Neighborhood House provides financial support in the form of rent and utility bill assistance for our clients to move forward on their path from financial crisis to self-sustainability.
Utility Bill Assistance:
Neighborhood House is able to keep the heat on the in winter and the A/C on in the summer for local families.
We are also able to connect our clients to state and federal programs for utility help such as the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Michigan Energy Assistance Program (MEAP), and The Heat and Warmth Fund (THAW). During the summer months, we are the only assistance that low-income families can find in the area, as the state and federal aid is only available during the winter.
Eviction Prevention & Shelter Assistance:
Many families in our community struggle to make ends meet. When unforeseen emergencies come up such as a car breakdown, a layoff, or medical emergencies, bills can pile up quickly. Neighborhood House steps in to prevent a cycle of homelessness.
Neighborhood House is unique in that we are the only agency in the area that will provide financial assistance pre-eviction. Other agencies and government entities only will step in and help when the client fits the “homeless” description. However, according to DHHS, someone who is almost homeless would not be eligible, and neither would a mother and her kids sleeping in friend’s house, or “couch surfing”. Clients come to us because we will take the time to understand their entire situation and help them to get back on track prior to them having spent a night on the street or in their car. We are able to make a plan for our clients to stay in their home, or we help them transition into a more affordable housing situation, avoiding homelessness altogether.
We also collaborate with churches, other organizations and agencies to pay bills and late fees for our clients. Neighborhood House will do the eligibility vetting for the other organizations and churches that do not have the capacity to do so, and then once we make our recommendation they will help with the total cost of the assistance.
Eviction Prevention and Shelter Assistance is one of the most requested services that Neighborhood House provides. We ensure that each client is given the best opportunity for success, which is the reason why we created the “Case Study” Committee. Each Friday, they review the financial requests may deem that the best action for the well-being of the client is to grant a request, add learning requirements, request work contingencies to the funds, and so on. This way, we are incentivizing the client to get back on their feet and regain self-sustainability.