EightCAP assistance programs.

Low income families can receive financial help as well as case management from EightCAP. The community action agency covers the regions of Gratiot, Ionia, Isabella, and Montcalm Counties in Michigan. Anyone that is struggling should call on the Community Services Assistants that work at each office for further information on resources that may be available to them.

EightCAP primarily serves families, regardless of their income, from its Community Services Offices. This is the primary intake site. There are locations in Ionia, Isabella, Gratiot and Montcalm Counties. Anyone that stops by will be put into contact with full-time staff members, as they are available at each of the county offices. Those experiencing difficulty with managing their finances are urged to contact their local EightCAP center as soon as possible to explore available to them.

Some of the primary financial aid programs are as follows. The Consumers Energy Care Program can help with heating costs. There are also grants for Housing or Rental Assistance, a free Scheduled Food Distribution, and Supportive Services for Veteran Families. Other winter resources range from LIHEAP for paying Utility Bills to Deliverable Fuel Bills. Lastly, at the start of the year there is the EightCAP Tax Preparation service, with a focus on Home Heating, Earned Income Tax, and Homestead Property Tax Credits.

In the current difficult financial times, even residents of the counties who have never had a need for assistance are turning to EightCAP as well as other non-profit community service agencies for help. Eligibility requirements and required documentation of eligibility vary from program to program, and all of the financial assistance programs are limited. They operate according to funding availability.

The Community Services Assistants at the offices are excellent resources for all types of assistance and information. They have extensive connections throughout their communities, including in Gratiot and other counties. This is done in case they are unable to directly provide needed services.

Each Community Services Office also helps with employment needs. There is a Community Access Station, equipped with a printer, a computer with high-speed Internet access, and a telephone, for clients’ use as they seek out and obtain employment in Michigan. The service also incorporates training, child care, and related information. Staff members are available to help all clients navigate the web in order to find needed information. Locate additional Michigan job placement services.





The federally funded Weatherization Assistance Program helps make the homes of low-income homeowners more comfortable, safe, and healthy to live in. This is effective for the older homes in counties such as Isabella as well as Montcalm.

The program works by reducing energy consumption, eliminating hazards, and lowering utility bills. First of all, trained home inspectors perform a home assessment that includes blower door testing for air leakage. They also examine all of the combustion appliance testing for safety and efficiency, and will conduct a health and safety inspection.

Based on the results, EightCAP’s licensed contractors install energy-efficient measures as part of weatherization. There is also a post-work inspection is performed to ensure that all alterations meet the program’s high standards. National studies have determined that WAP services reduce home heating costs by 20 to 25 percent, which, when a homeowner takes into account current fuel prices, amounts to around $300 in savings each and every year, for the life on the home. EightCAP, Inc. Weatherization Program utilizes local contractors as well, so it keeps the money in the community.




Senior citizens can benefit from the Foster Grandparent Program. This enriches the lives of both the adult and the child involved. The grandparent will also be able to gains a sense of purpose and of serving the community. The child that is being cared for benefits from interacting with a caring and supportive adult, something that may be otherwise missing from his or her life.

For more information, including applications, EightCAP has several offices. They are as follows.

  • Main Office is at 904 Oak Dr., Greenville, MI 48838, dial 616-754-9315
  • Gratiot County is served by a center at 9525 N. State St., Alma, Michigan 48801. Call 989-463-5693
  • Clinton County - 4179 S. US 27, St. Johns, MI 48879, telephone 989-224-1368
  • Ionia County - 327 W. Main St., Ionia, Michigan 48846, call 616-527-2337


By Jon McNamara

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