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Good Samaritan Ministries emergency assistance programs.

Ottawa County residents who are in a short term crisis can contact the staff from Good Samaritan Ministries. The charity is one organization that may be able to help people with no other options available to them. The aid is focused on families who need to provide their family with the essentials for daily living, including food, shelter, clothing, and more.

The programs offered are limited in scope and resources. Any person who wants to apply will need to meet with a stabilization specialist from the agency. They will identify available resources (if any) and try to locate other services that can help the family address a financial crisis. While this process is offered at no cost to the applicant, this does not mean that support will be provided as resources are so limited.

Some of the emergency aid offered can clothing, food, diapers and other baby items, formula, hygiene products and cleaning products. When it comes to financial assistance from Good Samaritan Ministries, this is even more limited. There may be money for paying a portion of rent or energy bills to stop homelessness. Or  the client may be enrolled into some local transitional housing program.

Homeless Prevention assists households, both tenants and homeowners, who are facing a crisis. It is for both people living on the street as well as people facing the imminent risk of homelessness. There may be grants or advice for tenants with a court-ordered eviction, homeowners facing a foreclosure, or those impacted by a medical emergency. There are many requirements to eligible for a grant, and staff from Good Samaritan Ministries can provide more information on the application process.

Homeowners behind on their mortgage can look into Foreclosure Prevention. Good Samaritan Ministries collaborate with non-profit HUD counseling agencies across Michigan. They will also advocate on their behalf to their lenders. This process will also involve financial counseling and education, and staff will offer support for the homeowner to obtain alternative housing, such as an apartment, if foreclosure is unavoidable.

Good Samaritan Ministries will try to coordinate a monthly food distribution to all low-income households in Grand Haven and other towns in the county. This is often done in partnership with other non-profits and even church based soup kitchens. Eligibility for this service is income-based, and households must provide proof of address as well as a picture ID to access this service. Local pantries may also have food, personal hygiene items and cleaning products available on a walk-in basis.




A soup, or Community Kitchen, is key to feeding people struggling with poverty or homelessness. Hot meals are offered in partnership with local churches in Ottawa County. The location also provides a place to identify the needs of vulnerable families, so more than just a free meal is passed out. In some cases, staff from the kitchen or the food pantry deliver non-perishable groceries, some fresh fruits and vegetables to the elderly in the community.

The mission of these hunger prevention programs is to help alleviate the burden of trying to provide food each and every month. There is support for people in the community who are experiencing this challenge. The thought is that assistance from Good Samaritan Ministries can help clients free up their income towards improving their situation in other ways.

Good Samaritan Ministries provides low income families with both short and long-term case management services. The goal is to help individuals that are struggling to better understand their challenges. After that has been done, there will be additional support given so they can respond to their immediate financial needs. This will also allow them to build the necessary skills to achieve a stable and prosperous life. The end result will ideally be that the client will reach their personal potential and become more successful members of our community.

Classes are arranged across Ottawa County at no cost to community members for enhancing their financial capability. Local businesses and professionals from financial institutions play a key role in this process, and they offer specialized information based their expertise and class topics. The topics covered range from credit repair to advice on developing a spending plan, credit, debt reduction, building savings, insurance, and long-term financial planning.




Information on government benefits can be offered as well by Good Samaritan Ministries staff. Some of the primary ones in the state of Michigan include the following. Low income families can apply for Women Infants and Children (WIC) or free school lunches. There are also government Healthcare Services, such as disability and also the Medicaid for the Aged, LIHEAP for energy bills, Blind and Disabled as well as Extra Help for Medicare Part D, which is for medications.

Whether it is low income housing or some other need, Good Samaritan Ministries may be able to assist. The primary office is at 513 East 8th Street, Holland, Michigan 49423, phone (616) 392-7159.


By Jon McNamara

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