Community Resource Center can provide information on resources for low income families and the working poor, with a focus on the Manchester Michigan area. Staff from the agency work with clients to address poverty and direct them to short term support services for food, housing, and more. While financial assistance is always a possibility in Washtenaw County, the availability of any funds is limited and is not common.
Anyone seeking assistance will need to go through an intake and assessment process. This is comprehensive and holistic, and the agency will review the applicant's entire financial situation. People should bring proof of identification for all household members, income, and expenses as well. If they are seeking emergency help to prevent an eviction or utility disconnection, then copies of bills and the lease should be brought as well. More documentation may also always be requested.
This process from CRC staff will explore the household's situation. Based on the results, an action plan is created and residents must commit to this process. Specialists will inform and guide individuals to any grants or government benefits they may be qualified for, with the goal of helping families in achieving agreed upon goals and address the immediate crisis as well. Individuals with exceptional hardships may receive specific direct assistance as well in some cases.
Energy bill assistance is sometimes available. When funds are offered, the intent was to assist low income households who seek financial assistance with their home utility bills, ranging from heating to water or electric. When someone is facing a crisis, such as loss of power or heat, then programs such as LIHEAP crisis can sometimes help with utility bills during extreme weather conditions. The priority of any funds from Community Resource Center or the government is on homes with elderly, disabled, or young children.
Applications may be available from resources such as Emergency Food and Shelter Program. This is administered on a yearly basis, and funds are disbursed to agencies that provide emergency assistance for expenses ranging from rent to grocery bills. The intent is to serve as a safety-net or last resort.
Community Resource Center housing programs connect low-income and working poor families with resources designed to help them get safe, permanent housing or low income apartments. Staff are working together with HUD and other credit counseling or non-profit agencies. Whenever possible, specialists may refer people to financial programs that help with security deposits, mortgages, utility payments, or rent. Any grants are disbursed directly to a landlord or energy company.
Community Resource Center food assistance comes in many forms. Not only are there local pantries which can be turned to for short term needs, but staff will also explore any other number of solutions. Some of them may be as follows.
Help is offered to gaining self-sufficiency. There will be extensive case management, advice and follow up. If and when needed, Community Resource Center has linkage to other non-profits and charities in the region, and they work to bring an intensive array of human services to the situation. The goal is to address the individual's self-sufficiency barriers.
Individuals seeking a job or new skills will be assigned to specific work or job training activities. This may include either an internship or part time job, which will help candidates gain valuable employment skills. Clients enrolled into job programs are also assisted with supportive services, such as clothing expenses, affordable child care, and low cost transportation. Other components of the self-sufficiency are below.
Financial education workshops foster long term financial stability for individuals. Studies show that the more people know about saving and budgeting, or credit counseling banking services, the increased chances they have for increasing savings. Or clients of Community Resource Center can use the advice for buying homes and it will improve their financial health and well-being.
Participants have the opportunity to increase their knowledge and have access to tools to help them increase income and savings. Many sessions are available in the greater Washtenaw County community free of charge. Topics covered include introduction to bank services and credit, how to select the best checking account, paying down debts or building credit scores, and avoiding high priced lenders.
The Manchester based non-profit is at 410 City Rd., and the intake number is (734) 428-7722.
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