Kalamazoo County Assistance Programs

Find Assistance Programs in Kalamazoo County

Kalamazoo County assistance programs can offer a wide array of help to families in need. Located in the southwestern part of Michigan (about 45 east of Lake Michigan and 45 minutes north of the Indiana border), has a long history, diverse demographics, and a healthy economy.

You can find additional resources for help outside of Kalamazoo County in other areas across the state by going to our Michigan resource page.

Historically, the Kalamazoo area grew from Native American settlements to become a hub for paper manufacturing in the 20th century. As of the latest census, the county is home to a diverse population of around 265,000 residents (the city of Kalamazoo is about 75,000 or so).

Its economy has evolved over time, with significant contributions from the education, healthcare (Upjohn, Stryker), and manufacturing sectors. Institutions like Western Michigan University play pivotal roles both educationally and economically and don’t forget about Kalamazoo College and Kalamazoo Valley Community College). As the county continues to grow and change, it retains its unique blend of historic charm and modern innovation.

What Cities and Towns Are Located In Kalamazoo County?


  1. Kalamazoo
  2. Portage
  3. Parchment
  4. Galesburg


  1. Augusta
  2. Climax
  3. Richland
  4. Schoolcraft
  5. Vicksburg


  1. Alamo Township
  2. Brady Township
  3. Charleston Township
  4. Climax Township
  5. Comstock Charter Township
  6. Cooper Charter Township
  7. Kalamazoo Charter Township
  8. Oshtemo Charter Township
  9. Pavilion Township
  10. Prairie Ronde Township
  11. Richland Township
  12. Ross Township
  13. Schoolcraft Township
  14. Texas Charter Township
  15. Wakeshma Township
map kalamazoo county

Assistance Programs – General Overview:

  • Financial aid, free food, free medical care, housing solutions, and more are available.
  • Those getting help include low-income families, seniors, single moms, immigrants, etc.

Types of help you can find in Kalamazoo County

Kalamazoo County in Michigan offers various welfare assistance programs to its residents. These programs might be operated at the county, state, or local level. Here are some general categories and programs that residents in Kalamazoo County might have access to:

  1. Food Assistance: The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) offers food assistance to eligible individuals and families.
  2. Medicaid: A health care program for low-income individuals and families.
  3. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Provides financial assistance to eligible families.
  4. State Emergency Relief (SER): Helps with emergency needs such as heat, electricity, and home repairs.
  5. Child Development and Care (CDC): Helps with childcare expenses for eligible families.
  6. Housing Assistance: Various programs exist to assist with housing costs, including the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program.
  7. General Assistance: Local townships or municipalities in Kalamazoo County might have their own general assistance funds to help residents with various needs.
  8. Local Food Banks and Pantries: Organizations such as Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes offer food assistance to those in need.
  9. Local Non-profits and Charities: Many organizations offer assistance ranging from housing to food, clothing, and more. Examples include the Salvation Army and Catholic Charities.
  10. Unemployment Benefits: For those who have lost employment, the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) provides benefits.
  11. Michigan Works!: Helps job seekers with training, job search, and other employment-related needs.
  12. WIC (Women, Infants, and Children): Provides food and nutrition education to pregnant women, new mothers, and young children.
  13. Community Mental Health Services: For residents with mental health needs.
  14. Public Transportation Assistance: Reduced fare or free transportation might be available for eligible residents.
  15. Community Action Agencies: These agencies provide a variety of services to low-income individuals and families, including weatherization, energy assistance, and more.

Who Can Help (Several Examples):

  1. Kalamazoo County Action Bureau
  2. Comstock Community Center
    • Provides up to $50 assistance for those with shutoff notices.
    • Location: Comstock Community Center, P.O. Box 34, Comstock, MI 49041
    • Contact: (269) 345-8556
  3. The Salvation Army Kalamazoo
  4. Kalamazoo Deacons Conference
    • Provides $75 to $100 for bills on a first-come, first-served basis.
    • Location: 1010 N. Westnedge Ave., Kalamazoo, MI 49007
    • Contact: (269) 344-7333

Housing and Rent Assistance Programs:

  1. Housing Resources Inc.

Other Assistance Agencies:

  1. Western Michigan Catholic Charities
  2. Kalamazoo Community Action Agency
  3. Society of St. Vincent de Paul Kalamazoo County
    • Offers heating bills assistance, free food, and social ministry.
  4. DHS in Kalamazoo (Human Services)

Free Food Services:

  1. Kalamazoo Gospel Mission
  2. Kalamazoo Loaves and Fishes

Medical Care for the Uninsured:

  1. Free Clinic of Kalamazoo
    • Offers free medical services.
    • Contact: (269) 344-0044
  2. Family Health Center Emergency Prescription Assistance Program

Legal Assistance:

  1. Legal Aid of Western Michigan

Foreclosure Counseling:

  1. Kalamazoo Neighborhood Housing Services Inc.

Additional Resources

Below are specific organizations and programs that operate within Kalamazoo County, Michigan, that provide various forms of welfare assistance:

  1. Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes: This organization provides emergency food assistance to individuals and families in need.
  2. The Kalamazoo Gospel Mission: Offers emergency shelter, food, and long-term recovery programs.
  3. Ministry with Community: They provide food, daytime shelter, laundry, and other essential services to individuals facing homelessness and poverty.
  4. Kalamazoo County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS): This is the primary agency that administers state and federal welfare programs like SNAP, TANF, and Medicaid.
  5. The Salvation Army of Kalamazoo: Provides emergency assistance, shelter, food, and various other services.
  6. Catholic Charities Diocese of Kalamazoo: Offers a variety of services, including emergency assistance and counseling.
  7. Kalamazoo Neighborhood Housing Services: They offer homebuyer education, foreclosure prevention, and other housing-related services.
  8. Housing Resources, Inc. (HRI): Provides housing and services to homeless and low-income families in Kalamazoo.
  9. Portage Community Outreach Center: Offers emergency assistance to residents of Portage, Michigan.
  10. Goodwill Industries of Southwestern Michigan: Beyond thrift stores, Goodwill often provides job training and other services to help people achieve self-sufficiency.
  11. Michigan Works! Southwest: This is the regional branch of the state’s Michigan Works! program, offering job training and employment services.
  12. Community Homeworks: Helps low-income families with critical home repairs.
  13. Community Healing Centers: They offer various services, including addiction treatment and mental health counseling.
  14. Kalamazoo County Public Housing Commission: Manages public housing and offers housing assistance in the county.
  15. ISAAC (Interfaith Strategy for Advocacy & Action in the Community): A coalition of congregations and organizations working together for social justice.
  16. Open Doors Kalamazoo: Provides affordable housing solutions and support services for the working poor.
  17. YWCA Kalamazoo: This organization provides services aimed at eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. They have programs addressing domestic violence and sexual assault, among others.
  18. Kalamazoo Community Foundation: While not a direct service provider, the foundation offers grants to community organizations and initiatives that align with its mission of improving the quality of life for Kalamazoo residents.
  19. Kalamazoo Deacons Conference: Offers assistance with clothing, furniture, household goods, and sometimes financial assistance for specific needs.
  20. Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kalamazoo: Provides programs and services to promote and enhance the development of young people.
  21. Senior Services of Southwest Michigan: Assists senior citizens in the area with a variety of programs, including Meals on Wheels, home care, and Medicare/Medicaid assistance.
  22. Disability Network Southwest Michigan: Provides advocacy, education, peer support, counseling, and transition services to people with disabilities.
  23. Kalamazoo Drop-In Child Care Center (KDCCC): Offers short-term child care for low-income families.
  24. First Day Shoe Fund: Provides new athletic shoes to eligible K-5 students in Kalamazoo Public Schools.
  25. Urban Alliance: Operates programs addressing employment and economic opportunities, youth development, and health and wellness.
  26. Kalamazoo RESA: While primarily an educational service agency, they also provide some resources for families, including those with special needs children.
  27. Family & Children Services: Offers counseling, crisis intervention, and other community-based services.
  28. Fair Housing Center of Southwest Michigan: Addresses housing discrimination and provides resources for those seeking fair housing.
  29. CARES (Community AIDS Resource and Education Services): Provides HIV testing, prevention education, and support services to people living with HIV/AIDS.
  30. The Arc of Kalamazoo: Supports individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
  31. The Haven of Rest Ministries: Provides services to the homeless and those battling addiction.
  32. Kalamazoo Promise: A scholarship program for Kalamazoo Public Schools’ graduates to attend public colleges, universities, and specific private college partners in Michigan.
  33. Gryphon Place: Offers suicide prevention, dispute resolution services, and support for individuals in crisis.
  34. Kalamazoo Literacy Council: Addresses adult literacy issues with tutoring and other resources.
  35. MRC Industries: Provides opportunities for people with developmental or learning disabilities, traumatic brain injuries, emotional impairments, and mental illnesses to achieve their highest levels of independence.
  36. Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Council (CAN): Provides education and awareness about child abuse and neglect prevention.
  37. Tillers International: Focuses on providing tools and skills for rural communities but is based in Kalamazoo County and offers various programs.
  38. El Concilio: Serves the Hispanic/Latino community with various services, including cultural events, support, and resources.
  39. Pretty Lake Vacation Camp: Offers free summer camp experiences to kids from Kalamazoo County.
  40. Eastside Neighborhood Association: Works to improve the Eastside of Kalamazoo through housing assistance, neighborhood beautification, and various community programs.
  41. Kalamazoo Defender: A non-profit organization dedicated to providing quality legal defense services for people who cannot afford to hire an attorney.
  42. Rootead: Provides birthing services, dance, and drumming, particularly focused on underserved communities in Kalamazoo.
  43. OutFront Kalamazoo: Serves the LGBTQ+ community in Kalamazoo and Southwest Michigan, providing various services, events, and support.
  44. Mothers of Hope: Empowers and assists women and families affected by substance abuse, incarceration, and economic challenges.
  45. Fire Historical and Cultural Arts Collaborative: Offers a safe, supportive space for youth, focusing on arts, culture, and history.
  46. Kalamazoo Valley Habitat for Humanity: Builds and rehabilitates homes in partnership with families in need of decent housing.
  47. Kalamazoo Humane Society: Provides animal welfare and sheltering services, and offers programs like low-cost spay/neuter operations.
  48. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Michigan: Offers mentoring programs connecting kids with adult mentors.
  49. Climax-Scotts Community Outreach: Helps residents of the Climax-Scotts area with food and other basic needs.
  50. Feed the Fight Kalamazoo: Supports both local restaurants and frontline workers by purchasing meals from local eateries and delivering them to healthcare workers.
  51. Foster Adoption Support Team (FAST): Provides support to foster and adoptive families.
  52. Journey Kalamazoo: Assists those who are LGBTQ+ and struggling with substance abuse.
  53. Milwood Community Church Outreach: Offers various community programs, including a food pantry.
  54. SHARE (Sexual Health and Relationship Education): Provides education on sexual health and relationships.
  55. Kalamazoo Refugee Resource Collaborative: Assists refugees in the Kalamazoo area with their resettlement and integration.
  56. Kalamazoo County Ready 4s: Offers high-quality pre-kindergarten to all four-year-olds in Kalamazoo County.
  57. West Michigan Cancer Center & Institute for Blood Disorders: Provides cancer and blood disorder treatment, research, and support.
  58. Kalamazoo Ringers: A community handbell choir which offers therapeutic and community-building opportunities.
  59. Peace House YWCA: Provides transitional housing for homeless youth, helping them achieve independence.
  60. Bronson Health Foundation: Supports health and wellness initiatives in the region, often in partnership with Bronson Healthcare.
  61. Vicksburg Community Schools Foundation: Supports the Vicksburg Community Schools district with scholarships, grants, and special projects.
  62. Schoolcraft Community Library: Apart from library services, it offers various community programs and resources.
  63. Comstock Community Center: Provides a wide range of services, events, and programs for residents of the Comstock Township.
  64. Climax-Scotts Community Outreach: As mentioned before, they help residents of the Climax-Scotts area with food and other basic necessities.
  65. Richland Area Community Center: Offers programs for youth, adults, and seniors, including fitness classes, community events, and educational opportunities.
  66. Portage Community Center: Provides emergency assistance, food, and other services to residents of Portage.
  67. Galesburg Memorial Library: Beyond library services, they often host community events and programs.
  68. Parchment Community Library: Offers a range of resources, events, and programs for the Parchment community.
  69. Augusta-Ross Township District Library: Serves the community with various resources, programs, and events.
  70. Vicksburg Historical Society: Works to preserve the history of Vicksburg and hosts various events and programs related to local history.
  71. Galesburg’s ‘We Are The Change’: An organization working on community development projects in Galesburg.
  72. Scotts Olde Tyme Power and Equipment Association: Based in Scotts, they host events and work on preserving the history of old power and farm equipment.
  73. Richland/Gull Lake Area Lions Club: Part of the larger Lions Club International, they provide community services specifically for the Richland and Gull Lake areas.
  74. Pavilion Estates Neighborhood Watch (Pavilion Township): This group works to ensure the safety of their community and fosters neighborhood connections.
  75. Cooper Township Library and Historical Society: Focuses on both community education and preserving the history of Cooper Township.
  76. Oshtemo Historical Society: Works to protect and promote the history of Oshtemo.
  77. Vicksburg Cultural Arts Center: Engages the Vicksburg community with cultural and arts-related events and activities.
  78. Friends of the Schoolcraft Library: Supports the Schoolcraft Community Library through fundraising and advocacy.
  79. Portage Senior Center: Offers a variety of activities, classes, and resources for senior citizens living in Portage.
  80. Comstock Tomorrow: Focuses on community development projects for the Comstock area.
  81. Augusta Area Historical Society: Works on preserving and promoting the history of Augusta.
  82. The Richland Area Community Garden: Provides space for residents to grow their own food and often donates produce to local food banks.
  83. Galesburg-Augusta Community Services: Offers recreational and enrichment activities for all age groups in the Galesburg-Augusta area.
  84. Friends of the Parchment Community Library: Supports the library through various activities and fundraising events.
  85. Scotts Lions Club: Provides local community services and support in the Scotts area.
  86. Texas Township Farmers’ Market: Supports local farmers and artisans and provides fresh produce to the community.
  87. Oshtemo Friends of the Parks: Dedicated to improving and promoting the parks in Oshtemo Township.
  88. Richland Farmers Market: Another venue for local produce and goods, supporting both the community and local vendors.

Food Assistance:

  1. Loaves & Fishes: The primary food bank in Kalamazoo, they distribute food at various sites throughout the county.
  2. Kalamazoo Loaves and Fishes: Another organization dedicated to alleviating hunger in the community.
  3. Ministry with Community: Provides meals, emergency food packs, and other services to those in need.
  4. Open Doors Kalamazoo: Along with housing assistance, they also offer a food pantry for residents.

Bill/Rent Assistance: 5. Housing Resources, Inc. (HRI): Offers assistance with homelessness prevention, housing searches, and other resources.

  1. The Salvation Army of Kalamazoo: Provides emergency financial assistance, including help with utilities and rent.
  2. Catholic Charities Diocese of Kalamazoo: Offers various services, including financial assistance for those in crisis.

Debt Counseling: 8. GreenPath Financial Wellness: Offers debt counseling, housing services, and other financial counseling services.

Legal Assistance: 9. Legal Aid of Western Michigan: Provides free legal services to low-income individuals and seniors in non-criminal cases.

  1. Michigan Protection & Advocacy Service, Inc.: Offers legal advocacy for people with disabilities.
  2. Western Michigan University Cooley Law School Clinics: Sometimes provides free legal assistance through their clinics, serving those who cannot afford representation.
  3. Community Homeworks: Offers workshops on financial literacy and home maintenance for low-income homeowners.