Marshall Area Community Services emergency programs.

There are a few main services run by Marshall Area Community Services. They help families in a limited part of Calhoun County Michigan obtain food or coordinate affordable housing in the community. Other support can include assistance for energy bills or basic needs, such as personal hygiene items.

Food insecurity is prevalent in Calhoun County. There are many residents who just do not have a stable source of income. This this prevents them from having the ability to consistently obtain enough food for their families. Households are often forced to choose between buying groceries or paying some other bills. So Marshall Area Community Services tries to eliminate hunger using the services below.

-Marshall Community Services operates an emergency pantry. The center allows clients to choose just the food they need according to their preference.
-Applications can be obtained to the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP). This focuses on pregnant women, seniors, postpartum and breastfeeding mothers. Additional food may also be for their children who are six years of age and younger.
-Case managers offer information on SNAP food stamps too. This is the main federal program as well as state of Michigan tool for families living in poverty.

Clothing and personal hygiene items are often available to income qualified clients who are seeking nutritional support. In addition, Marshall Area Community Services often has partnerships with other non-profits to help families afford the cost of items such as diapers and toddler pull-ups. Starting a newborn on the correct foot is stressed by the agency.

Seasonal aid is offered too. The agency helps qualified families offset the expense of school supplies and other related materials, such as notebooks or uniforms. In December of each year, Marshall Area Community Services helps eligible families obtain Christmas decorations and presents, and volunteers prepare holiday meals.

Marshall Area Community Services also relies on partnerships in Calhoun County. The non-profit coordinates holiday services with other charities and non-profit agencies in the community. Local services include the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program and food baskets, church based activities, the Coats for Kids program, and holiday parties for children.




Needy individuals and struggling families can access monetary assistance for paying rent and mortgage payments, and gas, electricity, water and phone bills. Marshall Area Community Services provides information to connect residents with programs that can alleviate financial emergencies. A particular focus is on assisting with energy bills during the winter months.

While the terms and conditions will vary, most programs in Calhoun County only offer assistance for one month once per year. They will also only pay a portion of the bill, so clients may have to solicit multiple agencies in order the cover the entirety of their debt.

When applying for a grant for bills, full documentation must be provided to establish proof of need. This include eviction notices, copy of utility or phone bills, multiple weeks of payroll stubs, Social Security disability verification letters, and photo identification. As each agency has different documentation requirements, clients should verify the requirements of each organization in Calhoun County prior to requesting assistance.

The Marshall Area Community Services Transitional Housing Program is an intensive, case management-based service that helps clients both find a home and more importantly, achieve self-sufficiency. Under this service, adequate housing is provided to homeless families. Tenants must also participate in case management twice per week.

This case management from a professional may involve family counseling, life skills training, budgeting, education and employment opportunities, referrals to needed services, and other forms of support. Through this program, Marshall Area Community Services aims to educate, equip and empower clients. At intake, the income of eligible families must be under the threshold set by the Community Services organization.

Furthermore, adults must be working full-time, or attending school and also working at least part-time. The program addresses barriers that the adult may be facing, such as a lack of education, employment and/or life skills; developmental disabilities; and/or other barriers to achieving employment.

Housing will not be arranged for those people not making the effort to stabilize their situation. The clients’ monthly rent contributions are determined by their net income.

For more information on this service and agency, dial (269) 781-2954.



By Jon McNamara

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