-9736.

Portage Township Trustee Office, 3484 Airport Road, Portage, (219) 762-1623.

Ross Township Trustee Office, 24 W. 73rd Ave., Merrillville, (219) 769-2111.

North Township Trustee Office, 5947 Hohman Ave., Hammond, (219) 932-2530.

Calumet Township Trustee Office, 610 Connecticut St., Gary, (219) 880-4000.

South Lake County Community Services, Inc., 1450 E. Joliet, Ste. 202, Crown Point, (219) 663-0627.

Newton County COA Community Services, Inc., 117 E. State St., Morocco, (219) 285-2246.

Jasper County Community Services, 967 E. Leopold St., Rensselear, (219) 866-8071.

Catholic Charities, 3901 Fir St., East Chicago, (219) 397-5803.

Catholic Charities, 940 Broadway, Gary, (219) 886-3549.

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