LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Department of Human Services and its community-based partners will open multi-agency resource centers this week to assist victims affected by the recent severe weather and flooding in Newaygo and Osceola counties.
On April 17, Gov. Rick Snyder declared a “state of disaster” for those counties, making available state aid and assistance to communities within the disaster areas.
“Our staff is ready and able to provide the assistance these victims need,” said DHS director Maura Corrigan. “Along with our community partners, we have prepared a network of resources to help ensure aid gets to those in need quickly. People can then begin the clean-up and repair of their property — and their lives.”
In Newaygo County, the resource center will be located at St. Bartholomew Roman Catholic Church at 599 West Brooks St. in Newaygo. It will be open Wednesday through Saturday, April 23-26, from 1-5 p.m. daily.
In Osceola County, the resource center will be located at Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church at 9878 U.S. 10 in Evart. It will be open Wednesday and Friday, April 23 and 25, from noon to 4 p.m. each day.
Both locations will have people representing many local assistance groups on hand, including the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, food and clothing pantries, home clean-up experts, tree and debris removal services and more.
In addition, DHS will have staff members on site to help take in and begin processing applications for the State Emergency Relief (SER) program, providing immediate help to low-income individuals and families facing conditions of extreme hardship or emergencies that threaten health and safety. SER can assist applicants with safe, decent, affordable housing and other essential needs when an emergency situation arises.
Those essential needs can include assisting with repairs to the basic home structure, water heater, septic/waste disposal system, doors/windows, extermination services, electrical, plumbing, roofs, wells/water supply system, wheelchair ramps, etc.
DHS requests individuals in need of assistance visit one of the multi-agency resource centers in-person to fill out a paper application to expedite the process.
Due to the “state of disaster” declared by Snyder, some exceptions to usual SER program limits may be allowed for victims of the flooding. DHS personnel at the resource centers in Newaygo and Osceola counties will be able to assist clients with the process and help provide more information on any unique circumstances victims may be facing.