New York Survival Kit

By WBNG News

July 22, 2010 Updated Dec 22, 2009 at 7:09 PM EDT

If you're struggling to make ends meet, there's help out there.

And you don't even have to leave your home to get it.

Action News reporter Gabe Osterhout tells us about a New York State website, that will help get you the assistance you need.

Just a few months ago, Beth Bridger came to the area looking for help, not only for her.

But also her unborn baby.

She quickly found what she needed at the YWCA on Hawley Street.

The YWCA has helped her and her little boy get their lives together.

"It's absolutely life changing. I mean, my whole thing was I felt I was going to be judged or the word no...that's a word that I've just not heard here," she says.

Some of the help Bridger got is available to all New Yorkers.

And the state is making it easier to find.

It's created a website called Mybenefits.ny.gov.

It provides a list of benefits and state programs.

And allows people to check their eligibility.

"The Governor has called on state agencies to redouble their efforts, to promote programs aimed at helping working families and aimed at helping the unemployed to get the food, the medicine, the housing, the employment services they need to succeed," says Russell Sykes, OTDA Deputy Commissioner.

With more and more people becoming unemployed, these services are more important than ever.

But most people only file for unemployment benefits, not knowing what other resources are out there.

"Over the years, they've paid for many of these programs through their taxes and their charitable contributions so now when they need them the most, they should come in and apply for full range of benefits that may be available to them," says Colleen Gardner, associate commissioner of Labor

The state wants you to know, even during tough times, there are people willing to help.

In Binghamton, Gabe Osterhout, WBNG-TV Action News.

Again, the website is www.mybenefits.ny.gov

To find out more about programs being offered, you can also visit www.ny.gov/governor and click on the resources for working families link.

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