Genesee County public assistance programs.

The county of Genesee provides government assistance to struggling families. The aid is for the very low income and resources focus on the most vulnerable and at risk families, including senior citizens, the disabled, and unemployed. Resources from DHS are available in Flint Michigan and other cities in the county, and support is offered using a combination of state and federal funds, the benefits below may be available.

When applying for aid, documentation of income, total assets, and household savings is required. The Department of Human Services will also require proof of this, and any cash assistance or other public aid paid out will require the applicant to be working towards self-sufficiency as well.

There are several different cash assistance type programs available from DHS in Genesee County. They are all temporary, and will only assist very low income and families facing poverty for a short period of time. The primary resources available are noted below.

SSDI disability – It offers limited financial aid and health care to residents with disabilities that either prevents them from working entirely or limits their hours and income. Another similar service is SDA, or the Michigan State Disability Assistance. This is for families without children.

FIP – Is for families with children or new or pregnant mothers. Public assistance is provided for a short period of time while the client works towards stability and self-sufficiency. It is also commonly known as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or TANF, and it requires the client to gain employment as well.

Supplemental Security Income, or SSI – This is for the blind, aged, or disabled as well in Genesee County. Grants may be paid out, and the aid is offered in partnership with the Social Security Administration as well as state of Michigan.

LIHEAP from DHS is a cash assistance program for utility bills. The state of Michigan can offer grants for paying heating, fuel, and gas bills during the winter, and priority is for senior citizens in Genesee County. There is also a focus on households with young children or a disabled resident.

One of the main resources available is the state and countywide Emergency Relief (SER) Program. The goal is to help those with a safety concern, but this can be wide ranging. There may be public assistance available for a wide range of bills from this SER resource, ranging from rent to medical expenses and utilities. If any one those go unpaid, applicants can often make the argument that they will be faced with a crisis.




With the challenging economic environment in Flint, a major focus of SER in the county is on housing issues. So public funds can be used to pay for rent for a tenant, home repairs, or a homeless resident may get help with a security deposit. There may also be funds for the repair or replacement of a non functioning septic system or furnace.

Another focus of DHS in Genesee County is on offering food. There are also several different options for that as well, as noted below.

Food Stamps are known as the Food Assistance Program (FAP) in Michigan. A voucher or debit card will be issued to families, and they can use it to shop for groceries at a local store.

Students from low income families can sign up for free School Breakfasts at Human services.

Other options in the county include Food for the Elderly, referrals to pantries, Meals on Wheels, and the Project FRESH or WIC programs. Some of these are publicly funded, and others use private donations or partnerships.




Additional public services in Genesee County

There are a number of other resources for families facing poverty or that are very low income. Each is limited and many have waiting lists, but other programs may include the following.

  • Veteran services are available in the greater Flint area. This will be for both service members as well as their families, and it can provide housing, medical benefits, and other aid.
  • Cash payments may be made for child care bills, if the parent is working. There may also be referrals made to high quality providers in Genesee County.
  • Funeral assistance is available for the indigent. This can also help pay for burial costs.

Additional medical bill programs include MI Bridges. This is the county and state version of Medicaid, and it can help pay for certain bills such as medications, doctor visits, and the like.

As noted, each of these benefits from the Human Services Department will require the client to be striving towards self-sufficiency and stability. So what is known as WorkFirst will always be required to receive support from the county.

The main DHS centers in Genesee County are as follows. One site is located at 125 E. Union St., Flint, MI 48501, and dial 810-760-2200. Another center is at 125 E. Union St., Flint, Michigan 48501, phone 810-760-2200.



By Jon McNamara

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