Utility Assistance Makes a Difference

 Did you know that hundreds of Michigan residents have their utilities shut off every month because they struggle to make their payments? In 2011, a Utility Assistance Status Report identified 50% of clients falling in the lowest bracket of the 2011 Federal Poverty Income Guidelines!

To help make a difference, The Salvation Army serves to resolve immediate crisis as well as “encourage accountability, support long-term sustainability and balance accountability with service.” In March of 2011, The Salvation Army in conjunction with Consumers Energy launched the Arrearage Case Management program to provide a Case Manager to clients with emergency utilities assistance for three to six months. After 18 months of operation, the program showed significant statistical improvement compared to a control group without a case management relationship in areas including budgeting skills, increased income, debt reduction and use of a household checking account.

The Salvation Army also provides residents with an intake housing assessment to help prevent other financial emergencies, such as homelessness. Last year, 97% of the households that completed the assessment reported having greater knowledge and understanding to prevent homelessness or retain housing.

The Salvation Army provided home heating assistance to over 600 households last year in Kent County.

The Salvation Army also delivers utility assistance via 99 service units throughout the
state of Michigan.

As temperatures continue to plummet, The Salvation Army is providing emergency utility assistance in efforts to keep household utilities from shutting off. To contact The Salvation Army in Grand Rapids call 616-459-3433.