MSHDA Proposal (2023)
Cover Letter (2023)
Organizational History (2022)
The Salvation Army of Kent County serves to provide a holistic approach to the human needs of our community. Our food pantry, utility assistance program, and housing services provide necessary social services to Kent County. The Pathway of Hope program offers long-term case management for families transitioning out of poverty. Our Turning Point Program offers help to those suffering from substance abuse and our Emergency Disaster Services Program serves those dealing with the aftermath of disasters, such as house fires and flooding. Our Little Pine Island Camp, our Fulton Heights Corps Community Center, and Ray & Joan KROC Community Center provide activities and programs for senior citizens and children to increase their physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing. Thousands of people throughout our community are better off because we were there for them in their times of need.
DHHS was established in 1995 when interpreters, hearing service providers and Deaf and Hard of Hearing consumers came together to create a comprehensive, full-service agency to address the needs of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community. Recently relocated in the Special Olympics non-profit center offering collaboration with 9 other non-profits serving West Michigan, DHHS supports Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing residents of all ages, from infants to senior citizens.
The mission of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (DHHS) is to provide equal communication access, education, and advocacy to Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing in pursuit of all life’s opportunities. DHHS is the only full-service agency in west Michigan to serve the Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing community. Located in Grand Rapids they serve almost 30 counties through a variety of programs focused on providing equal communication access, education, and advocacy. 7.4% of Michigan’s population is Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing, with approximately 150,000 residing in the Grand Rapids-Muskegon-Holland area.
Project Description (2022)
The Salvation Army of Kent County’s Housing Services is the primary resource center for homelessness and housing services county-wide. The Housing Assessment Program offers a coordinated entry point for rapid rehousing, housing loss prevention, and long-term rental assistance. Clients go through a prevention screening process for qualified program referral. Individualized case management is utilized to tailor the resources available to clients based on their needs for financial and housing stability. This individualized case management provides clients with a centralized source for access to community services and personalized resources for the successful attainment of financial and housing stability. Poverty is often a generational barrier to stability that The Salvation Army works to combat through other programs, such as the Pathway of Hope, by helping families overcome challenges like unemployment, unstable housing, and a lack of education. Because housing insecurity is highest in low-income, non-white people, and households with children, this individualized case management team provides participants with a centralized source for access to community services and personalized resources for the successful attainment of financial and housing stability. The Salvation Army’s Housing Services program served 7,199 program participants in 2021. We are respectfully requesting a grant of $50,000 to fund flexible financial resources for participants seeking housing stability, participant application fees, and transitional housing. Through the establishment of flexible financial resources, we intend to meet the need for ALICE households by assisting with eviction prevention, rental application and background check fees, and the high costs of transitional housing.
Needs Assessment (2023)
An overwhelming need that has been noted by The Salvation Army in Kent County’s Housing Services program is a need for flexible financial resources, specifically for the aid of ALICE households. ALICE is an acronym for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed that stands for households earning above the Federal Poverty Level, but not enough to afford household necessities. According to the 2021 Michigan ALICE report, in 2019 35%, or 245,437 households in Kent County fell into this classification, a number that has increased during the pandemic at an average annual rate of 3.3%. The Kent County housing market has experienced a lack of affordable housing options and increasing prices over the last 10 years, putting additional pressure on these households who are a single catastrophe away from experiencing housing insecurity. As the primary access point for those experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity, we utilize individualized case management in order to match participants with the available resources they qualify for, but frequently find ourselves unable to help those who are ALICE households. The three main areas of need we have found are: housing stability, or eviction prevention, participant application fees for rental applications and background checks, and transitional housing for those in need of temporary housing like hotels. By having funding available with less rigid qualification requirements, we together will be able to help meet the needs of ALICE households and assist them with their journey towards housing stability.