Emergency Services Initiative

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This program is designed to assist low-income households that are normally able to meet their needs, but may need a hand up when unexpected emergencies arise. This program also targets those individuals who continue to fall into crises because of their low-income status. By stabilizing the emergencies, the initiative seeks to prevent a short-term situation for the members-in-need from snowballing into a long-term crisis. This is a one-time award program with a maximum grant amount of up to $400*.

Emergency situations impacting families that may be covered include, but are not limited to, the following circumstances:

  • Housing (substandard structure, threat of loss)
  • Transportation (light car repair or insurance needed to keep employment. Applicant will need to be enrolled in work related program)
  • Major appliance repair
  • Utilities (threatened shut-off)
  • Catastrophic Events-See subsection A*

Members seeking assistance through this program must fall within the household composition and income guidelines listed below.

Eligible households must be no more than 200% of poverty income requirements based on U.S. Department of Health and Human Services poverty guidelines.


Income Guidelines

200% of
1 $27,180
2 $36,620
3 $46,060
4 $55,500
5 $64,940
6 $74,380
7 $83,820
8 $93,260

To apply, download the application below, call or come into the Social Services Department at 58620 Sink Road, Dowagiac. Phone number (269) 782-4300 or 1-800-517-0777 or you may fax information to (269) 782-4295. The following items will need to be provided:

  • Proof of all household income is needed:
    1. Most recent income tax return and/or
    2. Proof of last 30 days of income, including Per Capita, and/or
    3. Award letters from (SSI, RSDI, Elder’s Stipend, VA, etc…), and/or
    4. Child Support received or paid, or
    5. Completion of zero income form if those above do not apply.
  • Proof of emergency
  • Tribal identification

Subsection A: Catastrophic Events

The Catastrophic Events portion of Emergency Services Initiative, is financial assistance targeted for those families or condition that do not meet program guidelines otherwise.  The family may have experienced a total loss and are unable to meet their basic needs of food, clothing and shelter as a result of the catastrophic event. The funding is intended to assist in preserving a family's ability to cope with the responsibilities which accompany a catastrophic situation. The maximum award amount for catastrophic events is $2,500. Items that may be covered, but are not limited to, the following circumstances:

  • House fire (major)
  • Natural Disasters-tornado, flood, etc

The Catastrophic Events portion of the Emergency Initiative Program is not specifically bond by income guidelines as an eligibility measure.

The applicant shall have the sole burden of proving his or her eligibility under this program.