Residents of Saginaw County can call the crisis helpline to get information on programs that may be able to assist them. All of the information is provided to individuals at no cost to them from customer support specialists that partner with the United Way and other agencies. Not only is information given, but the staff can also direct people to application sites for everything from housing to food or self-sufficiency.
The demand for both rent help and affordable housing is very high. So there are a couple main programs that can help with those needs.
Energy Bill Assistance is available across the county and Michigan from federal resources such as LIHEAP. The Program is designed to help very low income families as well as the working poor. They need to meet income conditions and pay a large portion of their income for heating or cooling bills.
Other agencies in Saginaw County also offer their own solutions. The crisis line can direct people ineligible for other programs to non-profit and charity sources for energy assistance. Many of those served include the disabled, seniors and children.
In all instances, all of the families served from the region are at risk of running out of heat, water, or electricity. In order to get help, applicants can't qualify for government assistance or have exhausted any other aid that was available to them.
The helpline can offer information on Saginaw County emergency rental assistance programs, which will help very low-income families with the cost of their monthly housing costs. Eligible individuals and families must be faced with a hardship that they did not cause. This may be a short term reduction in work hours or a medical emergency. For those that qualify, non-profits may be able to issue a grant for a portion of back rent that is due.
Food programs range from pantries to a community kitchen. The Saginaw County helpline will coordinate free lunches for anyone that needs it, and no questions are asked or income conditions are in place. The Saginaw County pantries are primarily volunteer-operated. There is also a Meals on Wheels service for the homebound. These services rely on donations from the community.
Saginaw County helpline assistance and referral is provided for any other number of needs, and this is the core service of the United Way sponsored call center. It serves Saginaw County residents in financial crisis or those that need long term stability. Financial relief is pledged for emergency needs or paying bills as part of a strategic plan that is worked out between the applicant and a local non-profit.
If someone is found qualified, clients receive assistance with paying utilities, shelter, food, rent, clothes, deposits, furniture and household items. There are also loans available for other needs, some of which are interest free. Helpline staff often works in partnership with other agencies to provide relief to families in times of crisis. The information is also offered in Spanish and other languages.
Head Start is for the youth under the age of 6. It will prepare children to enter Kindergarten and ensure they are ready to learn and achieve long term success. Saginaw County helpline and partners expect that every family enrolled in the federal funded Head Start be given the opportunity to work closely with a well trained teacher to build a partnership that supports the achievement of their educational goals.
Health Center as well as Community Clinics of Saginaw County provide affordable, quality healthcare to those that are underserved or low income. There are numerous community clinics in Saginaw County that offers medical services to those that are underinsured or very low income. The staff at the helpline can link patients to primary care medical or dental services for people of all ages. Some care is offered on a sliding fee scale.
Services such as chronic disease management, check ups, and prescription drug needs are met. Vaccinations, physicals, dental cleanings and well child check-ups are also available at low costs. Eye exams and dental exams are arranged with partner providers for those that need them but cannot afford to pay.
Some of these services provided are in fact a specialty of the clinics. Nurse Practitioners as well as volunteer doctors spend time educating patients about their conditions and the best ways to take care of themselves. Local clinics have proven to be a medical home for many in the community.
Helpline staff coordinate Self Sufficiency. There are numerous specialists that offer encouragement, guidance and referrals to clients who are interested in making positive changes in their lives. Benefits includes the knowledge of the Saginaw County epectrum of community resources and referrals, applications to financial support, job training and more. Everything needs for eliminating barriers that keeps the client from being self sufficient will be tackled.
When calling on the Saginaw County helpline, always be prepared. If someone needs help, they should have information such as four Weeks Current Pay Stubs, proof of income or a pension, SS/SSI, income from food stamps and copies of expenses. Applicants must meet with their social worker or case manager (who will be assigned to them) as well. Call 1-888-636-4211 for intake.
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