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How often these days do you log onto Daily Kos, look at the recent or recommended diaries, and see that another kossack has lost their job?

The numbers are staggering, and by now we know them all too well. Unemployment reaching a 25-year high at 8.1 percent. And that’s before it went up to 8.5 percent. 15.6 percent looking for work, working part-time because they can't find full-time work, or have stopped looking even though they still want a job. Record new unemployment claims.

And the personal stories are like a punch to the gut.

If it’s you who’s lost a job, there are so many questions: Where do you go for unemployment benefits, and what do you do if your former employer contests your claim? How are you going to keep your health insurance? What do you tell your family? How do you stretch every last day out of your money to give you time to find a new job? And how do you take your anger or your depression or your fear at your own situation and turn it into a force for change?

Here’s one answer for you: The Unemployment Lifeline.

Working America, the Working America Education Fund, and the AFL-CIO have joined together to create this one-stop resource center for unemployed workers. We’ve tracked down information about where to go for help in every part of the country. Our zip code searchable database lists more than 50,000 resources and is still growing.

We’re not stopping there, though.  Today’s jobless workers need help now, and the Unemployment LifeLine is there to connect them with what they need.  But if things are going to get better for all workers, we need to join together to push for more jobs, better jobs and a stronger economy.  The Unemployment LifeLine will empower the unemployed by offering regular opportunities for action to make America’s economy work for all of us. We’ll be pushing for stronger regulation of the financial industry, for green jobs and health care reform, and to restore workers’ freedom to join unions and bargain for better benefits and fair wages.  

We’re asking for help, too. We want to crowdsource this site to the greatest extent possible. We’ve spent weeks putting together a huge database of unemployment offices, food banks, health clinics, debt counseling agencies, and anything else we could find that would be useful, but we know there’s more out there. You’re all experts on your own towns and areas, and if you know of another resource we should list, please submit it here. We’ll review submissions and add them to the site where appropriate.

Let’s help families find the information and support they need to ride out what the New York Times says "there is no longer any doubt" will be "the longest [recession] yet in America since World War II."

Help spread the word about the Unemployment Lifeline, and let us know about any resources we should add to our database.

Originally posted to Laura at Working America on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 07:41 PM PDT.

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