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State to Reverse Funding Leaving Thousands without Heat Assistance

The Michigan Department of Human Services has alerted Community Action Agencies across the state that critical funding used to assist low-income families with deliverable heating fuel will no longer be available as of January 31.

For Mid Michigan Community Action, this represents over $500,000 of LIHEAP Crisis Assistance (LCA) funding that will be reclaimed by the state. That amount would have served up to 1,000 families across Bay, Clare, Gladwin and Midland counties.

“The money being reclaimed is one of our primary funding sources to help families heat their homes, Jill Sutton, Mid Michigan CAA Executive Director, said. “We have appointments booked to the end of February for low-income families who are at risk for going without heat.”

The state is reclaiming the funding in response to the Federal Legislature’s decision to reduce the funding for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Because of lower funding levels at the federal level, the state is reclaiming funds from Community Action to cover Department of Human Service shortfalls.

“The timing of this decision is devastating, Sutton said, “We have so many families in our communities that are in danger of going without heat. This can lead to further problems for the families including homelessness, “she said.

Agencies were given a one week notice of this decision.

Mid Michigan Community Action Agency is a non-profit, human services agency serving Bay, Clare, Gladwin, Mecosta, Midland and Osceola Counties since 1966.

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