The key services from the Grand Rapids Urban League are focused on housing issues and self-sufficiency. The HUD approved counseling agency can assist both tenants and homeowners in Kent County Michigan. In addition to dealing with any housing concerns, the self-sufficiency services offered from the non-profit will help clients improve their educational or work skills, and either find a new or better job.
Specialists from the Urban League will work on the clients behalf to address the housing issue. They also try to address the underlying cause of the rent or mortgage delinquency. More often than not, this will require improving the client's job training or budgeting skills. The Grand Rapids Center for Housing and Community Development is where both homeowners and renters can get help from.
A missed mortgage payment or foreclosure can be caused by many reasons, including a job layoff, reduction in pay, or illness. In an effort to help clients, they offer low cost or free Foreclosure Prevention and/or Mortgage Delinquency Counseling. Homeowners can get access to advocacy and education, as well as various workshops. There are even classes held on a monthly basis for these issues.
Housing Counselors from the Grand Rapids Urban League will also partner with the individual. If needed, and approved to do this, they will work on behalf of the client with their lender or mortgage in an effort to come up with a workable solution for both parties. The specialist from the League will be a neutral, third-party HUD Approved Counselor.
Throughout these sessions, the counselor also works with the client to create a detailed budget. This will be based upon their income, expenses, and any financial weaknesses identified in the counseling sessions. This budget can be used as a tool by the mortgage company and the client to agree upon a realistic and beneficial solution to the home foreclosure.
Rental Delinquency Counseling and maybe Landlord/Tenant mediation is offered. Individuals or families from Kent County Michigan who are experiencing financial difficulty in paying their monthly rent can explore this. There is also assistance for residents that are close to possible eviction from their apartments or homes.
Anyone faced with this type of issue or possible homelessness needs to contact a Grand Rapids Urban League Housing Counselor and explore their options, including any loans that may be available for paying their rent. Housing Counselors may also refer clients to alternate non-profit or charity agencies that may be able to provide financial assistance to families in crisis.
Other services are available for tenants as well. Grand Rapids Urban League Housing Counselors may be able to advocate on behalf of the individual. If need be, or requested to by the renter, they can often speak directly with property managers or landlords on behalf of the client. This communication can also help lead to a workable solution to prevent the eviction for their home or apartment.
Employment resources are available from the Center for Employment and Workforce Development. Case managers from the Urban League specialize in Recruitment, Retention, Job Placement, and Referral. They work with the unemployed or individual job seekers seeking new skills, and the Urban League also has relationships with many employers in Kent County Michigan.
As part of this process, an Employment Assessment and Counseling will need to take place. This may lead to eventual placement with an employer that is local to Kent County or that is based in Michigan. The Employment and Training Department is an excellent place to start to find a solution to this need. These sessions will touch upon the clients interests, aptitude, current strengths and weaknesses in relation to employment and future career opportunities.
The Urban League will offer in depth counseling to explore career path options. The goal is to build on the client’s skills, natural talents, experience and strengths. Testing that is coordinated by the League provides job seekers with an opportunity to understand where increased computer skills or continuing education may increase their employability.
The counseling can lead into placement with a Grand Rapids or Kent County business. Job seekers can find resources and information that is necessary to conduct a complete job search in the region. Grand Rapids Urban League Specialists can keep clients up to speed on announcements, customized training, workforce assistance, and other community resources. Urban League Employment Specialists provide one-on-one counseling to applicants or anyone that needs a new or even better job.
Professional development counseling is available as well. This will facilitate the career success and promotion for individuals at every level of the spectrum including entry level employment as well as mid level management. It can help those who are seeking a career change.
There are some very limited scholarship programs offered too. Grand Rapids and Kent County Urban League supports ongoing education in the community and is proud of the scholarship program. Students from the region and greater Kent County that are seeking 4-year undergraduate degrees may qualify, if they meet conditions.
Those housing programs and other services are all available. The main office of the local Urban League is at 745 Eastern Ave SE, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49503. Call (616) 245-2207.
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