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January 29, 2010

Where to find help

Where to Find Help

For health issues:

If you are in crisis, or worried about a relative or friend, please seek help immediately:

- Call 911

- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides trained counselors at (800) 273-8255, TTY: (800) 799-4889.

- Merced County crisis hotline: (209) 381-6800.

- Valley Crisis Center: (209) 722-4357 (emergency shelter and transportation for victims of domestic violence).

For housing issues:

- Catholic Charities, 336 W. Main St., (209) 383-2494 (motel vouchers and food for single parents and children).

- Merced Community Action Agency, 317 E. 15th St., (209) 725-8188 (emergency shelter).

- Merced County Human Services Agency, 2115 W. Wardrobe Ave., (209) 385-3000 (motel vouchers, food stamps, referrals for other help).

- Merced County Rescue Mission, 1921 Canal Street, (209) 722-9269 (men's shelter).

- Los Banos Rescue Mission, 1231 Fourth Street, Los Banos (209) 827-0797.

- Merced Continuum of Care, (209) 723-3153, ext. 318 (for referrals to emergency shelter, free food, health care, and other personal needs).

For foreclosure issues:

- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development at (800) 569-4287 or www.hud.gov, to contact federally-approved foreclosure avoidance counselors.

If you feel you were a victim of predatory loan practices, or tricked into loan terms you wouldn't have been comfortable with if fully disclosed, contact these organizations:

- The Federal Trade Commission: (877) 382-4357

- California Attorney General: (916) 445-9555

Central California Better Business Bureau: (559) 222-8111, www.cencal.bbb.org

Sources: Centers for Disease Control, Merced Continuum of Care

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