Grand Rapids referral line assistance programs.

Short term support is offered by a number of non-profits in Kent County Michigan. There is assistance for low income families, seniors, and the needy in Grand Rapids and nearby towns. In addition to possibly receiving emergency financial assistance, other programs can provide social services and case management. Examples of what may offered from the referral line, which is for families in a crisis, are below.

Housing and financial aid

Rental assistance, homeless prevention, and emergency aid is all provided by the Housing Assessment Program (HAP). This resource is the central intake service for persons in a housing crisis in Kent County Michigan. Various resources may be offered by charities or  non-profit partner organizations.

Assistance is focused on households with individuals who may be currently homeless or at immediate risk of eviction and homelessness. Aid is also offered for people who are currently renting but concerned that they are at risk of losing their housing because of a crisis. HAP provides an assessment and will also refer households to community resources in the greater Grand Rapids area, as available.

Housing Support Services can provide short term assistance and support for families and individuals through Housing Resource Specialists. This is a program offered by various agencies and it can include referrals to emergency rental assistance or foreclosure prevention. While funding is limited, referrals can be given to any agency in Grand Rapids Michigan that has funds, if any.

Specialists from the a local non-profit will provide consistent service in helping households stay in their homes or apartments. Or get help in finding new, affordable housing utilizing a community-driven, strength-based, case-management model. These various programs and services receive all their referrals through HAP. The focus is on finding a solution to a housing crisis.

The Teen Parent Center can help homeless or very low income pregnant and/or parenting teens. The program will help teenagers who are facing a crisis by offering them access to a safe, group residence. Case managers can offer support services in order to help create a bridge to more affordable, stable and permanent housing. The focus of Teen Parent Center is on providing support services, schooling, teaching life skills, employment programs and more that are required for successful parenting and independent living.





Emergency services and assistance includes food, housing, heating, and utility bill assistance. There are food pantries in the area for all situations. There are locations with regularly scheduled hours that operate daily and some that are open less frequently. The center can also provide hot meals, lunches and more. Special Thanksgiving and Christmas meals may also be offered, as noted below.

People who run out of heating oil, or utility shut-offs, may be averted. Or local charities can facilitate funding that can be provided to get services turned back on for low income families and individuals. The non-profits can help families and individuals in Grand Rapids pay their utility bills in order to get through an emergency crisis. Referrals, in person requests, and telephone appointments can all be made.

Homeless prevention is offered by Congregational Partnership. Residents can engage in a relational ministry by providing financial resources and volunteer support to alleviate a housing crisis for a participant of this program.

Referrals to affordable or free medical care

Medical care is offered by the Booth Clinic and other centers. The location provides women, infants, and children with traditional OB/GYN services and free or affordable medical care. If a treatment can’t be done, then referrals can be given to other specialists.

The Prenatal Clinic can help pregnant women, infants, and young children. There are local clinics that offer qualified patients a choice of either traditional prenatal care or alternative medical services through a program known as “Circle of Care”.

The main prenatal program, or Circle of Care, can support local women who are at 16-20 weeks pregnant. Get advice and attend workshops of issues such as childbirth, nutrition, and parenting. The group meetings are offered at the same time as traditional medical care. No extra appointments are needed for the workshops and sessions. Every pregnant woman is also given one-on-one time with the doctor or medical provider to talk about their pregnancy.





Family Health Clinics can help people in Kent County if they are uninsured or meet low income levels. Some of the medical services offered include well child exams, yearly physicals, family planning, and medications. All health services are provided by Cherry Street Health Services in partnership with non-profit centers in the Grand Rapids Michigan area.

Locations in Kent County for food or basic needs

Holiday and Christmas assistance is available for Christmas and Thanksgiving. Some of what can be provided includes food vouchers and baskets, free toys, and gifts. Referrals are given by specialists at the call center at the appropriate time of the year.

Through the local food pantries that referrals are available to, the charities help clients meet their dietary needs. The non-profit can provide a three-day supply of food for an entire household every 30 days if the need arises. This pantry operates under the choice model in which families are allowed to browse the center and choose items according to their preference and recommended servings from each food group. The amount of support given to clients is determined by the size of their family.

Information on government benefits from crisis hotline

Cash assistance, employment resources, and other federal and state of Michigan benefits are available to low-income and/or disabled Kent County residents. The main service is TANF, but there is also SSI disability and others.

Head Start from local community action agencies are part of the nationally recognized child development program. The federal government created this in an effort to meet the mental, nutritional, educational and social needs of 3 and 4 year old children as well as their parents or caregivers.




Using the support of teachers and others from the Kent County Michigan region, Head Start helps all children succeed. Food, educational support, and much more is arranged. Also, Special Services are part of this resource, and they are offered to meet the special needs of children from low income households with disabilities.

Many other programs are available in the community. A referral hotline is set up, and the number is (800) 887-1107. Residents can learn about the resources above and many others.


By Jon McNamara

“Related and Sponsored Links” are listed below.




Contact Us

About Us


Privacy policy

Financial Literacy