There are many state and local programs out there that can help with job search, job training, resume writing, and also with household expenses and mortgages. Below is information on programs that serve job seekers and their families in the Fifth Senate District.
MDOT’s 2013 Statewide Construction Map Now Available
The annual state highway construction map is now available from the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT). The free map is updated each year to help motorists locate major MDOT road and bridge projects across the state.
The map also details construction on state routes in Detroit, Grand Rapids and Lansing, providing maps specific to these areas of the state. You can download a PDF of the 2013 map from the “Maps and Publications” section of the MDOT Web site at: www.michigan.gov/drive. To request copies of the printed 2013 map, please contact the MDOT Office of Communications at (517) 335-3084.
Grants for Breakfast in Michigan Schools
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and the United Dairy Industry of Michigan are offering grants to schools across the state to improve health by increasing the number of students eating breakfast daily.Studies show that students who eat breakfast score better on standardized tests, have better attendance, are less tardy, behave better in class and are less likely to be obese or overweight. Michigan ranks 35th nationally in offering breakfast in their buildings, something these grants hope to address.
Among Michigan schools that do provide breakfast, only 40 percent of all students who get school lunches also get breakfast. Reaching the goal of 60 percent participation is expected to provide more than $22.9 million for Michigan in federal reimbursement. Grants totaling $250,000 will be given to up to 75 schools with the goal of increasing the number of students who eat breakfast in classrooms to at least 60 percent of the schools’ lunch participation rates.
Below, please find additional information on the grants:
- The grants are open to most K-12 schools across the state
- Applicants will be required to develop, grow and sustain programs that provide a healthy breakfast for students as part of their school-day routine
- The grants range up to $9,000 for large schools, and include helping schools pay for equipment such as coolers, breakfast carts and kiosks
- Schools interested in applying for the grants must fill out online applications by May 24 at www.fueluptoplay60.com
- A conference call to provide more information will be held May 7 at 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. To join, please call (800) 462-5837and enter 210301#
- Awards will be announced May 30
Michigan Department of Human Services Announces PATH -- New Program to Help Those on Cash Assistance Address Challengs to Secure Employment
Beginning January 1, 2013, families applying for cash assistance through the Family Independence Program (FIP) will be referred to a new program launched by the Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS) in partnership with the Work Development Agency and Michigan Works! Agencies – PATH (Partnership. Accountability. Training. Hope.) PATH replaces the Jobs, Education and Training (JET) work participation program that has been in place since 2007.
For more information, please visit: http://www.michigan.gov/dhs/0,4562,7-124-7691-291615—,00.html.
OFIR Releases New Consumer Guide to Health Insurance
The Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation (OFIR) has created a new user-friendly Consumer Guide to Health Insurance that helps Michigan consumers understand what can often be a very confusing issue. The guide was developed through OFIR’s Health Insurance Consumer Assistance Program (HICAP) and is available for download on OFIR’s website.
The guide educates Michigan consumers about the basics of health coverage, including:
- Employer group and individual insurance
- Shopping and comparing coverage
- Switching health plans
- Paying medical bills
- What to do if your claim is denied
- Understanding the new health care law
In addition to the health insurance guide, there are other health insurance-related brochures available for download in several different languages from the HICAP website. OFIR’s staff is also available to answer any health insurance inquiry on the toll-free consumer hotline 877-999-6442.
FREE or Low-cost Home Medical Equipment
The website www.MichiganLoanClosets.us is designed to help Michigan residents find free or low-cost home medical equipment in their community. To find resources in your area, simply click on your county. A list of organizations and their programs will appear. Local programs will appear first, followed by state and national programs that you may be able to qualify for. The website also includes ramp programs as well as organizations that may be able to help you pay for the equipment you need.
Michigan Human Society's low-cost pet vaccinations and microchips
The Michigan Humane Society 2013 Protect-A-Pet clinics offer low-cost, age-appropriate, vaccinations against Distemper, Parvovirus, Rabies, and other deadly diseases as well as low-cost micro chipping for dogs and cats of pet owners. In addition low-cost spay-neuter information will be available at all clinics. Pets must be healthy, not pregnant, older than 6 weeks of age, and must have no previous vaccine reactions (including, vomiting, fainting, swelling, and/ or hives). There will be no income verification required. Pets must be on leash, or in a carrier at the clinic sites.
Pricing Pet Vaccinations
- Rabies Vaccinations- Healthy dogs and cats over 4 months old: $5
- FVRCP -Healthy cats over 6 weeks old: $5
- DHLP-P Vaccinations-Healthy dogs over 6 weeks old: $5
License vouchers redeemable at Detroit Animal Control will be available at all clinics. Detroit residents only.
- License for unspayed or unneutered pet: $10
- License for spayed and neutered pet: $5
- $10 for each animal
Payment will be accepted in the form of cash only. Services will be limited to 1000 animals at each clinic on a first come-first serve basis. There will be no income verification required. All clinics are held from 9am-2pm on June 22 at Palmer Park, and 7 Mile near pool entrance , and the second one is July 13 at Stoepel Park #1, on Outer Drive at Evergreen.
Contacting the Unemployment Insurance Agency
The Unemployment Insurance Agency has recently experienced a significant increase in the number of telephone calls coming into the Telephone Filed Claims toll-free number. Callers that are unable to get through are being told all representatives are busy and to call back at a later time.
The following information and link are provided as a reminder of the various methods individuals can use to contact the Agency:
- Call the Agency’s Telephone Filed Claims toll-free number at (866) 500-0017, Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Eastern Time) and select Option 3.
- Sign up for a web account with UIA, utilizing the Claimant Web Account Manager (CWAM) which allows individuals to email questions about their claim to the Agency’s Virtual Problem Resolution Unit.
- Visit one of the Problem Resolution Offices (PRO) for in-person assistance with any problem an individual may have with his/her claim. The various PRO locations can be found in the recent press release by going to http://www.michigan.gov/lara/0,4601,7-154-10573_11472-280088--,00.html.
The Insurance Institute of Michigan (IIM) Offers 10 Ways to Help Reduce What Policyholders Pay for Auto and Homeowners Insurance
Hundreds of companies offer auto and/or homeowners insurance coverage in Michigan. This competitive environment results in considerable savings for customers. The Insurance Institute of Michigan offers the following top 10 ways to save:
1. Comparison shop. Check with several insurance companies and agents. By shopping around, you can save hundreds on your policies. To assist insurance buyers, the Insurance Institute of Michigan has developed a free packet of information with tips to save on insurance and it is available by calling 517-371-2880 or email email@example.com. The “Shopping Around” kit provides general information about auto and home insurance coverages, tips for saving money, quote comparison forms, and a listing of telephone numbers and websites of companies that offer personal lines insurance in Michigan.
2. Choose higher deductibles. Deductibles represent the amount of money you agree to pay before your insurance policy provides coverage. By increasing deductibles, you can lower your costs substantially. For example, increasing your deductible from $200 to $500 could reduce your collision and comprehensive coverage cost by 15 percent to 30 percent. The same is true for home insurance deductibles.
3. Drop collision and comprehensive coverage on older cars. It may not be cost-effective to continue insuring cars worth less than 10 times the amount you pay for coverage. Auto dealers and banks can tell you the value of a car, or you can look it up online at Kelley Blue Book (www.kbb.com) or NADA (www.nada.com).
4. Join a group. Many companies offer discounts to policyholders for belonging to certain professional, alumni or service groups. It is important to ask since discounts vary by company.
5. Buy your home and auto policies from the same insurer. Most companies that sell homeowners insurance also sell auto insurance policies. Some insurance companies will reduce your premium by 5 percent to 15 percent if you buy two or more insurance policies from them.
6. Reduce your daily driving. The more you drive, the more likely you are to be involved in a crash – and the more you pay for insurance. Some insurance companies offer discounts for driving fewer than a certain number of miles.
7. Be safe. Install smoke detectors and fire extinguishers in your home. Always wear your safety belt. Insurance companies offer discounts to policyholders who play it safe. Make sure to ask since discounts vary by company.
8. Choose the right car. Before buying a car, compare insurance premiums. Characteristics such as vehicle size, weight and body type play a role in determining premiums. Vehicle loss information is available online from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety/Highway Loss Data Institute at www.iihs.org/research/hidi/composite_intro.html.
9. Keep tabs on your credit. Many insurance companies provide a discount for certain credit characteristics. To improve your credit-based insurance score, pay bills on time, keep balances reasonable on credit cards and apply for and open new accounts only as needed.
10. Eliminate duplication of coverages. If you belong to an auto club that provides towing services or the auto manufacturer provides it, make sure you aren’t paying for the same coverage in your auto policy.
Accounting Aid Society's Tax Centers Offer Free Tax Preparation To Qualified Taxpayers
The Northwest Neighborhood Tax Center is offering free tax preparation help to taxpayers meeting certain income requirements. Eligibility is based on annual household income and help is available for individuals making $35,000 a year or less, and for families making $50,000 a year or less. Free help is available to file current and prior year taxes including: federal, state and city income taxes; the federal and state Earned Income Tax Credits; the Child Tax Credit; the Home Hearing Credit; and the Property Tax Credit/Renter's Rebate. Help is also offered for amended returns and for IRS notices. A homebound tax program is available for seniors and those physically unable to visit a tax site.
The center prefers that taxpayers call and make an appointment. Call 313-556-1920 to make an appointment. The Northwest Neighborhood Tax Center is located at 19556 Grand River (between West Outer Drive and Evergreen) in Detroit. For a list of other tax centers in the Detroit area that offer free visit www.accountingaidsociety.org.
The Office of Financial and Insurance Regulations (OFIR) New Program Answers Consumers’ Health Insurance Questions
The Health Insurance Consumer Assistance Program (HICAP) provides Michigan consumers with easy-to-use resources to help them shop for coverage and navigate through the complex world of health insurance. OFIR’s highly-trained and dedicated staff is available to answer any health insurance inquiry on the toll-free consumer hotline (877) 999-6442. THIS IS NOT AN AUTOMATED PHONE LINE. CONSUMERS WILL BE CONNECTED DIRECTLY TO A LIVE PERSON.
HICAP’s website, www.michigan.gov/HICAP has user-friendly links and information on topics such as:
- The different types of health coverage options and minimum coverage requirements.
- The Affordable Care Act and coverage rights under Michigan and federal law.
- Health coverage rates and OFIR’s role in the review of rate changes.
- How to resolve a complaint against a health insurer or appeal a health plan’s denial of service.
- How to shop for or switch health care coverage.
Not only can HICAP help consumers with their individual needs, but the program can assist organizations by providing a health insurance specialist to speak at an event. In addition, health insurance-related brochures can be downloaded in several different languages from the HICAP website.
Detroit's Mobile Pediatric Clinic: H.A.N.K. -- Health Alliance for Neighborhood Kids
A new mobile pediatric clinic is now available for children. Offered services include: diagnosis and treatment of illness and injury; school sports and yearly physicals; immunizations; vision and hearing; assistance with insurance enrollment. The mobile clinic will visit theses select Detroit area schools and community centers on a weekly or bi-weekly basis:
- Dixon Elementary: 8401 Trinity Street, Detroit 48228
- Sampson-Webber Academy: 4700 Tireman Street, Detroit 48204
- Catherine Ferguson Academy: 2750 Seldon St, Detoirt 48208
- Mae Jemison Academy: 16400 Tireman, Detroit 48228
- Detroit Premier Academy:7781 Asbury Park, Detroit 48228
- Boys & Girls Club:16500 Tireman, Detroit 48228
- Don Bosco Hall:19321 W. Chicago, Detroit 48228
No one will be turned away due to an inability to pay for health services. Call (313) 647-1020 for additional information, questions, or to schedule an appointment.
McAuley Health Center Pediatric Primary Care Services Is Now Open at the Joy-Southfield Community Health Center
The McAuley Health Center is a Nurse Managed Health Care Center. The center is staffed by certified nurse practitioners and is assisted by graduate and undergraduate nursing students, providing service to underserved community members in Detroit. Partners include the University of Detroit Mercy, Mercy Primary Care, Detroit Public Schools and Joy Southfield. Please call (313) 579-1182 for more information.
Free Women's Health Screening
If you are a woman 40-64 years old without health insurance you may qualify for free breast and cervical screening. Contact Breast & Cervical Cancer Control Program at (888) 242-2702 for enrollment.
Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency
Is currently offering energy and financial education classes to assist clients with building credit, managing money, predatory lending practices etc. They are also offering food vouchers and tax preparation services. To find out more information and how to qualify for these services, contact Wayne-Metro at (734) 284-6999.
Free Box Meal
Introducing the Daily Bread Ministry: First Come, First Served. Meal contains sandwich, fruit, yogurt, and dessert. Meals are available Monday Saturday from 3:30 pm until 5:30pm. Distribution Locations are Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday: Don Bosco Community Resource Center, 19321 W. Chicago St., Detroit 48228. Monday and Wednesday: St. Luke Tabernacle Community Church 19633 Joy Rd, Detroit 48228. For more information please contact The Bridge Covenant Church at (313) 728-4315 or visit www.thebridgecovenant.org
Salvation Army Bed & Breakfast Truck Open Year Round
The Salvation Army Bed & Breakfast arrives at City Mission at 4:00pm. It is open to one and all 365 days per year-Holidays included. It is recommend that people start to line up around 3:45pm as the truck serves who is there and leaves when no one is left in line. For more information please contact, Kim Hayward or Toni Stove at City Mission (313) 541-3531.
Wayne, Macomb, and Oakland County Residents MUST APPLY ON MONDAYS ONLY, must have MI driver’s license or State ID; MUST APPLY IN PERSON ~ FIRST COME FIRST SERVED. PICK-UP is on Wednesday and Thursday at 1:00 p.m., must bring own bags or boxes. The address is: 17142 Rowe, Detroit 48205
MDOT Makes It Easier To Share Mi Drive Traffic Information
The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) has introduced a new feature on Mi Drive, the department’s popular traffic data Web site. Now it is easy for users of the site to share updates of lane closures, traffic incidents, camera and map images, and other information that appears on Mi Drive at www.michigan.gov/drive by clicking on the Facebook, Twitter and e-mail buttons on the upper right-hand side. The new buttons appear on both the Web-based and mobile versions of the site.
Property Tax Help for Low Income Homeowners
If your household income is low, you may qualify for a hardship exemption for all or part of your property taxes for the current year or the next year. You can obtain a hardship application via the web at http://www.waynecounty.com/treasurer_ta.htm or visit 400 Monroe Street in Greektown, in downtown Detroit.
Neighborhood Enterprise Zone Act
The Cody Rouge (some neighborhoods) community is amongst the Detroit neighborhoods to receive an 18-35% reduction of taxes through the Neighborhood Enterprise Zone Act. The legislation applies to homes purchased after December 31, 1997 which have one or two units, one of which is occupied by an owner as his or her principal residence. To apply for this tax abatement visit the City of Detroit Assessors Office, located in the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center, Suite 804.
Customers Can Set Up a Budget Payment Plan with Detroit Water and Sewerage Department
The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) are offering customers the opportunity to open budget payment plans to its Detroit residential customers. Participants will receive a flat monthly bill based on their actual usage. The account will be routinely reviewed to ensure that budgeted payments reflect the account's actual usage.
Eligible customers must have DWSD's new Automated Meter Reading (AMR) technology installed and also must not have an outstanding balance that is more than 60 days past due. Residents interested in the budget payment plan should call the DWSD main Customer Service line at (313) 267-8000 or visit one of the department's three Customer Service Centers to set up a plan.
Residents who do not have the AMR technology installed should contact Customer Service at (313) 267-8000 to schedule an appointment for free AMR installation.
OFIR Offers Tips On Shopping For Insurance
The Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation (OFIR) has released radio public service announcements (PSAs) aimed at helping Michigan consumers shop around for more affordable automobile and homeowners insurance rates. The PSAs, which can be heard on radio stations throughout the state, advise Michigan drivers and homeowners to use OFIR resources to help them stretch their insurance dollar. Consumers can call the agency's toll-free consumer hotline at 877-999-6442 or visit them online at www.michigan.gov/ofir. OFIR has tips on how to shop around for lower premiums and can make sure drivers and homeowners are aware of every discount available. The website offers interactive buyers' guides, complaint ratios and other publications and information on purchasing insurance. Consumers can also search for licensed insurance companies, agencies and agents.
For OFIR's resources on auto insurance, visit: http://www.michigan.gov/lara/0,1607,7-154-10555_13222_13224-66774--,00.html
For OFIR's resources on homeowners insurance, visit: http://www.michigan.gov/lara/0,1607,7-154-10555_13222_13224-52521--,00.html
DTE Encourages Citizens To Report Energy Theft
DTE reminds consumers that energy theft is a crime and can result in prosecution, fines, and/or jail time. Energy theft is also a safety issue no matter where a person lives. Energy theft can create shock, fire, and explosions that can lead to property damage, personal injury and even death. These can threaten everyone and not just the person involved in the theft. If you suspect that a DTE electric or gas meter may have been tampered with you can report it by calling the DTE theft hotline at 800-441-6698. You can also make a report online at this website: https://www.dteenergy.com/residentialCustomers/problemsSafety/theftFraud/energyTheft.html. All reports are kept strictly confidential. Telephone reports may be made anonymously.
DTE Energy's Senior Citizen Rate Could Save You Money
By choosing the Senior Citizen Rate you may be able to save as much as $15 a month on your DTE bill. For example: if your kilowatt hours used are 300, and your average use per day is 10 kWh, then on your current residential electric service rate you would pay $46 per month. On the Senior Citizen rate you'd pay $31 per month, a savings of 33 percent for this amount of energy usage. To take full advantage of the discount, you must be 62 years or older and use an average of less than 720 kilowatt hours per month, or this rate will not be beneficial to you. Check your average electricity use over the past 12 months. Your actual savings will depend on the amount of electricity you use. Signing up for this rate is simple. Just call Customer Service at 800-477-4747. Press 1 for residential, then 3 for billing/payment, and then 5 for other. Ask for the Senior Citizen Residential Electric Service Rate.
Detroit Learning Labs Are Open For Business
The Detroit Learning Labs have officially opened to provide Detroit-area adult learners flexible access to support in basic skills, GED preparation and counseling and career exploration.
Located within 10 facilities around Detroit, Highland Park, and Hamtramck, the Learning Labs are aimed at offering adult learners flexible, neighborhood-based access to help with basic reading, writing, math, and computer skills as well as access to job training programs and career exploration. The Detroit Learning Labs are a joint venture between the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth (DELEG), the City of Detroit, the Detroit Workforce Development Department and local community organizations.
Detroit Learning Labs offer online learning that is tailored to the needs, goals and pace of each participant. The labs are operated through local agencies where learners can find additional support, including one-on-one tutoring, counseling for training, and job skills, as well as help with learning problems. All of the labs are connected, so learners can use any of the locations at any time. In addition, each Learning Lab is easily accessible, with extended operating hours to ensure that learners are able to access services regardless of work and life constraints.
All labs will help adults in General Education Development (GED) preparation, basic reading, writing, math, and computer skills, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), access to job training programs and career exploration and developmental courses for postsecondary education. Additional services may be offered at some sites, including transitions into post-secondary and employment, soft skills training and workplace skills enhancement, access to wraparound services to help with attaining the education such as child care and transportation, and tutoring.
The Detroit Learning Labs are located at the following facilities:
Detroit Public Library Site:
Parkman Branch Public Library, 1766 Oakman Blvd. Detroit, MI 48238
DPS Adult Education Eastside Center:
13840 Lappin Street. Detroit, MI 48205
DPS Adult Education Westside Center:
16164 Asbury Park, Detroit, MI 48228 Hamtramck
3225 Caniff Street, Hamtramck, MI 48212
Highland Park Service Center:
New Center Training Center, 15004 3rd Avenue, Highland Park, MI 48203
New Prospect Baptist Church: At
the Lighthouse, 19750 Livernois Avenue, Detroit, MI 48221
3627 West Vernor, Detroit, MI 48216
Warren Conner/Dominican Literacy Center:
11168 Harper Avenue, Detroit, MI 48213
Wayne County Community College:
Eastern Campus, 5901 Conner, Detroit, MI 48213
Wayne County Community College:
Northwest Campus: 8200 West Outer Drive, Detroit, MI 48219
State Programs Help Those Facing Foreclosure
Many Michigan homeowners are in danger of losing their homes. Using federal funds awarded through the Help for Hardest Hit Program, the Michigan Homeowner Assistance Non-Profit Housing Corporation (MHA), acting through Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) has developed the following programs:
The Unemployment Mortgage Subsidy Program assists homeowners in retaining ownership of their home by subsidizing their mortgage payments and correcting a mortgage delinquency during their time of unemployment.
The Mortgage Loan Rescue Program provides funds that can be applied toward an eligible homeowner's delinquent mortgage payments, delinquent property taxes and accrued escrow shortages.
The Principal Curtailment Program will help homeowners who need to modify their existing mortgage loan in order to have an affordable, lower monthly mortgage payment.
Currently, homeowners in need of one of the programs must apply through their participating servicer. However, in order for Michigan to accommodate the larger numbers of homeowners working with the larger services, an online loan portal system will allow the homeowner to apply right from their own home. Homeowners can now apply on-line at www.stepforwardmichigan.org. Those who do not have internet access can call (866) 946-7432. More information about the Help for the Hardest Hit programs can be found on the Step Forward Michigan web site, www.stepforwardmichigan.org.
Michigan League of Human Services
The Michigan League of Human Services has created an easy-to-understand Survival Toolkit brochure. This document can be offered as a resource to help determine if you are eligible for state and federal assistance programs. The Survival Toolkit brochure includes pertinent information and eligibility requirements for the following programs:
Public Health Insurance Programs
Food Assistance Program
Family Independence Program
Child Care Assistance
State Emergency Relief
Housing Choice Voucher Program
Weatherization Assistance Program
Home Heating Tax Credit
Further, the Survival Toolkit provides a list of hotlines, websites, and resources that provide more information about public assistance programs. To download and print the brochure, go to http://www.milhs.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/brochure85.pdf.
Detroit Residents - Need Help with Substance Abuse?
The Bureau of Substance Abuse: Prevention, Treatment and Recovery provides help that is available 24/7. If you or someone you know needs help with alcohol, drugs or both, this experienced team will help you get the service you need. It's easy, confidential and affordable or FREE. Call toll free 1 (800) 467-2452
Beware of Fake Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Notices
The IRS receives thousands of reports every year from taxpayers who have received suspicious e-mails, phone calls, faxes, or notices claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service. Many of these scams use the IRS name or logo as a lure to make their communications seem authentic. These scams are designed to trick you into revealing personal and financial information. You should never give out your personal information. The IRS never asks for personal information such as -- PIN numbers, passwords, or social security numbers, and the IRS does not initiate taxpayer communications through e-mail. If you receive an e-mail from someone claiming to be the IRS or directing you to an IRS web site, do not reply to the message, do not open any attachments, and do not click on any links in a suspicious e-mail. The address of the official IRS website is http://www.irs.gov/. Any website claiming to be the IRS with an address ending in ".com" or ".net" or ".org" is a bogus website. Contact the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 to determine if the IRS has a legitimate need to contact you, and to report any bogus correspondence or contacts.
State Road Maps Now Available
The newest edition of the State Transportation map is now available at locations across the state and online. The map is produced by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and distributed free of charge through Travel Michigan Welcome Centers and MDOT offices. To order maps online go to: http://mdotwas1.mdot.state.mi.us/public/state_map_mailer/order_form.cfm
New Unclaimed Property Law Changes
Beginning in 2011, changes to the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act call for a new due date (July 1) to file the unclaimed property holder report as well as a shortened dormancy period (3 years) for most property types. Most businesses have unclaimed property resulting from normal operations. Any asset (tangible or intangible) belonging to a third party that remains unclaimed for a specific period of time is considered unclaimed property. For example, un-cashed payroll checks must be submitted to Treasury after one year without any activity while most other property types, such as vendor checks and accounts receivable credit balances, must be submitted after three years.
DTE Energy and Consumers Energy Offer Utility Bill Assistance
Payment assistance programs offered to customers include: a medical emergencies program to postpone shutoffs in the event of a medical issue; and a shutoff protection plan to spread future bills out over the year, and to include equal monthly payments on an unpaid balance in order to avoid a shutoff.
Many assistance programs are available by calling the United Way at 211. Weatherization help is available for low-income residents. These programs help with caulking, weather stripping, and insulation. Another program that is available is THAW, the Heat and Warmth Fund, which helps people facing a shutoff who have exhausted all federal and state funding programs.
The state offers assistance with energy bills through the State Emergency Relief Program in the Department of Human Services. This program is available to DHS clients and non-DHS clients. For more information call the Energy Assistance Hotline at 800-292-5650, or visit your local DHS office. State Department of Social Services for Wayne County is located at 2929 Russell Street in Detroit. You can reach that office by calling 313-396-0200.
Visit these websites to learn more about the help that is available:
United Way of Southeastern Michigan:
THAW, The Heat and Warmth Fund:
State Emergency Relief Energy Assistance Programs:
Detroit Edison Company "Smart Meters"
The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) Customer Intake Center is available to assist residents with their inquiry or informal complaint Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. through 4:30 p.m., excluding State holidays, by calling (800) 292-9555 (within Michigan) or (517) 241-6180 (outside Michigan). Consumers are encouraged to first contact their utility before contacting the MPSC. When you reach MPSC, a Call Intake Assistant will take information on your inquiry or complaint and answer those questions he/she can or direct you to the appropriate person. At times, call volumes are very high and Intake Assistants are busy with other customers. In this situation, you will be put in a queue and your call will be taken by the next available person. If the queue is full, you will get a busy signal. Please call again. You can also contact MPSC by submitting your inquiry or complaint in writing at: Michigan Public Service Commission, Customer Intake Center, P.O. Box 30221, Lansing MI 48909. Or visit the MPSC website at http://www.michigan.gov/mpsc and click on "File a Complaint"
Michigan Department Of Human Services Offers Mobile Applications
The Michigan Department of Human Services is now offering a mobile application -- the first in state government -- to help partners and advocates across Michigan better help hard-working Michigan families. The application, available for free at the Android Market, will allow DHS partner agencies and advocates to find the closest DHS office, information about applying for food or emergency energy assistance online, and up-to-the minute news about DHS programs and services. It will also soon be available on the iPhone platform.
The mobile application, developed by the Michigan-based JacAPPS, will also feature information on how to report abuse of children or adults, report suspected fraud in DHS programs, and become a foster or adoptive parent. In Fiscal Year 2010, DHS employees served nearly 3 million Michigan residents with cash, food, energy, emergency and medical assistance. For more information about DHS, please visit ww.michigan.gov/dhs.
MSHDA's Property Improvement Program
Have you heard about MSHDA's Property Improvement Program? This program offers low interest home improvement loans to single-family homeowners with low-to-moderate income (up to $65,000, or $74,750 in certain areas), and landlords (no income limit) renting to low-to-moderate income tenants. Loan applications are submitted to approved Participating Lenders or Community Agents. If you are interested in more details, please visit MSHDA web site at http://www.michigan.gov/mshda, then click on the Home Improvement link.
United Way of Southeastern Michigan
The United Way runs the 211 Help Line which connects people with helpful services just as 911 connects people with emergency services. By dialing 211, people can be referred to agencies that can help with job training, rent, mortgage payments, and the cost of food or prescriptions. 211 is a lifeline for people in difficult situations trying to navigate their way through local and state programs. Phone: 211, or visit the website at: ttp://www.uwsem.org/.
LARA - Michigan Department of Career Development
This website provides phone numbers and programs for veterans, programs for people transitioning from welfare to work, specialized job placement programs, and assistance for dislocated/laid off workers. Visit the website at: http://www.michigan.gov/mdcd/0,1607,7-122-1679---,00.html.
Focus: Hope offers job training and education programs through their centers of opportunity. The organization also offers food assistance to families in need. Call (313) 494-5500 for assistance or visit their website www.focushope.edu.
Wayne County Mortgage Foreclosure Prevention Program
This program offers help to people no matter what point they are at in the foreclosure process. The program can determine a family's options, and in some cases can negotiate directly with banks and lenders for the family. Phone: 1-313-833-2948 or Toll Free: 1-877-693-6199, or visit the website at: http://www.fightmortgageforeclosure.com/.
State Department of Human Services (DHS) WayneCounty
DHS can help with many needs including medical needs, utility assistance, and food assistance. The Central Office is located at 2929 Russell St. in Detroit. Phone: 1-313-396-0200.
This website allows people to search jobs within Detroit. Job alerts can also be sent to job-seekers. Visit the website at:
Michigan Talent Bank
This site lists more than 15,000 new job openings monthly and allows people to post their resume. This website allows you to search for jobs in cities throughout Michigan. Phone: 1-888-253-6855 or visit the website at: https://www.michworks.org/mtb/user/MTB_EMPL.EntryMainPage.
Michigan Civil Service Commission (MCSC) Detroit Job Postings
Job seekers can visit the Detroit Regional Office or use the online office to search by job category or county. Phone: 1-313-456-4400, or visit the website at: http://agency.governmentjobs.com/michigan/default.cfm.
Unemployment Insurance Benefits
This website offers information regarding how to claim unemployment benefits and other related information/documents. The website also provides links to assist with filing for unemployment. To file a claim by phone call1-866-500-0017. To inquire about a claim call 1-866-500-0017, press 3. You can also visit the website at: http://www.michigan.gov/uia/0,1607,7-118-26831---,00.html.
Detroit Workforce Development Department
This office helps provide qualified workers to local employers through cost-effective, high quality employment, training, and education services in partnership with businesses, community-based organizations, educational institutions, and governmental agencies. Phone: 313-876-0674, or visit the website at: http://www.ci.detroit.mi.us. Click on Departments then Detroit Workforce Development Department.
Simply Hired Detroit
This website lists job postings and charts tracking unemployment trends in Detroit. The website also provides information about companies and their employees. Visit the website at: http://www.simplyhired.com/a/local-jobs/city/l-Detroit,+MI.
This website lists jobs available in Inkster and can be found at: http://www.jobserve.us/Inkster_MI_Jobs.htm.
Simply Hired Inkster
This website lists jobs available in Inkster and can be found at: http://www.simplyhired.com/a/local-jobs/city/l-Inkster,+MI.
Simply Hired Dearborn Heights
This website lists jobs available in Dearborn Heights and can be found at: http://www.simplyhired.com/a/local-jobs/city/l-Dearborn+Heights,+MI.
JobServe Dearborn Heights
This website lists jobs available in Dearborn Heights and can be found at: http://www.jobserve.us/Dearborn_Heights_MI_Dba_Jobs.htm.
Department of Human Services Inkster
The State Department of Human Services branch office is located at: 2700 Hamlin. You can reach the office by calling 1-313-277-4800.
MichiganWorks! Agency Dearborn Heights, Inkster
The Dearborn office of MichiganWorks! is the closest office to Inkster and Dearborn Heights. It is located at 6451 Schaefer Rd. Dearborn. The office is on the second floor. Call 1-313-945-8380. The office is open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. The MichiganWorks! Agency website can be found at http://michiganworks.org/.
MEDC: The Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Center
This office provides counseling, training, research and advocacy for new ventures, new start-up businesses, and existing small businesses. Phone: (313-967-9295), or visit the website: http://www.michiganadvantage.org/.