Through our Secure Families Action Area, our grant team allocates funds to agencies and programs in the following areas:
- financial literacy;
- education and management programs.
The following agencies and programs received a combined total of $151,000 for this focus area:
Advocacy: Increasing Economic Security - End Violent Encounters, Inc. (EVE)
Eviction Diverson - Volunteers of America
Family Life Program - Haven House
Financial Literacy, Free Tax Preparation and Micro-Business Training - NorthWest Lansing Healthy Communities Initiative
GED Preparation - Capital Area Literacy Coalition
Independent Living Services - Child and Family Charities (formerly Child & Family Services, Capital Area)
Legal Services in Civil Cases to Achieve Housing Stability and Maintain Self-Sufficiency - Legal Services of South Central Michigan
Partner in Progress - Haven House
Workplace Adult Basic and ESL English Instruction - Capital Area Literacy Coaltion
Participants (16 years old and older and not in currently in school) receive a comprehensive literacy evaluation and individualized written recommendations for improvement. GED preparation participants will be individually assigned to work one-on-one, in small groups, independently, on a GED computer program or any combination to achieve their goals. Official GED practice tests are administered.
The Workplace literacy program helps adults gain or improved skills striving to eliminate poverty caused by illiteracy. Adults receive a comprehensive literacy evaluation and will then increase their personal literacy through participation in one-on-one or small group literacy instruction. The goal is to improve the literacy skills of adults thus strengthening their ability to interact more fully in the workplace, the community and with their child’s education.
Independent Living Services helps youth who are aging out of foster care to become self-sufficient and productive members of the community. Objectives include teaching and developing independent living life skills, budgeting, housing, housekeeping, transportation, education, career planning, job seeking/maintenance, physical and mental health, personal hygiene/ safety, use of community resources, interpersonal communication, and legal basics.
Provides advocacy services to assist victims of dating/domestic violence to increase their economic security and self-sufficiency through employment assistance/referrals, educational/training resources, securing public (DHS, Social Security, Medicaid) unemployment benefits, crime victim compensation, legal resources to obtain child or spousal support. The financial advocacy breaks down the barrier that leads to medical services, housing and ability to maintain a safe environment.
Haven House - Family Life Program
Provides additional supports and activities to the families staying in shelter. Adults attend enrichment classes approximately once a week where a variety of topics are presented from parenting skills to resume and job interviewing skills. While the adults participate in the class, the children participate in fun learning activity. The Program also provides back to school clothing and supplies to all children that have stayed at Haven House over the past year, along with holiday gifts for the entire family.
Provides direct financial assistance for move-in costs, (first month’s rent, security deposit, past utilities and utility deposits) enabling families to move quickly out of emergency shelter. Haven House then provides in-home case management to establish a budget, short and long term goals for the families, along with furnishing non-food stamp items and bus passes. The case manager and family work together to reach goals and increase the stability of the family.
This program helps individuals and families achieve self-sufficiency through eviction and foreclosure prevention, and by establishing and stabilizing household income to provide basic needs including food, clothing, shelter and healthcare.
NorthWest Lansing Healthy Communities Initiative - Financial Literacy, Free Tax Preparation and Micro-Business Training
Financial Literacy programs consist of teaching individuals how to understand their finances, how to develop a budget including a savings plan, establishing a relationship with a bank or credit union, and assistance with establishing and/or improving their credit. Clients are also offered free tax preparation assistance, connected to social security, disability, and healthcare programs and taught how to think creatively on ways to earn extra income via a micro-business training program.
Program is an extension of VOA's appointment as Ingham County Housing Assessment Resource Agency. Eviction Diversion works with tenants and landlords, when a resolution is possible, to prevent eviction and subsequent costs to all parties and the public. This prevents disruption and chaos of emergency homelessness. This is coupled with housing and income strategies and in collaboration with other agencies under supervision of Judge Thomas P. Boyd in Mason District Court.