While the number of agencies that provide assistance in the region are limited, low income families in the northwestern part of Michigan do have options. The leading non-profit organization to call for financial assistance is the Northwest Michigan Community Action Agency. A summary of the programs and services offered are below.
Free income tax preparation is offered. Meet with a specialist or volunteer in order to get your federal government and state of Michigan income taxes prepared. They will ensure you receive all credits that you are entitled too, including the earned income credit.
Meals on Wheels will deliver free well-balanced hot meals to seniors, their spouses and homebound in Leelanau and Antrim. The meals will meet one third of a senior’s daily nutrition requirements. Congregate meals, or the Senior Style Luncheon Program, also serves hot lunches and dinners to the elderly in Charlevoix and Leelanau and other towns. A few dozen sites will serve the needy. Other social activities and workshops are offered at the same time.
Homeowners can receive free foreclosure counseling and, when available, one time cash assistance. Assistance is provided to homeowners in Michigan to prevent mortgage foreclosure. Home Repair and Replacement can help senior citizens make safety and emergency repairs to their home. Click Michigan mortgage assistance.
Rental assistance is also offered for the northwestern counties. One-time cash assistance and landlord/tenant counseling can be provided to renters facing eviction. Free guidance and advice is also available for landlord tenant disputes. This is a version of the homeless prevention program.
Homeless individuals can apply for help in finding a new home or apartment. In addition they may receive one-time cash assistance or grants to pay moving costs or security deposits. Counselors from the community action agency can provide information packets on landlords, low-income rental housing, and budget analysis for individuals seeking a place to rent.
Save money on energy bills from the free weatherization program. The state and community action agency will provide free energy conservation measures to assist low income homeowners, seniors and even renters in Emmet and Kalkaska with reducing their home heating costs.
The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) offer free services to the needy and people facing a foreclosure. Counselors will educate and help clients understand the foreclosure process, review their personal financial situation and budget to determine possible options that may lower monthly house payments. They will also try to mediate a solution on your behalf with your lender. Get referral to other services if the community action agency can't help you develop a plan.
Head Start is offered. They will help prepare your child for school and also will assist parents with being their child’s first and most important teacher. Health care, education, and more is part of Head Start in Michigan.
Budget Counseling includes Financial Fitness workshops and individual counseling. The goal is to help participants and lower income individuals learn how to manage their personal finances. Get help with tax and insurance matters, Credit Repair, Budgeting Ideas, and learn how to set financial goals. More on Michigan credit counseling.
Seniors and children can get groceries and meals from the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) as well as Emergency Food Assistance. This federal government funded resources targets at risk mothers, infants, children and senior citizens. Qualified clients in Antrim and other regions will get a monthly food package as well as a nutrition education program. Receive free USDA food for low income households. Students can also receive snacks and meals from a so called backpack program. Click more Feeding America.
Emergency Assistance from Northwest Michigan Community Action Agency can help low income families with a number of needs in a crisis. Get money for housing/shelter expenses and crisis payments for heating bill and utilities. Another resource is the Emergency Solutions Grant. This provides emergency rental assistance to those in need of eviction prevention. Funds may also pay for deposits or mortgages when a homeowner is facing foreclosure. Case management and counseling (as described above) is also usually offered.
Northwest Michigan Community Action Agency has a few locations in the region. Call or stop by 3963 Three Mile Road, Traverse City, Michigan 49686-9164, (231) 947-3780. Other centers are at 1640 Marty Paul, Cadillac MI dial (231) 775-9781 and 2202 Mitchell Park, Petoskey Michigan, phone (231) 347-9070
Sylvia's Placesylvia's Place Safe House can provide help, including food, for victims of domestic violence. Allegan, MI 49010, call (888) 411-7837
Holy Childhood Of Jesus Church runs a food pantry and soup kitchen. Telephone (231) 526-2017.
Saint Mary On The Lake Catholic Church is located at 450 Manitou Road. Call (517) 547-7496 for information on food items offered, including special holiday meal assistance and programs.
The Salvation Army is a leading non-profit in Charlevoix, Leelanau, and all of western Michigan. A number of social services are offered. Some may include financial assistance for medications, food, or energy bills. Or look into case management and job placement. Call 616.459.3433 for a center near you.
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