Advice

Dear Abby: 2-1-1 is number to remember to find low-cost services

Dear Abby: We are writing in response to the question you printed (Jan. 13) about where to find affordable counseling. Your suggestions were helpful, but we want to share another one:

2-1-1 is an easy-to-remember telephone number that, where available, connects people to information about critical, free or low-cost health and human services in their community. 2-1-1 reaches about 270 million people (90 percent of the U.S. population), covering all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Canada. It is a free, confidential resource.

Similar to dialing 9-1-1 for emergencies, calling 2-1-1 helps people seeking training, employment, food pantries, shelter, assistance for aging parents, addiction prevention programs for teens, affordable housing options and support groups. It provides a one-stop service for community referrals.

Abby, won’t you share this information with your readers? Everyone knows someone who needs help. 2-1-1 is there for them.

Staff of 2-1-1

I’m pleased to pass along this important resource, which serves such a large portion of the population. Thank you for taking the time to offer it to my readers.

Dear Abby: I am 28 and engaged to marry a wonderful man, “Ryan.” Before I met him, I was involved in an affair with my married boss and was deeply in love with him. (I still am.) We continued our affair even after I met Ryan, and now I think I’m pregnant. I told my boss and, naturally, he’s not happy about it.

I don’t know how to tell Ryan or if I even want to. I have always wanted to be a mother, and now I have the chance. But I may end up doing it alone in poor financial shape. I also won’t have a home to live in once my old-fashioned mother finds out I’ve gotten myself pregnant before marriage. Any advice?

Scared Stupid

Yes. Take a pregnancy test to determine if you really are pregnant. If it turns out that you are, then you must tell your fiance everything. Even if Ryan walks away, the baby’s father will be legally responsible for child support.

It is important that you also tell your mother what’s going on. She may not be thrilled to hear the news, but I doubt she will put you and her grandchild-to-be out on the street. A generation or two ago that might have happened, but no longer.

Dear Abby: I know if a girl breaks off the engagement, she’s supposed to return the ring to her ex-fiance. Does the situation of a wife filing for divorce fall under the same set of rules? I need a response soon.

Craig

No. If the rings were given with the promise of marriage and the promise was fulfilled, she is not expected to return them.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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