Programs offered in Michigan by your regional community action agency are extensive. Centers provide case management, low income grant programs, employment, job training, and much more. Assistance can help a family overcome a short term hardship or emergency. At the same time, a case manager from your local Michigan non-profit agency will assist an individual with increasing their income or improving their finances. So this can include job training, budgeting, or credit counseling services.
Funding and resources for these community action agencies will change from year to year. So all programs may not be offered, and only qualified individuals will receive help. However even if a location can’t meet your specific need, they may have other solutions for you, or be able to refer an individual to other state of Michigan government assistance programs or non-profit organizations.
Outreach and case management services are a core function of any agency. Staff can link or refer people to a variety of federal government, state of Michigan and local programs. The outreach staff provide direct coordination and also follow-up. They are a great resource for many of the assistance programs that are available and provided by all human service agencies that assist low income individuals, seniors and families. Not only does a community action agency provide referrals, but some may have the ability or resources to offer direct services or cash grants.
Case managers provide personal one-on-one contact with the client, and staff can learn about the specific needs of the individual or family. Outreach staff will also usually conduct a home visit with an individual or senior who is unable to get out of the home, and this can also help them better understand needs.
Family Self Sufficiency is a HUD created program that encourages community action agencies and public housing authorities (PHAs) to develop strategies to help Section-8 Housing Choice Voucher families obtain employment. Work with a Michigan social worker to help gain economic independence and self-sufficiency. Many of these Family Self Sufficiency resources are run in partnership with the Michigan State Housing Development Authority.
Together you will develop a comprehensive program that gives family members the skills and experience needed to enable them to gain new skills as well as find and maintain suitable employment. Participants are provided support through education, job, and human service delivery systems. All of this is done to help address what may seem to be insurmountable personal and financial barriers to economic growth. Goal-setting and service delivery for these services are coordinated through your local Michigan Community Action Agency's Resource Coordinator.
Matched savings accounts are offered from Individual Development Accounts. Money from these accounts can be used to help people go back to school to get a degree/technical certificate or help people purchase a home. Participants of the IDA will open accounts at participating banks in order to save money, and your community action agency will match a portion of your savings.
Michigan Benefits Access is the umbrella name of all state benefits. Low income and poor families may be eligible for one or more of the following. Food stamps or SNAP, LIHEAP, TANF, child care subsidies, SCHIP, Medicaid, and EITC. Many locations also offer outreach and client education services and Medicaid enrollment services for managed health care plans.
Get questions answered, or help applying for the Medicare/Medicaid Assistance Program. Community action staff will assist seniors, the very low income and people with disabilities with Medicare and Medicaid issues. For example, get help in completing the application, learn how to choose Medicare Part D plans, or find prescription assistance resources. A similar service is Michigan Enrolls, which provides certified enrollment counselors who can help persons approved for Medicaid benefits through the State of Michigan to receive information regarding their benefit and health care options. Most services are available by phone but walk-in services are available at many locations.
Migrant Services can provide nutritional, medical, assistance programs, educational, and other services that will meet the needs of the migrant population. The services require that recipients have the proper documentation and that they fill out an application with staff from their local agency.
While limited, some centers may have funding for emergency heating and utility bill assistance for those low income and struggling individuals or families who have shut-off notices or that may be in danger of running out of fuel. Emergency services may also be offered for adults who are homeless and/or at risk of homelessness. Grants can be used for eviction prevention, and the one-time assistance may include funds for paying rent, housing, property taxes, emergency hotel/motel assistance, and other needs.
Staff can help determine eligibility for Michigan Enrolls, public aid, food stamps, and programs like Medicaid. Other government run programs that you can apply for in your county include Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) or the LIHEAP emergency utility assistance/shut off prevention program. Vouchers for paying rent can be provided by section 8.
Applications are also accepted and processed for the Weatherization Assistance Program. This is mostly funded by the Federal Government Department of Energy, but the state of Michigan may have some supplemental funds as well. Low-income homeowners and even renters can be provided services such as caulking, insulation of attics, walls and crawl spaces and weather-stripping. The goal of weatherization is to lower energy bills for the individual thereby freeing up income that can be applied toward paying another living expense or basic need.
Stopping or reversing homelessness is always key. Several homeless prevention programs are available in most towns and counties across Michigan. For those families who find themselves homeless right now, or who are behind on rent and are at risk of becoming homeless, then your local community action agency may either operate or be aware of temporary or permanent housing solutions. The goal is to transition people and single parents to permanent housing. At the same time, sign up for employment programs that can supply people with the skills and means to maintain and pay for that new apartment or permanent home.
Direct shelter or rent payment assistance requires case management from your local community action agency. They will usually require participation in a basic budgeting workshop prior to payment to the land. You will also explore strategies to prevent recurrence of the crisis in the future and there may be required participation in an educational workshop.
Utility assistance as part of homeless prevention is rare. Sometimes emergency funding or government grants may be offered to low-income residents. If available, it is usually only for those families with a shut off notice or letter of non-delivery from their fuel provider.
More formal Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-housing Programs may be offered as well. These can generally provide longer term case management services and financial assistance to help homeless individuals and families. Get help in identifying and overcoming the underlying cause(s) of homelessness. Also sign up for programs that can help increase employment skills, income and/or access to mainstream benefits and resources in Michigan.
Commodity Foods or the CSFP Supplemental Food Program is for the elderly and children under the age of 6 who are not enrolled in WIC. Groceries, boxes of healthy and well-balanced shelf-stable foods and more are offered to the low income. Hundreds of sites across Michigan, including many churches, community action agencies, and charities distribute and participate in the CSFP program. The food is meant to be a supplement to their current food supply, and it enables families to free up money so they can focus their income on other needs.
The Emergency Food Assistance Program / TEFAP provides surplus government commodities to low-income households up to four times per year. Although the exact contents of food packages will vary widely, each package includes items that will contain protein, fruit and vegetables. All of the food and perishable items will be intended to ensure nutritional needs are met.
The Senior Nutrition Programs also include both Congregate and Home Delivered Meals. After all proper nutrition is critical to maintaining health and quality of life for aging seniors. Healthy food and meals are essential for the prevention or delay of chronic diseases and related disabilities. All senior meals served at a meal site or that are delivered from Meals on Wheels will meet or exceed one-third of the USDA Recommended Daily Allowances of nutrients needed for older adults. When requested, more specialty meals can be made, such as diabetic meals and chopped, ground, and pureed meals.
Home Delivered Meals can also include hot, frozen, supper sack and liquid meals. All items will be delivered to seniors' homes and the drivers also provide needed contact and are able to monitor the health and welfare of the seniors on a routine basis.
USDA Commodities Distribution are distributed across Michigan on a quarterly basis to qualified households. Applicants need to meet certain low income guidelines that are set by the 200% U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Multi-purpose senior centers provide a comfortable gathering place where seniors can enjoy nutritional meals and meet with friends. Activities can include playing a game, exercising, watching television, or attending senior outings. Or get information on and references for health information such as diabetes, cancer, heart care, high blood pressure. In some cases, discounted prescriptions are available along with a telephone reassurance program for the homebound.
Down Payment Assistance and Home Purchase Rehabilitation (HPR) can both help a family buy a home and rehabilitate it, if needed. The program helps income eligible households with paying for the mortgage initiation costs, down payment and closing costs. If funding allow and the home needs it, then grants may also be offered for moderate rehabilitation and repairs to the home. Individuals who enroll must also complete a MSHDA certified home ownership counseling class.
The Home Rehabilitation Loan Program can help make repairs and improvements to homes, with a focus on seniors. Some of the common updates include furnace, roof, plumbing and electrical repairs. While not as common, rarely assistance can include upgrading kitchens, bathrooms, etc. Since this is technically a loan, the program does require both a lien and/or mortgage to be placed on the property. The funds must then be repaid at a later date by either a deferred loan, zero interest payments or some combination of both.
Another similar option is the Property Improvement Loan / PIP, and this is funded by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA). You community action agency can advise on this home improvement option. The interest rate someone pays will be determined by annual household income, and in some cases applicants can borrow up to $25,000 for 20 years.
Many community action agencies are certified counseling organizations through the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) organization, the NeighborWorks Training Institute, as well as the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA).
Any certified housing counseling agency can offer services including the following. Homebuyer Education/Counseling which provides information on the purchase process in order to ensure that potential homebuyers have the information needed to buy a home. This empowers individuals so they have the information they need to make sound decisions about selection of the home, loan options, home inspections and provide information on how to avoid sub-prime and predatory mortgages.
Foreclosure Prevention is offered as well, and this will help people explore all of the government and private mortgage assistance programs. It also assists with budgeting and other related services. Get help in understanding what options are available based on your individual situation or needs. Most importantly counselors’ help homeowners develop a plan of action to resolve their housing crisis and connect them with helpful community resources. Most of the information and aid is free.
Some agencies can even provide home maintenance training for homeowners who want to understand the basics. Curriculum can include information on heating and cooling repairs, electrical systems, wall repair and painting and energy efficiency options.
More general credit and budget counseling, as well as Financial Freedom is offered. Classes teaches overall budgeting skills and credit repair with an emphasis on individual choice. Workshops and classes are tailored to the needs of the participants and include a combination of instruction and practical application.
The Michigan VITA program will help people prepare and file their state and federal income taxes. Staff and volunteers have been trained and have assisted individuals and families in e-filing their Federal and state income taxes for the Earned Income Tax Credit. Preparers work with each client to ensure the client receives all of the money they are entitled to receive. This money could be from the Home Heating Credit, Child Tax Credit, and the Homestead Property Tax Credit. These services are provided for free, and thousands of low income individuals and families benefit from it.
Senior transportation may be offered at the local town level. Where available, it is usually offered for medical appointments and other emergency services, such as a ride to the pharmacy. Volunteer drivers are available to drive the homebound and seniors to and from appointments. The order of priority in Michigan is usually for medical, legal, nutritional and then social purposes.
Education is offered by services such as the Adult Literacy program. It provides instruction to adults across the state. Adult Basic Education is tutor-based and also occurs in a classroom. The student or client is either matched one-on-one with an adult volunteer that tutors or they will be placed in a classroom with a certified teacher. English as a Second Language (ESL) will help immigrants and newcomers learn the English language so they can find a job or get a better one. General Equivalency Diploma is classroom-based. The GED class is taught by certified teachers and is open to anyone at least 18 years old and not enrolled in high school. The classes are confidential, and may require a nominal registration fee.
Head Start Program is a free child development program. It is very comprehensive, and it serves income eligible families with children who range in age from prenatal to five years old. The program will serve children of all abilities, including special needs. Services are child-focused, with the overall goal of increasing the social and academic competency of young children in low-income families. However parents also need to play a key role.
Community action agencies offer family members, and importantly parents opportunities and support for growth and change. There are both center and home based programming options.
Of course a focus is education, and the Head Start program was designed to give each child a variety of learning experiences including self-help, intellectual, social, emotional, and physical development. A comprehensive health care program I included as well. A family and child can get a basic check up, and/or referrals to health care providers n Michigan. Overall parent and family services are available, and this include helping a parent find a job. Family members are also matched with tutors on a confidential basis, to help improve both reading and comprehension skills at various levels.
A federal program known as WIA is also available in Michigan. This will help coordinate job training and career counseling for the unemployed, or people looking to renter the workforce. The bottom line is that a community action agency is always a great place to call for information on career counseling and job programs. Many centers even have relationships with local employers, so they may know of available jobs. Read job training programs in Michigan.
Alger-Marquette Community Action Board
1125 Commerce Dr.
Marquette, Michigan 49855-8630
Examples of resources include the CSFP Supplemental Food for seniors and children, the Michigan Early Childhood Education program, emergency assistance for needs such as security deposits or heating bills, and other aid. Continue.
Community Action of Allegan
323 Water Street
Allegan, MI 49010
Telephone number is (269) 673-5472
Emergency assistance and case management is administered by the community action agency. The non-profit is one of the primary agencies to turn to help help in Allegan County. More.
Area Community Services Employment and Training (ACSET)
This is the community action agency for Kent County.
Location is 1550 Leonard Street N.E., Suite 1
Grand Rapids, MI 49505
Dial (616) 336-4100
Several assistance programs are offered by the non-profit community action agency. Examples include VITA for filing taxes, the TEFAP Emergency Food Assistance program, and funds for paying rent or heating bills. Read more ACSET.
Baraga-Houghton-Keweenaw Community Action Agency
Address is 926 Dodge Street
Houghton, MI 49931-1944
Capital Area Community Services
Main address is 101 E. Willow Street
Lansing, Michigan 48906
Telephone: (517) 482-6281
Resources are offered for the greater Lansing area. This includes the counties of Clinton, Eaton, Ingham, and Shiawassee. Explore emergency assistance programs for food or home repairs. Other services include Head Start and the location is a weatherization application center. Read more Capital Community Action.
Chippewa-Luce-Mackinac Community Action HRA, Inc.
Mailing address is P.O. Box 70
524 Ashmun Street
Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783
(906) 632-3363. A number of services are offered from the community action agency. Click more details.
City of Detroit Department of Human Services
5031 Grandy Street
Detroit, MI 48211
Telephone: (313) 852-5628
Focuses on the city of Detroit. However the non-profit may have information and referrals to other non-profits and centers in Wayne and surrounding counties. See below as well for more information.
Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency
Main address is 2121 Biddle, Suite 102
Wyandotte, Michigan 48192
Call (734) 246-2280
This center does support the greater Detroit area as well as outside of city limits. Various housing, homeless prevention, and food programs are offered. Also learn about self-sufficiency and job retraining programs. Continue with Wayne County and Detroit community action.
Community Action Agency - JLH
Address - 1214 Greenwood Avenue
Jackson, Michigan 49203
Telephone: (517) 784-4800
Supports Jackson, Hilldale, and Lenawee County. Numerous resources are offered by the non-profit agency, include rent and mortgage help, heating bill disconnection prevention, government programs such as Head Start, education and many others. More details.
Community Action Agency of South Central Michigan, Inc.
175 Main Street
Battle Creek, MI 49016
Telephone: (269) 965-7766
Covers counties of Barry, Branch, Calhoun, and St. Joseph. Programs include information on emergency services for needs such as rent, energy bills, and security deposits. The non-profit offers meals on wheels for seniors, the Head Start programs, and loans for housing expenses, such as repairs or rental costs. Continue.
Blue Water - Community Action Agency of St. Clair County
Location is 302 Michigan Street
Port Huron, MI 48060
Dial (810) 982-8541 for intake.
A number of low income assistance programs are offered, including case management and career counseling. Applications are offered for heating bill help from THAW, the TEFAP Federal Emergency Food Assistance, and other Michigan benefit programs. Continue St. Clair non-profit community action.
Dickinson-Iron County Community Services Agency
800 Crystal Lake Blvd., Suite 104
Iron Mountain, Michigan 49801
Location is 904 Oak Drive - Turk Lake
Greenville, MI 48838
Call the center at (616) 754-9315
Regions covered are Gratiot, Montcalm, Ionia, and Isabella.
302 N. Main Street
Scottville, MI 49454
Main phone (231) 757-3785
Counties - Manistee, Mason, Newaygo, and Lake.
Genesee County Community Action Resource Department
Stop by the center at 605 N. Saginaw Street, Suite 1B
Flint, MI 48502-2009
Phone - (810) 232-2185. Click for information.
Gogebic-Ontonagon Community Action Agency
100 S. Mill Street
Bessemer, MI 49938
Telephone number - (906) 667-0283
Human Development Commission
Address : 429 Montague Avenue
Caro, MI 48723
Covers Huron, Lapeer, Sanilac, and Tuscola County. This is the leading non-profit agency for nearby Michigan families to contact. Continue.
Intertribal Council of Michigan
Address is 2956 Ashmun
Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783
Call (906) 632-6896
This non-profit operates statewide. They help Native Americans and their families.
Kalamazoo Community Action Agency
Location is 3299 Gull Road
Wing 2, Floor 3, Room 310
Kalamazoo, MI 49048
Call (269) 373-5066 for hours and information.
Senior meals are provided. Some limited referrals for emergency aid and grants may be provided. Or apply government programs such as weatherization or Head Start. Read more.
Macomb County Community Services Agency
21885 Dunham Road
VerKuilen Building, Suite 10
Clinton Township, MI 48036-1030
(586) 469-6999. Click here.
Mid-Michigan Community Action Agency
1574 E. Washington Road
Farwell, MI 48622-0768
Dial (989) 386-3805
The non-profit helps people in Bay, Osceola, Clare, Gladwin, Mecosta, and Midland. Locate programs from Community Action Mid Michigan.
Menominee-Delta-Schoolcraft Community Action
Location is 507 First Avenue North
Escanaba, Michigan 49829-3998
Main number is (906) 786-7080
Counties supported are Delta, Menominee, and Schoolcraft as well.
Monroe County Opportunity Program
Main address is 1140 S. Telegraph Road
Monroe, MI 48161
Main number - (734) 241-2775
Call for information on state of Michigan public aid programs. Other resources include weatherization and information on employment programs. Senior meals and resources for children, such as snacks and day care, may be administered as well.
Muskegon-Oceana Community Action Partnership
1170 W. Southern Avenue
Muskegon, MI 49441-2241
Call (231) 725-9499
A wide range of resources are available from this community action organization, even including free school supplies or surplus government food commodities. Click here.
Northeast Michigan Community Service Agency, Inc.
Location is 2375 Gordon Road
Alpena, Michigan 49707
Telephone: (989) 356-3474
Services are provided in several different counties and regions, including Alcona, Ogemaw, Alpena, Arenac, Cheboygan, Crawford, Iosco, Oscoda, Otsego, Presque Isle, and Montmorency. More Northeast Michigan Community Service Agency.
Northwest Michigan Community Action Agency
Location is 3963 Three Mile Road
Traverse City, MI 49686-9164
Case management and other aid is for people in the counties of Antrim, Benzie, Charlevoix, Emmet, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Missaukee, Leelanau, Roscommon, and Wexford.
Oakland-Livingston Human Service Agency (OLHSA)
Main address is 196 Cesar E. Chavez Avenue
Pontiac, MI 48343-0598
Call (248) 209-2600
One of the state’s largest non-profit agencies. In addition to many of the programs listed on this page, they also offer foreclosure counseling, which is needed in the fairly weak Michigan housing market. Additional homeless prevention and rental assistance may be offered. Other assistance in the Oakland County MI area can include food programs, job search services, and referrals. Read more.
Ottawa County Community Action Agency
Address - 12251 James Street, Suite 300
Holland, Michigan 49424-9661
(616) 393-4433. A number of programs are run by the Michigan non-profit. Click Ottawa community action.
Saginaw County Community Action Committee, Inc.
Main office is at 2824 Perkins Street
Saginaw, Michigan 48601
Phone number is (989) 753-7741
Energy bill programs include Weatherization and government grants for paying heating bills. They also offer GED training, mortgage delinquency counseling, and eviction prevention services. More on Saginaw County community action emergency assistance.
Southwest Michigan Community Action Agency
Address is 185 E. Main Street, Suite 200
Benton Harbor, MI 49022-4432
Dial (269) 925-9077
Regions in the SW supported are the counties of Berrien, Cass, and Van Buren. The community action organization offers transitional housing and the Decatur Family Shelter, free food for seniors and the low income, and emergency financial aid or grants for paying deposits, heating bills, or costs such as rent. More information.
The agencies administers dozens of services for over 40 counties located in northern Michigan. They partner with community action agencies to provide free car seats, loan out medical equipment to seniors or the disabled, and also provide financial help. Find additional assistance from TrueNorth.
Washtenaw County Employment Training & Community Services Group (ETCS)
301 W. Michigan Ave., Ste. 400
Ypsilanti, MI 48197-0915
Call (734) 544-6850 for hours and intake.
The center operates similar to a non-profit community action agency, but they also have extensive linkage to programs available in Michigan and the county. Continue.
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