Community Action Month is a celebration of the accomplishments of Community Action Agencies (CAAs) across the country. CAAs are a robust state and local force, reaching individuals and families in 99 percent of America’s counties with life-changing services that create pathways to prosperity.
As part of the CAA network, Mid Michigan Community Action Agency (Mid Michigan CAA) serves Bay, Clare, Gladwin, Mecosta, Midland, Muskegon, Oceana, and Osceola Counties. Over the past year, our communities have faced unprecedented challenges including a pandemic and a 500 year flood event. In the face of these obstacles, Mid Michigan CAA has adapted to serving clients through largely virtual means while continuing to administer all programs and even adding additional services as new and increased needs arose.
Last year, Mid Michigan CAA distributed 48,441 food boxes or 750 tons of food. As a response to increased food insecurity due to the pandemic, they were able to distribute 55 more tons of food than the year before.
Despite swift changes to the programs, Mid Michigan CAA’s Head Start and Early Head Start programs served 533 children last year. These programs provide support for children and families. They use a curriculum that supports school readiness and coordinate with area public schools to facilitate smooth transitioning for each child.
In the 2019 income tax season, Mid Michigan CAA processed returns for 440 households, bringing $478,566 in returns back into Clare, Gladwin, Mecosta, and Osceola Counties.
Last year, Mid Michigan CAA weatherized 44 homes through the Weatherization Assistance Program. An additional 23 households received roofing repair assistance through the Housing Preservation Grant. These services make homes safer, healthier, more comfortable, and more affordable for the residents.
In 2020, Mid Michigan CAA administered the Eviction Diversion program, helping residents in 180 households stay in their homes.
“The last year brought changes and challenges we could never have imagined. In response, we were able to expand our services and add new programs to address the needs of our communities. We are energized at being asked to serve our communities in ways we’ve never done before,” said Jill Sutton, Executive Director of Mid Michigan Community Action. “And while there is still work to be done, we are proud to continue ‘helping people, changing lives.’”
Mid Michigan Community Action Agency (Mid Michigan CAA) will be providing free income tax preparation services through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.
VITA is an IRS program managed by partners all over the country, including Community Action Agencies. IRS trained and certified volunteers work with community members to prepare their taxes safely, confidentially, and at no cost to the community members.
To allow for ongoing social distancing measures, VITA appointments will be low-contact with most aspects of the tax return process being conducted virtually, by phone, and/or by mail. Due to the Stay Home order in March of 2020 and the tax program closing early, Mid Michigan CAA will be able to process 2019 tax returns in addition to 2020 tax returns.
“Each year our volunteers work throughout the tax season to help as many households as possible claim their maximum refund including all credits without filing costs or hidden fees,” said Outreach Director Eva Rohlman. “Though this year is going to look a little different, the high-quality tax preparation service we can provide to our communities will remain the same.”
The VITA program will run from February 1st through April 15th, 2021, serving residents of Clare, Gladwin, Mecosta, and Osceola Counties. Those interested in having their taxes prepared at no cost to them should contact call nearest office:
Big Rapids: 231-660-0271
Reed City: 231-791-7078.
Those interested in volunteering should contact Sheri Nartker at 989-386-3805 ext. 1024 or firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible.
Learn more about our tax prep program.
1574 E Washington Road
PO Box 768
Farwell, MI 48622
2300 E Ludington Drive
Clare, MI 48617
337 Lemke Street
Midland, MI 48642
14330 Northland Drive
Big Rapids MI 49307
240 E Church Street
Reed City, MI 49677
271 E Apple Ave
Muskegon, MI 49442
907 S State St Ste 102
Hart, MI 49420