Several assistance programs are available from Flat River Outreach Ministries for needy families. The charity organization can provide support to residents, often in partnership with other agencies in Kent County. Some examples of what may be provided includes Neighbor to Neighbor for paying heating bills, emergency rental assistance, food, and more.
A key service is their financial assistance program. It offers help to those families from the community that are experiencing an emergency or financial difficulties due to the challenging economy. Help is available for paying expenses such as a missed rent payment mortgage, utilities or heating bills and various other needs.
For families that qualify for this Flat River Outreach Ministries resource, no individual funding is provided as all of the payments are made directly to the landlord or provider of the service. In some cases, a loan is issued by the agency. In any case funds are limited, but dial 616-897-8260 to contact an Engagement Coach.
Note that when seeking help, Flat River Outreach Ministries offers financial assistance at most once per year, however exceptions can be made by the organization based on special circumstances/needs and funding. Additional services may be coordinated with partner organizations such as churches in Kent County or ACCESS 6. If the applicant needs assistance that is beyond the scope of their resources, then Engagement Coaches work to connect those individuals with other community agencies who may be of assistance to the applicant.
There are several seasonal programs for families in need of assistance during specific times of the year, such as the Christmas distribution mentioned below. These programs may be reviewed via the FROM calendar, or residents of Kent County can dial 616-897-8260 for further information.
The Christmas Distribution service is available each December. Flat River Outreach Ministries offers food baskets and access to a toy shop during the holiday for those low income and working poor families unable to celebrate the season. Many people can't provide a meal or gift to their child due to financial hardship, such as unemployment, or difficult circumstances, and this Christmas service can help fill that need.
This free holiday distribution of food or gifts is available to low income and struggling families living in the Lowell School District. Also, the Christmas food baskets containing groceries/meals and the other access to the toy shop is available to income qualified families with children under the age of 18.
Neighbor to Neighbor is a program that helps with paying energy bills. It is partnership with the Rotary Club of Lowell and the Lowell Ledger, and the goal is to help low income families reduce heating and other energy costs during the winter months. As part of Neighbor to Neighbor, home repair projects are also available which includes replacing windows, installing/repairing/patching roofs and installing new furnaces to eligible homes.
FROM offers the free use of medical equipment as part of Michigan Loan Closets, and this is available to families who cannot pay high deductibles or are otherwise uninsured. The non-profit's Medical Equipment Program has teamed up with state of Michigan Loan Closets to allow eligible individuals from Kent County to borrow specific items free of charge as long as medically necessary.
The supply of items available for distribution will vary over the course of the year. Items currently available to loan out include hospital beds, shower chairs, wheelchairs,canes and crutches. Equipment is available for pickup during regular office hours or by calling 616-897-8260.
Flat River Outreach Ministries Treasures Thrift Shop offers families access to gently used goods. The store may have furniture, clothing and housewares, and the items are sold at significantly reduced prices to people in the community. All profits from the same of goods are given to Lowell Michigan area families, which is effect is making every purchase a benefit to neighbors who are facing financial hardships.
A Backpack Distribution service is available for students and children. Hundreds of children from lower income families families that are facing financial hardships receive new backpacks and school supplies. The program will help client's prepare them each year for a successful school year ahead.
With partners including the United Way and the federal government branch of the IRS, FROM offers free tax preparation and e-filing as part of VITA Tax Program. This is a resource for low to moderate income households in Kent County. Certified volunteers work with consumers to maximize tax credits and refunds that they may receive on their returns.
The are several resources that focus on Feeding Families. There is aid for individuals living on limited income or facing a financial crisis, and these families be provided by FROM with no-cost, nutritious food or groceries. This will free up their income, thereby making their money otherwise available to pay utilities, medical bills, rent/mortgages, car payments, etc.
There are a few different food programs available, and they can reach people of all ages in the greater Lowell area. These four programs are the Foodmobile, Summer Lunch Program, client choice Food Pantry and Commodities. These all provide groceries and nutritional support to those with limited financial resources.
The Client Choice Food Pantry indicated above is for families, senior citizens or individuals facing an emergency, and it is for residents living in the Lowell School District. In order to get help, people may sign up during regular Pantry hours by bringing a current ID and proof of each household member. For those that can use the pantry, consumers may shop once per month at the site to supplement household needs.
For more information on Flat River Outreach Ministries and their programs, the main office is at 11535 Fulton St E, Lowell, Michigan 49331. Or call (616) 897-8260.
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