Cochran Firm's Helping Hands Blog

Improving Access to Nutritious, Healthy Food

The following national organization strives to help feed families and individuals in need:

The USDA National Hunger Hotline (1-866-348-6479), managed by World Hungry Year (WHY), provides crucial assistance to Americans across the country in need of food assistance. The Hotline connects individuals in need to emergency food in their community, government assistance programs, find foodand various social services.

In addition to assisting individuals in need, the Hotline also fields hundreds of calls from organizations, donors, and volunteers looking for information on emergency food distribution, nutrition, funding sources, and other related topics. The majority of the Hotline calls, however, are from individuals in need of assistance. Walking the middle ground between referral service and crisis, the Hotline makes every effort to provide its callers with whatever it is they may need, be it the phone number to a food stamp office, a listing of local food pantries, or simply a compassionate ear.

This is a clearinghouse that references people to get emergency food assistance like food pantries, fresh meat, soup kitchens, etc. They also provide information on rent and utility information and programs for women & children. The hotline can only provide information for the assistance they have in their database that is applicable to your city. Call the hotline to find out what help is available to you.

The Hotline is operated Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm and Saturdays 10 am to 2 pm E.S.T. Call 1-866-348-6479.

At The Cochran Firm Disability Lawyers we understand that for many clients, Social Security Disability benefits can't come soon enough. If your application has been denied, don't give up! Our experienced Social Security disability lawyers are extremely familiar with the Social Security Disability application process and will work hard to help you get the benefits you deserve. If you or a loved one has a disability and would like assistance with handling your claim, contact The Cochran Firm Disability Lawyers today at 1-800-THE-FIRM (1-800-843-3476). We are available day or night to help you receive the Social Security disability benefits you deserve.

Holistic Services Geared Toward Attaining Self-Sufficiency and Independence

Are you facing a hardship and in need of assistance? The following program offers several services tailored to help grief stricken and disadvantaged individuals and families throughout the Greater Washington, DC area:

Adventist Community Services (ACSGW) of Greater Washington offers a variety of programs for community members to empower themselves and enhance their skills to accomplish personal goals and gain independence. Although ACSGW is affiliated religiously, they offer non-denominational services without discrimination. These services offered can be categorized in to three main groups: compassionate crisis intervention, adult basic education programs and workforce development.   

Crisis Intervention and Disaster Relief Services – The cost of living in the Washington Metropolitan area is quite high. With this in mind, ACSGW offers services to individuals and families who may have lost a loved one or don’t have the income to provide themselves the basic necessities. Through their food bank, food assistance is provided to those that are eligible. Clothes, coats and shoes in good condition aradult educatione also provided to the needy through their community closet. Prescription drug payment and rental assistance for those facing eviction and/or foreclosure is offered when funds are available.  Additionally, ACSGW has a tremendous case management program that facilitates finding an array of other available services and resources for its participants.

When disaster strikes, Adventist Community Services of Greater Washington will be there to help.  Just as they did after the September 11, 2001 attack on the Pentagon, in the event of a disaster, ACSGW will collaborate with regional emergency management agencies to provide relief. This relief response often includes the collection and distribution of non-perishable food, clothing, cleaning supplies, personal care items, and items for the special needs of infants and small children like as diapers and toys to comfort them. 

The Adult Basic Education Programs – The basic education program offered by ACSGW aims solely toward bringing their clients closer to independence an allow them to meet their financial responsibilities. This program is comprised of English as a Second Language, Job Preparedness Training, Life Skills Classes, and Basic Computer Training Classes.

ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) Levels 1, 2, and 3 classes teach students conversational English.  Classes are usually held Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:00 to 9:00 pm and last about six months. There is a $50/month fee to participate in the class.

Adult Basic Education and General Equivalency Diploma (GED) Preparation classes are held to prepare adult students, so they will be able to take and pass the National GED exam and awarded a high school diploma. Classes typically occur Tuesday through Thursday from 6:00 to 9:00 pm and also last about six months.   The fee for the classes is $50.00 per month.Basic Computer Training Classes teach students keyboarding, mouse control, file management, how to use e-mail, and search the Internet. Students also receive a basic overview of Microsoft Office Word and Excel. Normally, classes are held Tuesday and Thursday, 6:00PM - 9:00PM. The class costs $50.00 per month. A Spanish Basic Computer Training Class is also offered on Mondays and Wednesdays. All computer classes will last about six months.

Workforce Development – ACSGW offers adult learners a non-threatening haven where they are able to enhance their current skills and acquire new skills allowing them to achieve personal and career goals. Through their workforce development program, three computer certification programs are offered – A+ Certification Program, Networking+ Certification Program and Security+ Certification Program.  Costs range from $75-$150 per month, and students gain hands-on experience and in-class instruction to prepare them for taking their respective National Certification exams.

To assist their clients who are striving to become self-sufficient and productive in the community, ACSGW provides Job Quest.  Job Quest is a workshop held on Fridays from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon where attendees can learn tailored job searching skills and benefit from resume and cover letter assistance. Job Quest instructors help participants build online profiles and create interview follow-up strategies.  Free computer lab and one-on-one career mentoring are also available.For more information about the programs offered by Adventist Community Services of Greater Washington, call (301) 585-6556 or go to

If you or a loved one has a disability and would like more information about Social Security Disability benefits or need assistance in applying for Social Security Disability benefits, contact The Cochran Firm Disability Lawyers at 1-800-THE-FIRM (1-800-843-3476). We are available day or night to help you receive the Social Security benefits that you deserve.

Stress!Disabilities cause enough stress.


You have to suffer with a disability all day, every day while trying to handle the pain and debilitation that comes with your particular disease or injury. On top of that, your employer remains frustrated because of your frequent tardiness or absence from work. Many times close family members do not even understand what you are going through. All of this leads to stress, STRESS, STRESS!

Often stress or anxiety increases the effects of your disability, worsening the pain, or making it more difficult to cope with. The opposite is true too. Reducing stress can reduce pain and increase your ability to handle the darts that come your way. One of the key factors in dealing with a disability is learning how to handle the tension associated with it.

One of the first steps to handling stress is determining what is stressing you. Start removing simple anxieties first. For instance, is there a piece of furniture that tends to jump out and get in your way every time you walk past or a throw rug that you have to be careful not to trip on? Let’s move the furniture and throw away the rug. There, we can breathe easier already.

Another aspect of our homes that we do not often consider when thinking about stress reduction is wall color. Dark or dirty colors are depressing. I once had a neighbor who suffered from depression. She lived in a narrow, manufactured home with very dark paneling and because money was tight she kept the lights turned off. Literally, she lived in a black hole. If money is an issue with you too, start with one wall in the room you spend the most time in and paint it a light cream or antique white. Most “dollar” stores sell a cheap brand of latex paint and you can purchase one gallon, a brush, roller cover, handle, tray and a thin plastic drop cloth for about $25. Have a neighbor kid or relative paint the wall for you for another $20. Buy the paint on one month’s check and have the wall painted on the next monthly check.

Do you have trouble remembering to take your medication? Many medicines are designed to work as long as a residual remains in your system, therefore it is important to take the medicine at the proper time, otherwise you can have “ups and downs” through-out the day. If your medicine is to be taken every 8 hours, purchase three cheap ($5 or less) alarm clocks and set each one for each of the times you are to take the medicine. Now you no longer have to worry about missing your medicine and your “ups and downs” will be reduced.

We do not have control over every stress in our life, but take control over what you can. Just like these small tips, work on the simple things that pressure you, even if it is just a tiny bit of stress, then move on to bigger anxieties. Look around you. What can you change? Every day conquer another hassle. Pretty soon your life will become less stressful and your health and mind will thank you.

Not Just Housing but Helping Along the Way

The Wesley House in Meridian, MS is a volunteer organization reaching out to assist underprivileged, neglected and abused individuals.    

1178513 samaritanIt is the mission of The Wesley House not only assist those in need but also to provide them with positive lifelong lessons. The Wesley House believes it is better to teach those in need and give them the tools that are necessary to prevent reoccurrences of poverty and abuse.

The Wesley House has six (6) different agencies that assist residents.  The Education Agency offers Wesley Wonders Pre-School with a fee of $85.00 per week.  Other services offered within the Education Agency at The Wesley House are Adult Basic Education (GED), Computer Labs, Elementary Tutoring, Public Awareness, and Child Abuse Prevention.

The Health Agency at The Wesley House offers Bi-Annual Eye Exams, Free Medicine, GYN Examinations, Disability Assistance Program, Medical Referrals, Free Lab Work, Pediatric Exams, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner, In-House Fitness and a Pharmaceutical Program that assist patients with chronic illnesses.

The Community Agency inherited the Christmas Clearing House with its sole purpose to avoid duplication of Christmas requests from the community.  In addition to the Clearing House, the Community Agency offers Scouting Programs (Boys & Girls), The Community Closet, Food Pantry, Conference Rooms, and a Twelve-week Parenting Course. 

The Wesley House also has a Victim Services Agency that provides a 24-hour crisis line.  The East Mississippi Sexual Assault Center lines are answered by trained professional staff Monday through Friday from 9:00a.m to 6:00p.m and by an answering service afterhours.  Any voicemails left afterhours are sent into a rotating list of staff to assist in returning all calls.  If you need assistance, please call 601-482-2828 for the Crisis Line.  Therapy Groups for Homicide Survivors, Sexual Assault Survivors, Anger Management for Adults and Anger Management for Children/Youth are also offered at the Victim Services Agency during the week.  

The Christian Relief Agency offers emergency assistance with food, clothing, medication, utility bills, furniture and much more.  Also offered within the Christian Relief Agency are Individual Case Work and Management, a Twelve-week Course of Life Skills, Vocational Assessment and Fishes and Loaves Ministry.

The Connectional Agency offers programs like the Fine Arts After-School Program, Team Mediation, Volunteer Mentoring Program, Kid’s Manna, The Wesley Hour and Wesley Belles and Da Capo Singing Ambassadors.

The Wesley House also relies on donations to restore and rebuild broken lives.  Every 4 out of 5 dollars donated to the Wesley House go directly to the community and the people who are in need of assistance.

If you would like to donate or need additional information about Wesley House Community Center and the programs described above, please call (601) 485-4736 or visit This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

1520 8th Avenue

P.O. Box 1207

Meridian, MS, 39302

Making Cell Service Available to Everyone

The following company provides the opportunity for cell phone ownership to qualifying low-income applicants nationwide:


SafeLink Wireless is proud to offer Lifeline Service, which is a program that enables qualifying customers to receive discounts on monthly telephone service. In this program, you will receive free cellular service, a free SafeLink Wireless cell phone and the assurance that you will get no bills and no contracts ever.

Through SafeLink Wireless’ Lifeline Service you can receive a free SafeLink Wireless phone and 68 minutes every month at no cost with the option of purchasing additional minutes.

  • To qualify for Lifeline Service in your area, you must already participate in one of the following assistance programs:
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance / Section 8
  • Food Stamps
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • National School Lunch (free program only)
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • Medicaid

The table below provides the maximum income you can have to be eligible for service:

Number Persons
in Household

Annual Income

Monthly Income

























For each additional person, add...



In addition to the requirements above, no one in your household currently receives Lifeline Assistance through another phone carrier. If someone in your household is receiving Lifeline Assistance you must cancel the service before applying for Lifeline Service through SafeLink Wireless. Additionally, applicants must have a valid United States Postal Address. In order for them to ship you your free phone you must live at a residence that can receive mail from the US Post Office. Sorry, but P.O. Boxes cannot be accepted.

Please note that if you elect to qualify via income you will need to prove your eligibility by sending SafeLink a copy of a document that proves your income level. The following are examples of documents that are accepted:

  • Four months of consecutive pay stubs
  • Letter from your employer
  • Last year’s income tax return
  • W-2 Form

Apcell phoneplying for SafeLink Wireless Service in your area is quick and easy. You may apply by calling the toll free number: (800) 977-3768 or by going online to:

Online Application Procedure

1. Fill out the application on SafeLink’s website at: Once you have the application you will need to print it for your records.

2. Once you have your completed application, print it and sign the application and return it to SafeLink along with copies of documents that prove you qualify for SafeLink Wireless Service. You may return your application to them in one of the following ways:

Faxing Application:

Fax the application to 1-800-834-7713.

Mailing Application:

Mail your application to PO Box 220009, Milwaukie, OR, 97269-0009. Please allow 2-3 additional weeks for applications that are sent    SafeLink through the mail.

3. Write down the SafeLink Wireless ID that is provided when you fill out your application! With your ID you will be able to check the status of your application on line by going to:

4. Or by calling them at (800) 977-3768.

Note: Please make sure that you provide correct personal information. Your information will be validated against Public Records and any discrepancies could result in delays in your application approval. The address that you provide is where you will receive Lifeline Assistance and where they will ship your free SafeLink Wireless phone.

If you have any additional questions, please contact the SafeLink Wireless information line at: (800) 977-3768 Monday - Saturday, 8:00 am - 10:00 pm and Sunday 8:00 am - 7:00 pm, EST. Or, you can always visit them online at

At The Cochran Firm Disability Lawyers we understand that for many clients, Social Security Disability benefits can't come soon enough. If your application has been denied, don't give up! Our experienced Social Security disability lawyers are extremely familiar with the Social Security Disability application process and will work hard to help you get the benefits you deserve. If you or a loved one has a disability and would like assistance with handling your claim, contact The Cochran Firm Disability Lawyers today at 1-800-THE-FIRM (1-800-843-3476). We are available day or night to help you receive the Social Security disability benefits you deserve.


There is no fee if you do not win your benefits!
Submit this form for a FREE evaluation.

Zip Code:
First Name:
Last Name: 
Phone Number: 
Email Address: 

By submitting your request, you grant the Cochran Firm Disability Lawyers permission to contact you using the phone and/or email address you provided. You agree that we may use an automatic telephone dialing system even if the number you provided is a wireless phone number.
These fields are present to prevent automated submission systems. If you see it, please do not fill in a value.