LIFT Wisconsin is committed to helping the community. We are building a growing library of trusted resources to resolve common civil legal issues.
When you need help and don’t know where to turn simply dial 2-1-1 to reach a caring community resource specialist. United Way 2-1-1 (formerly First Call for Help) is an information and referral service that connects people to a variety of resources such as: help paying bills, support groups, food pantries, community clinics, and many other services. This service is available every hour of every day and can assist in almost any language.
Referral program links families to regulated child care providers that are licensed, regularly certified or provisionally certified. The 4-C database identifies potential child care programs based on specific needs of the family.
A free service that provides full telephone accessibility to people who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind, and speech disabled. Whether calling on a standard telephone or a text telephone (TTY, a special phone with a typewriter-style keyboard), relay makes communication simple. This service is available all the time.
ACCESS connects you with the help you need when you need it. Need help getting health care coverage, paying forgroceries or child care costs, finding a job, or building your career skills?
With ACCESS, you can apply for and manage your state of Wisconsin benefits and programs in one place, at any time.
ADRC provides information to the general public about services, resources, and programs in areas such as: disability and long-term care related services and living arrangements, health, adult protective services, employment and training for people with disabilities, transportation, home maintenance and nutrition. ADRC staff will provide help to connect people with those services and to also apply for SSI, FoodShare, and Medicaid as needed.
Free Online Legal Answers for people in Wisconsin
1. See if you qualify - Answer a few questions to see if you qualify to use this service.
2. Ask a question - Ask our volunteer attorneys a specific question about your civil legal issue.
3. Check your email - You'll receive an email telling you when your question receives a response.
4. Log back in online - See the response to your question; ask more questions.
Easy-to-use, free search for local programs.
Find food assistance, help paying bills, and other free or reduced cost including new programs for the COVID-19 pandemic.
BadgerCare Plus is a health care coverage program for low-income Wisconsin residents. Recipients receive a Forward Health card similar to an insurance card that they present to the medical provider.
Bilingual staff is available to provide bilingual assistance to Spanish speaking job seekers. Some workshops are presented in both English and Spanish.
A Fidelity Bond provides insurance protection for employers against dishonest acts by employees such as theft, embezzlement, and vandalism. By decreasing the risk to employers, the Fidelity Bond also increases the job seekers' chances of being hired despite blemishes on their record.
The employer or job applicant must contact the nearest Wisconsin Job Center. Call (888) 258-9966 or see this list of Wisconsin Job Center locations. The applicant must first visit and register with the Job Center. Other than this registration, there are no papers to be completed by the job applicant or the employer in order for the bond to be issued.
The applicant must receive a job offer and the employer must schedule a date to start work before a bond can be issued. The Job Center will contact the local bonding representative who will submit the proper paper work to Job Service (central office).
Briarpatch runs an 8-bed youth shelter, a street outreach program, a runaway youth program, a Teens Like Us program for LGBTQ youth, a parent support program, youth job programs, a Youth Restitution Program, an Intensive Supervision Program for court-involved youth, and a Restorative Justice Program as an alternative to the traditional juvenile justice system.
For questions regarding youth on Work Teams please contact the youth work team supervisor or call the on-call Intensive Supervision staff at 608-669-4711.
Main office number for non-emergencies is 608-245-2550.
Funding for funeral and cemetery expenses for deceased persons who were enrolled in one of many state programs such as BadgerCare Plus, W-2, and SSI.
Individual assistance is available in career planning, problem solving, and organizing an effective job search. A professional and experienced career counselor is available to meet with job seekers. Customers should call to schedule an appointment.
Cash assistance for parents who are receiving State and Federal Social Security Insurance (SSI) and who are caring for their minor children. If you are already receiving FoodShare, Medicaid, or other income maintenance, contact that agency to apply.
Children First program helps parents owing support who are unemployed or underemployed and are court ordered to make regular payments. Program provides case management and employment services to parents.
Provides housing information and application assistance, plus help applying for subsidized housing. The Supportive Housing Program helps the chronically homeless with disabilities move toward self-sufficiency. They also have a veterans program. Check web site for current site locatons and walk-in hours.
CAC establishd the Dane County Food Pantry Network. See web page for list of locations of food pantries and meal sites.
The Double Dollars program provides EBT/FoodShare card holders up to $25 to spend at participating farmers markets.
CAC can also help connect low-income seniors with monthly food boxes.
Support for Wisconsin residents in choosing, paying for, renewing, and accessing healthcare. Assistance applying for BadgerCare Plus, Medicaid, Medicare, or Healthcare.gov coverage.
How to look up your credit report, how to solve common problems, and additional resources on consumer financial education.
DAIS provides a crisis Help Line (608-251-4445 or 800-747-4045) for crisis intervention, safety planning, support, information, and referrals to survivors of domestic abuse, their families, friends, other service providers, and the general public. The Help Line is the gateway to all other DAIS services. DAIS runs a shelter, a children's program, crisis response, and support groups for both men and women.
Their mission is to assist Dane County veterans and their families with obtaining local, state, and federal veterans’ benefits. Whether you need help determining benefit eligibility or support in completing an application, they are available to provide the assistance you need. The Dane County Veterans Service Office is committed to customer service and advocacy as veterans seek out eligible benefit entitlements.
Career and training services are available to individuals who have been laid-off from their employment due to plant closings or downsizing, foreign competition, economic downturn or other reasons not related to the person's job performance under WIOA Title I. Career services cover a broad range of activities, including initial and comprehensive assessment of skills, providing information about careers and the local labor market, job search assistance, development of an individual employment plan, career counseling, internships and work experiences linked to careers, financial literacy and more. Training services include occupational skills training, on-the-job training, incumbent worker training, transitional jobs, and adult education and literacy provided concurrently or in combination with other training services.
DVR provides individualized services to eligible consumers who need assistance to prepare for, to find and to keep employment. Examples of some services are: assessments, vocational counseling and guidance, assistive technology, job seeking and placement, and training
Emergency funding for people who have received a 5-day notice from a landlord and are facing homelessness.
Programs and services include investigating complaints of housing discrimination; outreach and education for renters, property owners and property managers; investigating complaints of predatory lending, mortgage scams, and other lending violations; support of and advocacy for inclusionary housing policies. They offer “Know Your Rights” and “The Red Flags of Housing Discrimination” flyers in the following languages: Spanish, Hmong, and English.
A new, free service that connects people with a “Financial Navigator” – a person they can talk to about their financial concerns.
Financial Navigators are available at no cost to provide guidance, over the phone, to help residents access available programs and services to manage income loss and other financial concerns they may be experiencing. With one-on-one discussions, they will help to address personal financial issues, identify immediate steps to manage expenses and maximize income, and make referrals to other services such as bill paying assistance, government benefits and other programs that may come from future stimulus package.
Complete the online form to request a phone session with a Financial Navigator. For help with the online form, call 608-266-6300, Mon-Fri 10am–7pm or Sat, 12-5pm.
Organizations across Madison can also refer clients directly to a Financial Navigator by sharing the link or helping them fill out the interest form. Financial navigation sessions are available directly in English, Hmong, and Spanish, with ASL and other languages available through the City’s interpretation services.
Are you working with people pre- or post-release who have criminal records or criminal debt and need help managing their financial challenges? "Focus on Reentry" is a companion guide to the "Your Money, Your Goals" toolkit that can help you help them address financial challenges.
Download a PDF for free or order letter-sized, 3-hole-punched printed copies of this and other free publications from the CFPB.
The FoodShare (FS) program provides low income customers with funds to buy food. Benefits are distributed via Quest cards that work like debit cards. Check to see if you qualify at https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/forwardhealth/apply.htm
An employment and training program designed to enable FoodShare recipients to receive case management services in order to move promptly into unsubsidized employment.
Freedom, Inc. has advocates who help victims and survivors of domestic violence, intimate partner violence, and/or sexual assault get the help they need. These services are confidential and free and include
GWAAR supports older adults. The WISE program provides the opportunity for seniors to learn new skills, receive job counseling and assistance with their resume, and receive job placement assistance. Wisconsin Elder Abuse Hotline: 1-833-586-0107. Get information and assistance on issues related to adult guardianship, protective placement, advance directives, and more from the Wisconsin Guardianship Support Center (GSC) Toll Free Help Line: (855) 409-9410. More programs are listed on their web site.
This service provides information regarding the Medicaid programs that are available through the Department of Health and Family Services. An HMO specialist will be able to answer questions regarding HMO's, Medicaid and Forward Cards.
The Consortium is a partnership of many organizations working to prevent homelessness and help people find shelter and housing.
Coordinated Entry is process developed to ensure that all people experiencing a housing crisis have fair and equal access to housing services and assistance. Through Coordinated Entry, households in need of assistance are quickly identified, assessed for, referred, and connected to housing and assistance based on their strengths and needs.This includes individuals and households that have been sleeping in Emergency Shelter, outside, or in a vehicle, and have experienced long-term homelessness.
Coordinated entry starts with the VI-SPDAT or the Vulnerability Index Service Prioritization Decision Assistance Tool. You can complete the VI-SPDAT to be placed on Dane County's Housing Priority List.
For over 25 years, Housing Initiatives has ended homelessness for 600 men, women, and veterans who suffer from a mental illness by providing themwith a permanent home and supportive services to help them lead a healthier life.
Monday – Friday, 9am – 4:30pm
Please call ahead as they are often busy working with clients off-site.
Information on services and resources regarding housing, housing vacancy lists, application assistance and landlord/tenant mediation. In-person appointment may not be available during the Covid-19 pandemic, so please call or check the web site.
Short term, no interest loans designed to assist with emergency vehicle repairs for employment purposes, as well as Driver's license fees and work clothing or uniforms.
Offers mental health and substance abuse services to individuals across their life span. They also offer a Driver’s License Assessment Program for people needing to have their driving privileges reinstated. To Schedule an Appointment: 608-280-2720
Job seekers and employers may receive employment and unemployment data, occupational wage information, industry employment, manufacturing economic indicators, population data, and annual inflation rates.
League of Women Voters can help people without an ID get an ID to vote.
Help for low-income people with services including: inaccurate criminal records, driver's license issues, child support issues, help for returning prisoners, eviction defense, family law, housing law, SSI or disability denials, and other legal issues. More details on their web site.
The Medical Assistance (MA) program pays for medical costs for low income individuals who meet financial and non-financial eligibility criteria. Costs must be approved by the MA program. Customers receive Forward Health Cards similar to insurance cards that they present to the medical provider. BadgerCare Plus is part of the Medical Assistance Program.
MAPP is part of the Medical Assistance (MA) program, which pays for medical costs for individuals determined to be disabled by the Disability Determination Bureau or elderly (over age 65) who are also working part-time. Customers receive Forward Health cards similar to insurance cards that they present to the medical provider.
Migrant outreach workers are available to assist with employment applications, refer to specific employment opportunities, provide information on farm workers’ rights with respect to the terms and conditions of their employment, and refer to other organizations serving Migrant and Seasonal Farm Workers (MSFW).
1. Register online to vote
2. If you are already registered to vote, click here: https://myvote.wi.gov/en-us/My-Voter-Info
You can then access the following:
· View a list of elections you have voted in
· Check your current registration information
· Update your name and address
· Request an absentee ballot
· Find your elected officials
· Track your absentee ballot
The Neighborhood Law Clinic (NLC) provides a broad range of legal services including rental housing, employment, and public benefits law. Law students staff the community-based office at the UW South Madison Partnership space in the Villager Mall on Madison's South Side. They may be able to help you if...
They CANNOT help with
Operation Fresh Start provides disconnected youth with a path to self-sufficiency at a critical time in a young person's life. Programs provide mentoring, education, and employment training. OFS graduates earn their high school diploma and driver's license, then go on to continue their education and/or find self-sustaining employment.
The WorkSmart Network's Young Adult (Out-of-School) Program connects eligible young adults with the services and support needed to succeed. Connect with us if you're interested in career advising, tutoring, job readiness and retention training, and internship connections to help prepare you for your career. The program is available with funding from the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). Contact a WorkSmart Network location nearest you to learn more.
Porchlight operates many housing sites. Their largest property is at 306 N Brooks St, which also houses its administrative offices. Brooks Street has permanent single-person units with shared kitchen and bathrooms for low-income single adults. Prospective tenants should complete the Porchlight Housing Intake Form available on their web site. Porchlight also has housing programs that specialize in working specifically with veterans and individuals with mental illness.
Home weatherization and repairs. Furnace program. Home water conservation program.
RISE advances the wellness of children, individuals, and families by providing early childhood and mental health services to help community and family thrive. RISE houses The Respite Center which provides emergency child care and respite for children ages 0-14, parent support, and crisis counseling 7 days a week. In addition to quality child care, the Respite Center helps parents and caregivers access important resources to help support and stabilize their family. RISE offers other Children Come First mental health programs for hospital diversion, stabilization, and crisis programs
Services include: • Crisis intervention and support
• Short-term counseling
• Emotional support
• Support groups
• Medical, legal advocacy and accompaniment
• Community education and outreach
A Case Manager focuses on helping Re-Entry participants address their employment and training needs through services and referrals focusing on motivation/life skills activities, employment search, and employer based skills training activities.
Reach Dane offers Early Head Start, Head Start, and Childcare Programs for low income families. Complete the online application. General Information Desk: (608) 275-6740
Assists customers with the process and paperwork involved in applying for SSI and SSDI. Activities include reviewing customer documentation, attending appointments with customer and ensuring necessary paperwork is filed with Disability Determination Bureau.
Assisting customers with the process and paperwork involved in applying for SSI and SSDI. Activities include reviewing customer documentation, attending appointments with customer and ensuring necessary paperwork is filed with Disability Determination Bureau.
You may be eligible to receive free monthly mobile phone service under the Lifeline program if you receive Food Stamps (SNAP) and Medicaid Benefits or qualify based on income.
At www.secondharvestmadison.org/find-food there are resources to help you find food, including mobile pantries, government programs, summer food for children, and WIC. Call 2-1-1 to get connected to your local area pantry. Text "FOODDANE" to 47177 for notice of special food distribution opportunities.
Provides information and referrals, education about rental rights and responsibilities, and access to conflict resolution with landlords.
UNIDOS programs focus on Latinx survivors of domestic violence through victim advocacy and support groups, including groups for youth, men, and parents. 24 hour Help Line/Linea de Ayuda en Español 800-410-9195.
Upsolve is a nonprofit tool that helps you file bankruptcy for free.
The two main types (called "Chapters") of bankruptcy that individuals filing bankruptcy in Wisconsin typically file under are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. You can file under both without an attorney, though Chapter 13 is complicated enough that you should seek legal counsel, even if that means investing some money for a lawyer.
If your household income falls below 150% of the federal poverty guidelines, you can ask the court to waive the filing fee for your Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Wisconsin.
DVOP Disabled Veteran Outreach Program (DVOP) staff are available on a walk-in basis and by appointment to meet with veterans with significant barriers to employment. Help with career planning, view job listings and receive veteran related information. Local Veterans Employment Representative (LVER) is available to assist job-ready veterans for job match assistance, On-the-Job Training (OJT) or Apprenticeship opportunities. See web site to register online.
W-2 recipients will receive intensive case management services toward the goal of gainful unsubsidized employment. Individuals can earn a W-2 payment through participation in agreed upon placements and activities such as job seeking skills workshops, job search, career exploration, job skills training, work experience, and subsidized employment.
WIHousingSearch.org is a free resource to help you find a home that fits your needs and budget. Property providers can list apartments or homes for rent any time, which means that their list is always current.
Windows to Work (W2W) provides re-entry tools, support and career coaching services to incarcerated individuals beginning 3-9 months prior to release and for approximately one year post-release.
Provides assistance for heating costs, electric costs, and energy crisis situations. Call for information or apply online at https://energybenefit.wi.gov
Wisconsin Judicare provides legal representation to low-income individuals living in Wisconsin's northern 33 counties.
Child care funding is available for qualified individuals. Participants must be in a qualified activity such as work or a combination of work and school. Payments go directly to qualified child care providers. Generally, participants are required to pay a co-payment. Use the ACCESS Wisconsin application online.
Helping all Wisconsin veterans with emergency relief, homelessness services, financial counseling, benefits counseling, personal counseling, family counseling, home repairs, substance abuse, legal assistance, employment assistance, domestic violance interventon and counseling services.
The Workforce Innovation & Opportunities Act (WIOA) Adult Program is a program designed to aid eligible adults in returning to productive employment. Services may include: