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Assistance programs in St. Joseph County Michigan.

Locate charities, churches and government assistance programs for low-income families in St. Joseph County. There is grant money to help with rent or electric bills as well as emergency funds for housing to stop an eviction. Find free groceries, clothes, and food from pantries or clothing closets in Sturgis MI as well as furniture programs. Many other financial assistance programs to help with bills near you are offered in St. Joseph County County as well, as listed below.

Housing, rent, property taxes, and utility bill assistance

The Community Action Agency of South Central Michigan, Inc. (phone (269) 965-7766) will, in most years, receive federal government grant funding. The financial assistance is available to help eligible households or people who live in St. Joseph County Michigan. The money can be used for paying property taxes, funds to be used for rent/mortgage arrearages, or get grants for utilities and heating bill.

  • Weatherization programs and low-cost home repair loans are offered as well from the local community action agency. The non-profit also offers several housing programs, such as weatherization, home repair programs, and Home Rehabilitation. The specifics include:
    • Weatherization services which help people save on their heating and energy bills and the updates may include refrigerator replacement, attic/wall insulation, caulking, venting, weather-stripping, minor roof and foundation repair, glass replacement, and door repair/replacement.
    • HOME Rehabilitation program - Provides major home repairs, with maximum value of up to $25,000 to houses in the immediate area. In addition, another component provides home rehabilitation and emergency housing repairs for those families and individuals living in St. Joseph County and who meet the 80 percent of median income guidelines. Rehabilitation for homes is limited to $10,000 for lead remediation and $25,000 in renovations.
  • Government Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) is an option too. This program will assist applicants with providing them up to a 30-day supply of primary fuel, electric bill and water bill assistance. Clients of the program must show proof of all household income, they need to have received a shut off notice, provide payment history, regular monthly bill, and they must receive a decision notice from the Department of Human Services. Call the Community Action Agency at (269) 965-7766.




The primary purpose of these federal government funds is to help low to moderate income residents stay in their homes and/or keep their utilities on. There is also help for other qualified individuals. Get emergency funds to avoid eviction, foreclosure, and/or utility shutoff or disconnection. The Community Action Agency of South Central Michigan is at 175 Main St, Battle Creek, MI 49014. for details, dial (877) 422-2726.

The Centreville and St Joseph Salvation Army (phone 269-651-4275) runs several programs as well. They provide assistance to low income and other qualified individuals. Get help with paying such expenses as rental payments or electric or water bills. There is also free housing counseling, information on government programs, as well as free food from pantries. Or access a wide variety of other social services in Sturgis and the county..

The social services can also include free basic needs or stuff for struggling households. There may be Christmas toys from Adopt a Family as well as free hot meals served. The thrift store can also be used to shop for everything from clothing to furniture. They also giveaway free back to school supplies, backpacks and other goods to students.

When the social workers from the Salvation Army can’t help, they offer referrals to loans, public aid and other assistance. The address is 105 North Fourth Street, Sturgis, MI 49091. Or Click here for details on Salvation Army assistance in St. Joseph County MI.

St. Joseph County DHS provides a number of public assistance programs and government benefits. They include SNAP food stamps or Medicaid for the unemployed, poor, and families in poverty. Or apply for SSI disability or government grant money. There is also State Emergency Relief (or SER) in the county, and that provides free, immediate grants from the government to pay a wide variety of bills, whether housing, rent, security deposits, food or something else. Learn more on SNAP food stamps in Michigan.

Case workers from the DHS office can help families apply. The address is 692 E Main St., Centreville, MI 49032. Dial (269) 467-1200.

Free emergency food pantries and soup kitchens - These are also available to residents. There are not only free groceries (such as soup, rice, peanut butter, and more), but most of the emergency food pantries also either have clothing closets or thrift stores located on site. They also have baby formula or free healthy food for the elderly or senior citizens, including Meals on Wheels.





This allows them to pass out clothing or free winter coats to kids. This is addition to free food boxes. Many also provide holiday food baskets and small toys during Christmas. Find St. Joseph County Michigan free food pantries.

Free legal aid and consultations

Call lawyers at Legal Aid of Western Michigan at 616/774-0672. The firms is partly funded by the St. Joseph County United Way as well as Legal Services Corporation, which is a federal government agency. Low-income families and the elderly can free a free consultation from lawyers or attorneys.

They are one of the top funded agencies and firms that are located in Western Michigan, and attorneys have provided free legal assistance and civil services in Sturgis MI and the county. They help low income persons and Seniors in non-criminal, non-fee generating matters. Get free legal help in such matters as foreclosures, rent evictions, utility disconnections, consumer debt issues, and other cases.


By Jon McNamara











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