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Newaygo, Mason, Lake, Manistee County assistance programs.

Find how to apply and where to get financial assistance in the region. Charity, churches and government funds can help pay for rent or security deposits, or they cover clothes, energy bills and food costs. There are agencies in Mason, Newaygo, Lake, and Manistee County Michigan as well that help the low income, unemployed, and senior citizens among others in the community. Or find information on government job placement and training centers, free mortgage help, as well as free non-profit credit counseling for anyone in debt.

Emergency financial assistance for basic needs and bills

FIVECAP, Inc. is the community action agency for the region. The non-profit can direct the low income and those faced with poverty to emergency aid and services. They can refer families or provide qualified individuals with food, educational services, funds for energy bills, and other support.

Utility assistance is offered by programs including the following. Emergency Food & Shelter Program, or EFSP, is a FEMA program for helping low-income individuals who have a need for help with paying for rent, housing, and energy bill/utility costs. The program can also assist with food and shelter. Winter Warmth can offer assistance with heating bills. Case managers on site can help people apply for State of Michigan Emergency Funds, which are designed to assist income eligible applicants with utility costs, home ownership, and relocation.

Home Weatherization program can help people save money by conserving energy. It can assist by insulating and repairing the homes of senior citizens and low income individuals. This can include such things as insulation of side walls, caulking, water heater jackets, and more.

The community action agency is also an application site for LIHEAP/Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program in the counties of Manistee, Mason, and other regions. Grants can help pay heating bills during the winter and spring months, and emergency funds can also be used for items such as furnace repair and replacement, roof repairs, and other crises.

Home ownership counseling includes free foreclosure prevention, budget counseling, first time home buyer programs and mortgage assistance. More on Michigan foreclosure assistance.




Emergency rental and housing assistance may be offered as funding allows. The program can assist eligible renters and households with paying their past due rent, or help with move in costs. A legal eviction notice is not required in order to get help.

Food is offered by resources such as the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), which provides federally purchased surplus food to children and low income families. A food pantry can provide up to 30 days of food or groceries on an emergency need basis. Garden/Food Preservation is a unique service that provides seeds and plants each year to families to encourage gardening. The Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) provides healthy food and other supplements to children, infants, and senior citizens and mothers in Michigan. People need to meet income guidelines, and can’t be receiving WIC. Click here for more details on how to get food assistance.

Head Start is a child development and educational program designed to provide education, health and nutrition, and general social services to income eligible families with young children. The program will provide a comprehensive health program including referrals to clinics in Newaygo County, as well as other health and nutritional services are available. Early Head Start is a similar program, and it provides medical referrals, developmental screenings, monthly parent meetings and trainings, and vision screenings.

FIVECAP, Inc. is located at 302 N. Main Street, Scottville, Michigan 49454. Dial (231) 757-3785.

United Methodist Church is located at 387 1st St, Manistee, MI 49660 in Manistee County, MI. They offer energy bill help as well as information on payment plans, conservation resources and more. This is offered in partnership with the Salvation Army. Dial (616)929-1645.

Little River Band Of Ottawa Indians Tribal Government can provide short term financial assistance to Tribal members who are experiencing a heating bill emergency. 1762 US 31 South, Manistee, Michigan 49660, call (231) 723-8288

Love Inc. of Newaygo County is a non-profit of last resort. Assistance is offered for people for basic needs such as rent or mortgage if they have no other options available to them. Some other services include help for burial or funeral costs. Food and gently used clothing or winter coats may be offered. Counseling for budget and credit repair is provided by partner agencies and counselors, as well as a money management program. Emergency utility and heating bill assistance is also provided in Newaygo County. (231) 652-4099





Saint Ann's Catholic Church – Administrates emergency electric, gas, and heating fuel bill payment assistance. 1001 Michigan Avenue, Baldwin, Michigan 49304, dial (231) 745-7997

TrueNorth Community Services is a private, nonprofit organization. They try to create opportunity, resilience and communiy with 70 programs and services. Those offerings include the emPower heat and energy assistance program. They also offer housing assistance services, partnering in the West Michigan Housing Network serving Lake, Mason, Newaygo and Oceana counties and helping people in a housing crisis. there are Food Programs, with the TrueNorth Food Pantry and hosting monthly Feeding America West Michigan Mobile Food Pantry visits the last Wednesday of each month (except in November and December).

Additional TrueNoth Services include the Center for Nonprofit Housing, which helps with foreclosure prevention as well as homebuyer services, , emergency home repairs, financial education and counseling. Or cal them for medical programs for seniors, including LifeLink (emergency help units) and MedReady (automated medication dispensing units), and the community with medical equipment loans; children’s services, including Tools for School, Coats for Kids (and Adults), Children’s ChristmasPrograms and also Free Toys for Tots.

Residents can also get help from Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA Services for West Michigan) or TrueMentors mentoring, out-of-school time programs and Camp Newaygo; family and support programs, such as Circles Newaygo County (self-reliance for families).

TrueNorth is located at 6308 S. Warner Avenue, Fremont, MI 49412; and also operates elsewhere inMichigan, primarily in West Michigan. For more details, visit or call (231) 924-0641.

Lake County branch of Michigan Department Of Human Services – Relocation assistance, grants for rent, security deposits, and other public assistance. 5653 South M37, Baldwin, MI 49304, phone (231) 745-8159

Hands Extended Loving People, based in Ludington, also assists with rent or mortgage if all other resources and government aid is exhausted. (231) 843-6811

Salvation Army of Big Rapids and Lake County offers social services for the region. Provides emergency assistance such as mortgage and rent to families and individuals in a crisis situation. Other services include food, holiday gifts/Angel tree, case management, and referrals. There are also free back to school supply programs for low income households. Dial (231) 660-5060. More on Salvation Army in Grand Traverse area.





Manistee County Council On Aging focuses on older adults, elderly, and senior citizens. They run a food pantry, home delivered meals, provide information on medical bill and prescription assistance, and other support. (231) 723-6477. Find other Agency on Aging programs in Michigan.

Salvation Army – Manistee – Food, baby formula and diapers, free Christmas gifts or school supplies and even pet food is offered. Other assistance programs include Homeless Motel Vouchers, Thanksgiving or Christmas baskets, and Clothing Vouchers. The address is 471 Water St, Manistee, MI 49660. Main Phone: (231) 723-6243.

Saint Jerome's Catholic Church is located at 203 W. State St., Scottville, MI 49454. Has an onsite food pantry. (231) 757-2855.

Scottville Area Senior Center – Among other things, this non-profit serves as a satellite office of the Salvation Army for the Eastern half of Mason county Michigan. Programs offered are a food pantry, Medical Transportation, Telephone Reassurance (Keeping In Touch), Food Vouchers for elderly from Senior Project Fresh, and Veterans Benefits. 140 S. Main St., Scottville, Michigan 49454, call (231) 757-4705

Free or sliding fee scale medical/dental care

Baldwin Family Health Care – Low income, underserved, uninsured, and Medicare and Medicaid clients can receive acute and chronic medical care. Services offered are family medical care, OB, and behavioral health services. Two locations are 1035 East Wilcox Avenue, White Cloud, MI 49349, (231) 689-5943 as well as 126 Benson Street, White Cloud, Michigan 49349, phone (231) 689-6447.A center is also in Baldwin.

Northwest Michigan Health Services of Bear Lake provides dental services and basic health care to seasonal and migrant workers as well as the general public. The health care services offered on site include immunizations, general family practice medicine, lab services, or obstetric care. There is also free pediatric/well-child care, school and sport physicals, and basic dental care. Also serves as a WIC satellite office (231) 889-5600.


By Jon McNamara














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