Residents from both Oakland and Livingston County Michigan may be able to qualify for assistance from the Oakland-Livingston Human Service Agency, or OLHSA. They offer low income and struggling families access to countless assistance programs and social services. The focus is on seniors, low income individuals and families with children, the unemployed and disabled. Everything from emergency financial assistance, food, to programs for children are administered.
Homeowners have access to free Foreclosure Prevention and assistance for Property Tax Delinquency. Counseling is available as well. Clients can also get information on government mortgage assistance programs (such as HARP) and alternatives to foreclosure.
For first time home buyers, look into the OLHSA Home Ownership Counseling and Assistance programs. These classes provide information on credit repair, budgeting, mortgage approval and closing processes. Homeowners can also receive one-on-one foreclosure and credit counseling services.
Direct Emergency Rent or Mortgage Assistance is available by OLHSA using federal government and private funds. Any aid is one time only. They also run a shelter in Southeastern Oakland County. The financial assistance is for low-income residents and the money is to be used for homeless prevention needs that cannot be covered by the State of Michigan Emergency Relief Program of the Department of Human Services. Additional financial assistance may be provided for first month rent, security deposits or move-in costs.
Housing Rehabilitation is for income qualified homeowners. They can receive assistance with major or emergency home repairs. Most of the aid is for seniors or the disabled. Another resource is the Livingston County Home Improvement Program. This provides funds or low interest loans for the rehabilitation of owner-occupied, single family residential homes to improve safety infractions and the occupants health.
Venture, Inc. OLHSA’s Housing Subsidiary is run in partnership with OLHSA. It will provide for energy-efficient, affordable housing for low and moderate income people in the community by facilitating home purchase, rehabilitation, low interest loans, construction and other community improvement activities.
The Minor Home Repair Program will coordinate an inspection and minor home repairs if needed in order to improve the condition of existing housing. It may also even maintain or increase the homes value and have another benefit of decreasing your utility bills. There are also Mobile Home Repairs offered for Oakland County Michigan families only. Any grants are paid out on a first come and served basis and it can pay for roofs, hot water replacement, furnace and handicap ramps.
The federal government funded Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program also has a Homeless Assistance Recovery Program (HARP) component. This is for eligible homeless persons/households currently engaged in a public program. OLHSA oversees this and will determine your eligibility for a voucher. Case managers from OLHSA also assists residents in finding any other available housing programs and services.
Homeless assistance and case management will offer counseling to identify and resolve factors causing evictions or homelessness. The program includes help to locate affordable housing, public assistance resources, financial assistance to pay for the move in costs, interpersonal counseling, and employment.
Homeless prevention will provides eligible homeless or potentially homeless applicants from the region with first either month's rent or rental arrearage assistance.
Free energy conservation services are available as part of Weatherization Assistance Program. This is for eligible low-income households and the program can help them reduce their energy usage, save money and lower their utility bills. Just a few examples of the improvements made can include interior sealing of major cold-air infiltration, appliance combustion testing, installing insulation/ventilation, and the installation of blower door technology. Applicants must meet federal government low income guidelines.
Cash assistance is for residents with a utility shut-off or notice of pending utility shut-off. This is limited by available funding.
The Energy Optimization Program will pass out energy efficient home improvements possibly including programmable thermostats, CFL light bulbs, Energy Star refrigerators, air sealing, insulation, high efficiency furnaces, and water heaters.
The Oakland Livingston Human Service Agency Refrigerator Replacement Program is for households that satisfy certain criteria. The applicant must meet income levels, have an active DTE Energy account, the home must be separately metered, and meet other conditions.
The non-profit will also have available the latest list of food banks and pantries that are involved in providing emergency food assistance across Oakland County and Livingston. Some of the possibilities may be the Gleaners Community Food Bank or the Shared Harvest Pantry.
A federal program known as The Emergency Food Assistance (or TEFAP) can help supplement the diets of low-income and working poor residents. A focus is on elderly people and children. They can be provided groceries, emergency food and nutrition assistance at no cost to them. Various staples are distributed to low-income households on a quarterly basis.
Food for Seniors is provided from CSFP-SR, which is also known as the Focus HOPE in Oakland County. This is a monthly program for homebound and other seniors aged 60 and over. It operates in both Oakland and Livingston Counties Michigan.
The Commodity Supplemental Food Program is available to income eligible postpartum, pregnant and breast-feeding women. It can give them food and formula for up to 12 months after birth. Food may also be served to children up to 6 years of age who are not receiving benefits from the WIC program.
The Summer Food Service Program is overseen by the Oakland Livingston Human Service Agency. It provides clients with a free nutritious breakfast and/or lunch. The meals are served in churches, parks, libraries, schools, Salvation Army centers and recreation centers in and around Pontiac Michigan.
Vouchers may be passed out to low income clients from Oakland County. They can receive monthly or bi-monthly vouchers that can be used to purchase food and personal care items.
The Chore Program relies on volunteers who perform yard and home work to assist older adults who can no longer maintain their yards and homes on their own. Some of the services include minor home repairs, lawn mowing every other week, and snow removal.
The Michigan Home Injury Control is for older adults, ages 60 or older, who live in Livingston or Oakland County. They may be able to receive safety devices for their home or apartment. Items provided can do things such as help assure the safety of older adults in the bathroom, at night, in emergencies, and during everyday routines.
Multi-purpose Senior Centers are run by non-profits such as OLHSA and agency on aging offices. They set up a comfortable gathering place where older people can enjoy nutritional meals and meet with friends. Recreational activities such as game, exercising, watching television, or attending senior outings are coordinated too. Workshops may be held at the centers where seniors can get help in filling out Medicare and Medicaid applications and learning about other public health care.
In-home Support for the elderly and medically fragile includes meal preparation, light housekeeping, laundry, personal care, and errands. There also registered dieticians and medical providers that offer nutritional counseling, assessments, information, supplements and vitamins. Transportation from OLHSA can help clients access medical care and other support services throughout the community.
The community action agency works to help people gain stability. Some of what may be administered includes free income tax preparation, Financial Management Education, Credit Repair, Budgeting, and Employment Services.
The Individual Development Accounts/IDA is a state of Michigan matched savings accounts for people of low to moderate income that live in Oakland County. These may be available in other counties and towns too.
Michigan Benefits Access - Case managers offer assistance and guidance for signing up for state of Michigan or federal government benefits. Residents may be eligible for resources such as LIHEAP, SNAP, TANF, child care subsidies, SCHIP, EITC, and Medicaid.
Staff from OLHSA assist residents of all income levels and backgrounds in finding the available programs and services to meet their needs. If needs or your request cannot be met by staff at OLHSA, then those individuals will be referred to other local non-profit agencies or organizations in Oakland County Michigan for help.
Early Head Start is offered in Oakland County Michigan only. Staff and teachers that are associated with OLHSA work to enhance children’s overall growth and development. Assistance will also enhance parent-child relationships and strengthening families as their child’s first teacher. It is often combined with Head Start. This is yet another comprehensive preschool experience designed to prepare three-to-five year old children, including those with disabilities. It will prepare them for social and educational success. Head Start also focuses on the needs of the entire family, so the parents as well.
Financial Management Education is provided from several workshops and courses. Oakland Livingston Human Service Agency counselors cover topics such as Credit Repair, Tips for Managing Debt, Avoiding Money Traps, Understanding Property Taxes, and Taking Advantage of Public Benefits.
The Oakland-Livingston Human Service Agency (OLHSA) can arrange for the services and assistance programs indicated above. In addition, several referrals can be made as staff will assist qualified residents in finding other resources meet their needs. To learn more, dial (248) 542-5860 for the South Oakland County Office, (517) 546-8500 in Livingston County, or dial the central Oakland OLHSA office at (248) 209-2600.
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