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Services and programs from Listening Ear.

Providing information and referrals across Isabella and Clare Counties in Michigan, the non-profit Listening Ear assists the less fortunate. They offer transitional living services, foreclosure counseling, and other support services to those that are struggling, including the underemployed and low income.

The agency operates a Crisis Line, which provides referrals and information to callers. Those from the community that need help may be referred to community agencies or charities in the region, and anyone who calls for advice will be treated with respect and all aid is given in confidence.

The Listening Ear Transitional Living Program targets the homeless under the age of 21 in the Clare and Isabella County areas. Case managers from TLP offer guidance, access to low income housing, and a range of support services for up to 18 months. The goal is to guide people to success and self-reliance by helping them open bank accounts, find jobs, further their educations, and save money.

Specific TLP services include the following. Clients can get Information in Regard to Budgeting and Credit Repairs, Assistance with Housing or Security Deposits, Food Preparation and more. There are also employment and self-sufficiency services provided, and they include Educational Support, classes on completing high school or earning a GED, Support for Job Searches, and tips on Work Experience through Volunteering. TLP will also help the low income or uninsured gain access to Health Care such as emergency treatment, routine physicals, health assessments, free vision and dental care, and mental health services.

The Runaway and Homeless Youth Program (RHYP) serves those who are homeless or at risk or that have run away from home. The focus of the service is to provide youth with a stabilized living environment by offering emergency shelter and low income, transitional housing.

Many other services are offered to the homeless, ranging from help in finding a stable place to live; transportation; free food; clothing; employment support; counseling; and referrals to various other community service programs or public benefits. This Listening Ear program encourages participants to use their talents, skills, strengths, wishes, and dreams to develop individualized plans for achieving their goals.

Parents of the student are also welcome to request assistance with family issues that may possibly lead to reunification. As with most of the non-profit's programs, there is no cost to participate and the only requirement is that youth must be willing to fully engage and be willing to make changes for themselves.




Homeowner counseling and buying services

The Listening Ear offers Home Ownership Counseling as well, and it includes both mortgage delinquency advice as well as programs for first time buyers. The assistance from the agency includes the following listed below.

Homeowners that are struggling with their mortgage can explore Foreclosure Prevention Counseling. This is offered and is in high demand, as the economy is still challenging and many homeowners still need help.

Assistance is offered for people who are having difficulty in making monthly mortgage payments, and these individuals can protect their homes and their largest investment by taking the immediate action of calling the Listening Ear. All advice is offered at no cost, and the counselor can help people keep their home by avoiding foreclosure.

In some cases, counselors will state that keeping the mortgage may not be in the borrower’s best interest, so they will help clients explore all available options. The best advice is to contact your bank or lender immediately when your income is reduced or you have missed a payment. Call your lender, and call the Listening Ear’s housing counselor at 989-773-6904 for an appointment.

Residents looking to buy a home in Isabella or nearby counties can enroll into Pre-Purchase Education. Workshops cover the process, and it addresses the topics of what to look for in a property. Get assistance in working with real estate agents and lenders, performing home inspections, creating and maintaining budgets and closings.




Financial management, budgeting and counseling is available from a series of in-depth courses, and there are many sessions for people who are interested in buying a home in the region but aren't financially prepared for immediate purchase.

As part of this service, the Listening Ear Housing counselor works with clients to explore ways for them to buy a home. This touches upon all aspects of financial management, balancing budgets, working toward boosting credit scores, and preparing people for future homeownership within a short period of time.To learn more information, referrals are needed, or people can call the Crisis Line at (989) 772-2918 for Isabella County and (989) 386-2774 for Clare County. Or the main center is at 107 E. Illinois St., Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858.


By Jon McNamara

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