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Ingham County assistance programs.

Find the places to turn to for emergency financial help in the Lansing area below. Struggling families can get free food, clothes, or Christmas gifts from charities or churches. Some offer rental assistance, grants to pay utility bills, or free medical or dental care. Or find information on government assistance in Ingham County or free cars, school supplies, mortgage programs, and more.

Find ways to get a wide variety of help

The Salvation Army in Ingham County Michigan provides a wide variety of assistance to residents. The charity has been able to bring financial aid, comfort and assistance to the poor and struggling of Eaton, Ingham, and Clinton counties in Michigan. They can be reached at (517) 484-4424. More information on the Family Services is below.

in most years, thousands of local families receive assistance from the various Salvation Army programs for everything from groceries/food vouchers, utility bill assistance, help with rent, housing and other general financial assistance. They also offers ways to get free clothing, Christmas toys and other personal needs products as well as school supplies. Medical and health care programs offered include free and discounted prescriptions as well as information on health care programs, co-pay assistance, social services and transportation aid. Find additional ways to get help with health care.

The organization needs your help as well though. Due to unprecedented requests for help from residents, the Salvation Army may actually need to turn some requests away. Services that may need to be scaled back include electric assistance, the emergency food pantry, and more. Many of these are real lifesavers for struggling families in the area.

Heating bill assistance

One focused program the Lansing and Ingham County Salvation Army offers is a program to help people with paying heating bills. The organization will provide monetary assistance and grants for people who received shut off notices from their gas or utility company. The Salvation Army can provide up to $750 per utility or heating bill for those who qualify for the assistance program. They anticipate being able to help about 40 families per week.




Many Michigan utility and gas companies also will not turn off your service during the winter. For example, The Board of Water and Light said it will not turn off a customers electricity service if they are a senior citizen or other high risk individual. There are laws to protect customers from utility disconnections.

But the aid offered by these companies does not stop there. A number of agencies and groups, including the Board of Water and Light, have several other programs and resources in place that they use to ensure no one goes without heat this winter. All you have to do is call them or, tell them you are struggling, and ask for aid.

In regards to the Lansing TSA Utility Assistance by Salvation Army, the criteria to be eligible include:

  • -Their service needs to be in shutoff status
  • -The heating bill must be in applicant's name or the name of his or her spouse
  • -The applicant must have a current decision notice from the Department of Human Services
  • -The Lansing Salvation Army can assist with up to $750 per utility bill, but a maximum of once per year

If you are interested in applying or learning more, call the Lansing Salvation Army at (517) 484-4424. Or read more Lansing Salvation Army assistance programs.

Help with bills, rent, and mortgage payments

Capital Area Community Services offers numerous financial assistance programs. The agency is located in Mason Michigan and it can be reached at (517) 676-1065. The non profit provides direct financial assistance with paying heating and utility bills, mortgage and rent payments. The financial assistance is available at most once in a 12 month period and normally cannot exceed $1500 in total cash aid during that 12 month period.





A major focus of CACS is on homeless prevention. So in addition to the resources noted above, Ingham County families can inquire into referrals or more affordable housing that may be available in the region. There may also be referrals to interest deferred loans as a form of rental assistance. Rehousing may be offered in some towns as well, and that can assist with a security deposit on a new apartment.

The agency also provides debt help, budgeting skills, and energy education workshops, which focus on techniques to reduce energy consumption and utility bills. Money management workshops focus on priorities for household spending and ways to get the most out of the money available to them. There are also legal programs to help settle debts.

In addition, the agency also runs a food pantry, and provides Christmas and holiday meals and gifts. Last but not least they run the weatherization energy saving program. Read Capital Area Community Services programs.

The Ingham County Society of St. Vincent DePaul is another charity organization to contact. The agency provides emergency assistance with paying utility bills, including water, gas, and electric. The applicant must receive a decision notice from the Department of Human Services (DHS) and contact Capital Area Community Services office for assistance before contacting St. Vincent's for the cash funds. They also run a thrift store on site. Call (517) 484-4228, or find Ingham County St. Vincent assistance programs.

Local Lansing churches help with basic needs, and the volunteers may provide referrals as well. There are a number of centers to try. They operate ministries in Ingham County that offer items like free clothing, school supplies, and a Christmas assistance program. In very rare cases, low cost car repairs may be provided. Other resources from the churches include baby formula and diapers, used furniture, personal goods and referrals to emergency aid. Learn more on Ingham County church assistance programs.

Clinton and Ingham Department Of Veterans Affairs – Two different programs, the Michigan Veterans Trust Fund and Soldiers and Sailors Relief Fund can provide emergency financial assistance and cash grants for paying for utilities, food, housing expenses (rent/mortgage), and even clothing. 5303 South Cedar Street, Lansing, Michigan 48911, call (517) 887-4331





Ingham County branch of Michigan Department Of Human Services – The local office of the state of Michigan emergency financial assistance programs. The aid is for very low income families in the region. Programs include, but are not limited to, emergency assistance for utilities and heating bills if faced with a disconnection, food stamps, Medicaid, TANF, General Expense Assistance, Food, and much more. 5303 South Cedar Street, Lansing, Michigan 48909, dial (517) 887-9400, or find more information on public assistance in Ingham County.

Tri-County Office On Aging – The elderly can access this 24 hour crisis program. Apply for up to $200 to pay for expenses such as utility disconnections/shut offs as well as emergency prescription medicines. Volunteer human service professionals provide staffing to the non-profit. 5303 South Cedar Street Suite 1, Lansing, MI 48911-3800, call (517) 887-1440

Low to moderate income seniors citizens as well as retirees can get other help too. There are discounted medications, Mediare seminars, congregate meals, field trips, and more. A Meals on Wheels service also operates. When it comes to assistance for paying bills, there are also senior citizen low cost loans while waiting on a check.

Housing resources from Lansing Housing Commission are for the very low income, disabled, and seniors. The agency is involved in processing section 8 vouchers and they administer other housing solutions as well, such as HUD-VASH program. There are also low income apartments and homes in Ingham County for those that qualify. Most of the rental and/or housing assistance programs have an extensive waiting list in place. Find more details on the Lansing Michigan Housing Commission.

Charter Township Of Meridian - Meridian Township residents in an economic crisis may quality for assistance. Programs can offer emergency assistance with paying for rent, utilities, mortgage payments, prescriptions, bus passes, emergency food, and counselors can offer referrals and other needs on a case-by-case basis. 5151 Marsh Road, Okemos, MI 48864, (517) 853-4200

Housing Services of Mid Michigan offers a number of eviction prevention and foreclosure assistance programs. Some of them are offered directly by the agency, and other resources are available from referrals.

  • Mortgage help and foreclosure counseling is arranged, including information on short sales.
  • Tenants with a pay or quit notice can apply for grants for back rent.
  • The agency offers HUD Housing Choice Mainstream Vouchers and section 8 information.
  • Many other programs are also run. Learn more on Housing Services of Mid Michigan programs.

Volunteers of Michigan in Lansing - Some of the resources available are emergency shelters and low income, transitional apartments and homes. Ingham County Michigan families, veterans, the elderly, and low income families can receive access to several additional housing programs. Other resources are free food, coats for children, thrift stores, and other aid. More on Volunteers of America Michigan.

Stockbridge Community Outreach – The center can provide referrals to appropriate charities and non-profit agencies, and the location has a pantry, clothing, utility and rent assistance prescription and transportation monies for the low income. 680 Cherry Street, Stockbridge, Michigan 49285, phone (517) 851-7285

Ingham County eviction and rent help - Individuals or families that are behind on their rent, or that need help in paying a deposit, can apply for assistance. There is support for a wide range of clients, ranging from senior citizens to single parents and others. Money may be issued for rent, there is transitional housing, emergency shelter, and more. Read rental assistance in Ingham County.





Free Christmas and holiday programs are wide ranging. As resources allow, churches, non-profits, and other social service agencies in Ingham County can help the less fortunate. Meals, holiday baskets, toys, gifts, and other assistance is available. Call a center for details. Read more on free holiday help in Central Michigan.

Foreclosure counseling and debt reduction

Thousands of Michigan families are facing foreclosure and struggling with debts. The following agencies may be able to help.

Lansing Affordable Homes ((517) 694-6284)- Assists homeowners in Ingham County in negotiating a repayment plan with their bank or mortgage lender. Provides a loss mitigation packet as well.

Franklin Street Community Housing Corporation - Offers homeowners Mortgage Delinquency and Default Resolution Counseling. Phone (517) 482-8708. Find additional Michigan mortgage programs.

Greenpath Debt Solutions (phone (517) 321-5836) offers homeowners housing delinquency/foreclosure counseling, reverse mortgage counseling, pre-purchase home buyer education and counseling, post-purchase counseling, rental counseling, homeless counseling. All types of housing counseling include the development of a budget and action plan, and referral to appropriate resources and government programs.

This agency also offers debt reduction and management plans. Enter into a program to reduce the amount you owe on your credit card or medical debts, and waive fees. More on debt settlement.

Food assistance in Ingham County Michigan

Some of the local churches, food pantries, soup kitchens, and food banks to contact include Faith Fellowship Baptist Church ((517) 853-9897), Haven House ((517) 337-2731), and the City of Lansing Mobile Food Pantry (phone (517) 483-4477). They may give groceries, serve holiday meals, provide snacks to kids, and more. There are several other food distribution centers and churches to contact. Find more free food banks in Ingham County and Lansing.

Health care for low income and uninsured

Health insurance in pricey in the region. There are counselors and specialists that go over options with consumers. They discuss federal programs like Medicaid and private plans. As an example, find how to get low cost health insurance.

Care Free Medical and Dental Clinics is involved in providing ongoing primary dental and medical care to persons without health insurance. They also assist the low income or patients without access to quality health care. Low income individuals may also qualify. Phone (517) 244-0120.

His Healing Hands Health Center is located in Lansing, but serves Ingham County and Mason families. The facility is a walk-in clinic that is open to the uninsured and underinsured in the community. (517) 882-0056





Cristo Rey Community Center is a Family Health Clinic that is staffed by a full time medical team, including doctors and nurses. The site is open daily from 8-5. The staff is bilingual in Spanish. Services offered by the clinic include, preventative care, treatment for acute and chronic illness, counseling, first aid, flu shots, diagnostic services and education and information. Fees are based on a sliding scale. Dial (517) 372-4700.

By Jon McNamara

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