Thousands of low income families receive help from the Alger-Marquette Community Action Board every year. Numerous assistance programs are available for residents of the counties. Some examples of the services are energy bill help from LIHEAP, Head Start, free food and meals.
Some of the focus of the community action agency is on the elderly or families with young children. Other resources in Michigan are for the disabled. The bottom line is that AMCAB will do what they can, if anything, to help the poor and low income.
CSFP Supplemental Food is operated by AMCAB. The non-profit distributes free boxes of healthy and well-balanced groceries or shelf-stable foods. Distributions are made at almost 20 convenient sites in their service territory. It is passed out to hundreds of low-income residents of Alger and Marquette Counties in Michigan.
Low income seniors and families with young children under age six who do not qualify for the WIC program are eligible to get assistance from the federal government Commodity Supplemental Food Program. It helps working poor participants supplement their current food supply. This will in effect allow them to focus their income on paying for other essential needs and living expenses. The sites of distribution are:
Republic, St. Vincent De Paul Society
Humboldt Michigan - Humboldt Township Hall
Ishpeming, Pioneer Bluff Apartments
Munising, Munising Lakeshore Manor
Ishpeming – Call or stop by St. Joseph’s Church
Negaunee, Lakeview Apartments
Marquette Michigan site #2 is Oakwood Apartments
Negaunee Michigan residents can stop by the Senior Center
Marquette, Lost Creek Apartments
Marquette – Snowberry Heights Apartments
Marquette, MI - Pine Ridge Apartments
Gwinn; St. Anthony’s Church
Marquette has another church site as well as St. Vincent De Paul
Harvey – Cherry Creek Apartments
Autrain, Autrain Township Hall
Chatham Manor – Stop by Chatham Manor
Skandia – Skandia Township Hall
Emergency assistance and outreach services from AMCAB’s staff help link individuals and families in Alger and Marquette counties with other non-profit human service agencies. Alger-Marquette Community Action Board will also coordinate various direct services., such as federal government LIHEAP.
Whenever possible, the Outreach staff provides one-on-one contact for better understanding of the individual’s or family’s needs. In many cases, home visits are conducted for those individuals or families unable to get out of the home, such as the elderly or the disabled in the area.
There may be funding for emergency heating and utility bill assistance. Or aid for those families that need help with rent. This is normally for those individuals or families who have already received shut-off or eviction notices or may be in danger of running out of fuel.
AMCAB’s Outreach staff is also trained to help individuals and families, including some more moderate income residents, e-file their Federal income taxes for the Earned Income Tax Credit. If you are not sure whether or not you qualify, simply contact the local office.
Home Repairs and Rehabilitation Program is run in partnership with the Michigan State Housing Development Authority. Alger-Marquette Community Action Board provides home rehabilitation assistance to income qualified homeowners in Alger County. Assistance, in some cases a loan, is provided for needs such as roofing, plumbing, heating systems, electrical wiring, wells and septic systems, which is carried out by approved private contractors. Applicants need to meet income requirements and have to submit written verification of income to avail of rehabilitation funds and are required to repay the funds in the event that they move or sell the house.
Similar to above is the Weatherization Assistance Program. This helps low-income homeowners and renters with energy conservation services, which include caulking, weather-stripping, furnace tune ups, and insulation of walls, attics and crawl spaces. The AMCAB Weatherization Assistance Program aims to reduce energy costs to individuals thereby providing additional income for another living expenses.
As part of the process, an extensive energy audit is performed on each home to assess the efficiency of the existing heating and cooling units in the home. It will also test for the amount of carbon monoxide in the ambient air of the home. The results of these tests on the home will be used to determine which weatherization measures need to be installed in the home by AMCAB.
Food for seniors from Congregate and Home Delivered Meals (Meals-on-Wheels) and other sources. All senior meals served by AMCAB will either meet or exceed one-third of the USDA Recommended Daily Allowances of nutrients. Meals on Wheels will bring hot meals to seniors who are homebound and unable to prepare nutritious meals on their own. Suggested donations are requested.
Other resources are the Congregate Dining Program. The agency invites you to enjoy a healthy, nutritionally balanced lunch at one of AMCAB’s or a partner churches congregate dining sites located across Alger and Marquette counties. Another option is Meals While You Heal, which is a special service that provides healthy, well-balanced meals to seniors who have been recently released from a hospital or nursing home.
Children under 5 can benefit from Head Start. Several Head Start Centers are based in Marquette and Alger Counties. The AMCAB Head Start program provides a developmentally appropriate curriculum for three and four year old children from low income families.
The curriculum and services available includes medical care, early literacy, free food, movement, as well as access to top notch science and math activities. They will promote school-readiness for all Head Start children. Other crucial components of the statewide program include free dental care, guidance on proper nutritional experiences, health services and overall family involvement.
This program also encourages parents to participate. As part of the process, family strengths are identified and parents receive guidance to help deal with possible concerns. Children who are enrolled in Head Start receive consistent, loving care and education from the staff. Other assistance from Alger-Marquette Community Action Board includes Active Learning, Transportation, Nutritionally balanced meals and snacks, and Comprehensive Developmental Screenings.
Early Childhood Education Component is part of the Michigan School Readiness Program. This is paid for through the Michigan Department of Education and federal government grants. The Michigan School Readiness Program is a high-quality preschool resource that serves four year old children that are disabled or that have special needs. It can also help those who may be at risk of becoming educationally disadvantaged in the area, including Marquette, Gwinn, and West Marquette County.
Examples of the social services that are provided through the Michigan School Readiness Program include Comprehensive Developmental Screenings; it relies on Parent Involvement; healthy Nutritional Snacks; and more.
Children under 3 can benefit from Early Head Start. It offers assistance for parents and children. Some of what is offered from AMCAB includes Pregnancy and parenting support, Support for Health and Nutrition Education, and Referral Services. Parents of the children can benefit from information regarding community access to job search, adult education, computer training and training.
Early Head Start also provides free basic services such as safe and nurturing environments, access to free health/dental care and caring staff. These services are provided free of cost. Priority for enrollment may include teen parents, first-time parents, the homeless, low income, families on public assistance, single moms, and children with diagnosed disabilities. Other Services are Transportation to group activities, Child Development Education, Linkage to Community Services and Resources, and Parent Education.
For more information, applications, or details, call or stop by Alger-Marquette Community Action Board. The main center is at 1125 Commerce Dr., Marquette, Michigan 49855-8630. Telephone number is (906) 228-6522.
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