For people struggling to make ends meet, they have options and resources at their disposal. Last year the PeopleCare program helped over 10,000 families across Michigan. This assistance program is the result of a partnership between Consumers Energy as well as the Michigan Salvation Army. They are providing resources and money to individuals and families who are having trouble paying their bills.
The PeopleCare program can offer income qualified many solutions to their problems. They can provide rent help, food, free clothing, shelter, energy and heating bill assistance, as well as other emergency aid. The Salvation Army will review applications and they will determine eligibility for energy bill credits as well as any other financial help that people may need. in addition to processing applications, they will distribute the aid to those individuals. They can ever refer families to other local as well as national charities.
Since 1983, the PeopleCare assistance program has helped almost 400,000 people across the state of Michigan. It is a great option and but one of the many resource for residents to turn to. The program is funded by donations from customers and other businesses. For example, Consumers Energy has provided millions of dollars worth of energy bill credits over the tears. These credits will be applied to those who are accepted into the program. But everyday families, churches, charities and even employees also contribute. Another example. The utility's customers and employees of the company also contributed more than $870,000 for PeopleCare last year. Just last year, Consumers Energy again plans to provide $1.5 million in energy bill credits, so the program continues to receive funding. But more can always be done.
In addition to some of the expenses mentioned above, PeopleCare can also help provide money for utility bills and other needs that the Salvation Army does not have money to pay for itself. For example, applicants have even been able to get money to pay for funeral costs or car repairs so that they can get to work.
While a number of other needs can be met by PeopleCare, the fact is that funds are limited and too many Michigan families will need to be turned away. The cash assistance is generally paid out by the Salvation Army on a first come and served basis to those that qualify. Also, some priorities may be set, such as for paying rent or utility bills if it will prevent homelessness. Paying for car repairs is another priority if it will allow someone to retain their job. Or medications and some health care needs may be addressed by the PeopleCare program. Once again, if you can afford to contribute and give back to the lessfortunate in Michigan, please contact Consumers Energy or a Salvation Army center to donate.
The Salvation Army cannot help unless an applicant has been given a denial letter from one's local Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS) office. You will need to first apply at DHS and fill out the paperwork for the Emergency Relief state program for utility assistance, and if you are denied that is when PeopleCare may be able to help.
If someone just needs some help meeting their payments, the local Michigan DHS will deny the request because there is no cutoff notice. Then the denial letter would need to be taken by the applicant to the Salvation Army in the hope that one may get some financial assistance.
To learn more, to apply for help, or to donate or contribute money, call your local Salvation Army and ask about the PeopleCare program.
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