Our Funding Priorities

What We Can Fund:

Based upon current and projected future donations and the needs described to date, we can provide up to $100 in assistance for utility bills and other urgent needs for most student workers who have applied for aid thus far. Requests for higher funding amounts are being considered on a case-by-case basis for immediate needs, such as urgently needed medications. Priority for funding will be given to those who may not be eligible for aid from other funds or who have exhausted those funds, especially staff and international student workers who are unable to access federal and state aid programs.

What We Can’t Currently Fund:
-Utility Bills over $100
-Rental Assistance
-Insurance Premiums
-Car Payments or other Debt Servicing
-Club or Recreational Fees or Dues
-Tuition Assistance

Rental Assistance:
While there is currently a stay on all evictions until at least April 17th and we anticipate that stay to be extended, anyone facing the possibility of eviction should contact Housing Resources, Inc. as soon as possible to get on their case list. You can call their main office at 269-382-0287, Monday-Friday, to get screened and listed in their system.

Assistance is currently limited, and those affected should work directly with their landlords. Getting into HRI’s case system will help them know the need that will be coming once the stay on evictions is lifted will help us advocate for the funds our community needs.

Food Support:
The CARES Act and actions taken by the State of Michigan now allow for SNAP benefits for those who would not typically be eligible otherwise. We encourage all workers who have lost income apply for the SNAP program through the Michigan DHHS website.

Additionally, Kalamazoo Loaves and Fishes is still providing direct service at their Portage Street Site and says that they are continually bringing in food for as long as it is needed. Their “Need Food” line is 269-343-3663.

Pet Food Bank:
The Kalamazoo Humane Society has a Pet Food Bank on Tuesdays and Thursdays: https://www.kazoohumane.org/petfoodbank

Unemployment Assistance:
Unemployment Insurance eligiblity has been expanded to cover many workers who were not previously able to access benefits. See details below:
https://www.mlive.com/public-interest/2020/03/michigan-governor-announces-new-unemployment-programs-for-workers-hit-by-coronavirus-pandemic.html
https://www.peters.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/peters-secures-expanded-unemployment-assistance-in-third-coronavirus-package

Other Resources:
Catholic Charities is open and offering case management and therapy virtually, and the Ark Shelter is still open 24/7. Call 269-381-9800 for crisis services.

(Helping Other People Exceed) HOPE thru Navigation continues to serve populations of people who have criminal backgrounds, Substance Use Disorders, or history of homelessness due to above noted factors. Individuals can reach out directly to officeofhope18@gmail.com, 269-775-1221, or 269-216-8278.

With or without healthcare coverage, Ascension Borgess is doing
digital appointment for $20 with code: HOME. https://healthcare.ascension.org/Specialty-Care/Online-Care

Employment Opportunities:

Amazon is currently hiring both drivers and warehouse workers.
FedEx is currently hiring drivers.
Meijer, Wal-Mart, Aldi, and Trader Joe’s are currently hiring in various stocking and cashier roles.
Enviro-Clean is hiring for custodial services.

Tax and Financial Aid Questions:

Relief provided for this fund is not taxable and not considered income for tax purposes. We continue to maintain compliance with all IRS regulations regarding nonprofit regulations, including disaster-specific guidance published in IRS Publication 3833, Disaster Relief: Providing Assistance through Charitable Organizations. More information can be found at https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/tax-resources-for-disaster-victims

From IRS Publication 3833:

“Internal Revenue Code section 139 provides that qualified disaster relief payments from any source, including employers, reimbursing or paying individuals’ specified expenses in connection with qualified disasters are not taxable as income and are not subject to employment taxes or withholding.

A qualified disaster is defined in section 139 as a disaster that:
-results from terrorist or military actions,
-results from an accident involving a common carrier,
-is a Presidentially declared disaster, or,
-is an event that the Secretary of the Treasury determines is catastrophic.

Qualified disaster relief payments within the meaning of section 139 include payments received (regardless of the source) for the following expenses:
-reasonable and necessary personal, family, living, or funeral expenses incurred as a result of a qualified disaster,
-reasonable and necessary expenses incurred for the repair or rehabilitation of a personal residence due to a qualified disaster (a personal residence can be a rented residence or one you own), and,
-reasonable and necessary expenses incurred for the repair or replacement of the contents of a personal residence due to a qualified declared disaster.”

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