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Figuring out where to start when looking for help can be daunting.

Assistance programs and organizations come in different shapes and sizes.

At a high level, it likely makes sense to look for help from organizations that service your local community.

Finding Assistance Programs

Federal Government Programs

These would be big national assistance programs paid for by our tax dollars.

You can find more information here where we provide a directory list of federal assistance programs.
  1. Social Security
  2. Medicare
  3. Medicaid
  4. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  5. Unemployment Insurance
  6. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  7. Housing Assistance (e.g., Section 8)
  8. Pell Grants
  9. Veterans’ Benefits
  10. Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

National Privately Run Services

These would be big-name non-profit organizations you’ve likely heard of helping a lot of families in need.

  1. Feeding America
  2. Goodwill Industries
  3. Habitat for Humanity
  4. The Salvation Army
  5. Catholic Charities USA
  6. St. Vincent de Paul
  7. United Way
  8. Boys & Girls Clubs of America
  9. Dress for Success
  10. Operation HOPE

State-Run Organizations

Getting down to programs a bit closer to home, you’ll find any number of state level assistance programs across the U.S.

Programs in the state of Michigan (you can find more details here)

  1. Michigan Community Action Agency Association (MCAAA)
  2. Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan
  3. Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS)
  4. Forgotten Harvest
  5. Focus: HOPE
  6. Mid Michigan Community Action Agency

Programs in the state of Texas

  1. Texas Health and Human Services (HHS)
  2. North Texas Food Bank (NTFB)
  3. Central Texas Food Bank
  4. Texas Rent Relief Program
  5. Texas Veterans Commission
  6. Houston Food Bank

Programs in the state of Arizona

  1. Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES)
  2. St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance
  3. Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona
  4. Arizona Housing Coalition
  5. Arizona Community Action Association (ACAA)
  6. Arizona Veterans Donation Fund

Programs in the state of Vermont

  1. Vermont Foodbank
  2. Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity (CVOEO)
  3. Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition
  4. Capstone Community Action
  5. Vermont Veterans’ Home
  6. Vermont State Housing Authority

These are just a few state-level assistance programs you can find state-to-state.

Regional Programs

The Midwest, the Great Lakes region, and the Pacific Northwest…..just a few regions identified across the U.S. where you can find help.

  1. Northeast Regional Food Bank: Northeastern U.S.
  2. Appalachian Regional Commission: Appalachian Region (spans from New York to Mississippi)
  3. Northwest Harvest: Pacific Northwest
  4. Midwest Food Bank: Midwest U.S.
  5. Southeastern Housing Foundation: Southeastern U.S.
  6. Western Reserve Area Agency on Aging: Great Lakes Region

County Level Services

At the local level in each state, you’ll find any number of services and organizations servicing the cities, towns, and villages and their local population.

Here are some examples you’ll find for counties in the state of Michigan.

Assistance programs in Kalamazoo County in Michigan

  1. Kalamazoo County Housing Commission
  2. Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes
  3. Kalamazoo County Department of Health and Community Services
  4. Kalamazoo Gospel Mission
  5. Kalamazoo County Community Action Agency
  6. Kalamazoo Deacons Conference

Assistance programs in Isabella County in Michigan

  1. Isabella County Restoration House
  2. Isabella Community Soup Kitchen
  3. Isabella County Department of Health and Human Services
  4. Community Action Agency of Mid Michigan – Isabella County
  5. Isabella County Housing Commission
  6. Isabella County Material Assistance Program

Assistance Programs in Washtenaw County in Michigan

  1. Washtenaw County Community & Economic Development
  2. Food Gatherers of Washtenaw County
  3. Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic Development (OCED)
  4. Washtenaw County Health Department
  5. SOS Community Services
  6. Washtenaw Housing Alliance

City and Neighborhood Community Services

Now we’re looking in your backyard for local community assistance programs and services. Here are a few examples for specific cities, you’ll find these in towns all across America.

Assistance programs in Detroit, MI

  1. Detroit Action Commonwealth
  2. Detroit Water Fund
  3. Focus: HOPE Detroit
  4. Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries
  5. Matrix Human Services
  6. The Heat and Warmth Fund (THAW)

Assistance programs in Grand Rapids, MI

  1. Grand Rapids Area Coalition to End Homelessness
  2. Grand Rapids Urban League
  3. Mel Trotter Ministries
  4. Heart of West Michigan United Way
  5. ICCF (Inner City Christian Federation)
  6. Kids’ Food Basket – Grand Rapids

Assistance programs in Big Rapids, MI

  1. Project Starburst
  2. Mid Michigan Community Action – Big Rapids Office
  3. Big Rapids Housing Commission
  4. Mecosta County Community Foundation
  5. WISE (Women’s Information Service, Inc.) – Big Rapids
  6. Our Brother’s Keeper Shelter