The Need For Emergency Assistance

WHAT IS THE STATE OF EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE IN BERRIEN AND CASS COUNTIES?

Emergency assistance is a crucial support to help families who normally make ends meet but need help in times of crisis. As the weather gets colder things often get harder for those living in poverty. Heating costs rise in the winter and United Way's referral system, 2-1-1, has already received 624 requests for utility assistance this winter. In the 2015-16 school year 812 children were homeless in Berrien County and 267 in Cass County.

 

WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT TO INVEST IN EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE?

Sometimes people need a safety net. That is why United Way believes it is important to invest in people during life's toughest moments. If people cannot afford to keep the lights on or put food on they table, that is going to effect other parts of their life dramatically. For example, it's hard to do well at school if your always hungry or it gets hard to pay for transportation to work when all your money goes to keep your house heated.

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Over a year ago, April’s mom was diagnosed with cancer and had trouble paying for food while absorbing the high costs of her medicine.  April utilized the Mobile Pantry Program through Feeding America of West Michigan, which allowed her mother to take the medicine she needed while eating enough healthy food.

UNITED WAY'S IMPACT

United Way knows that crises happen and we believe that we must support each other during those times. People should have their basic needs meet: A safe place to stay, a full stomach, and a safety net for when life throws us a curve. That’s why we fund the programs below to insure that we have a firm backing for support for all.