Community Action Alger Marquette helps during pandemic

North Central UP

MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) – Community Action of Alger and Marquette has added additional resources for people struggling during COVID-19.

Executive Director Michelle LaJoie, says they are the Housing Assessment and Resource Agency for the ten central counties in the Upper Peninsula. They helped administer funding from the Michigan State Housing Development authority through their Eviction Diversion Program.

“We are able to assist eligible tenants with rental arrearages that they are experiencing,” said LaJoie. “Many of the local landlords have worked with the program to keep their tenant housed and not put them in the homeless system.”

They were able to prevent eviction for many people because of their community partnerships. LaJoie says they work with local planning bodies to get word out to community members that the program is available.

“We couldn’t do this work without the great partners that we have such as UPCAP’s mediation services and the Marquette Alger Resolution Services,” said LaJoie. “With the Eviction Diversion Program we were able to help 160 households with rental arrearages which total around $400,000.”

Community Action has many partnerships within the community. When Room at the Inn began experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak several community organizations stepped up to help.

“We partnered with Room at the Inn, Superior Housing Solutions and the Marquette County Health Department to provide essential housing services from the agencies, our agencies COVID emergency funding for the guests that are required to be quarantined,” said LaJoie.

They also provided water assistance to households.  Community action administered the MDHHS Water Repair Assistance Program to households with no access to water in their homes.

“That is to help with plumbing repairs so that individuals were able to wash their hands, take a shower, use their commode,” said LaJoie. “So that making sure that the plumbing was working properly.”

They provided 8 households with assistance for plumbing repairs and helped around 307 households with preventing water from being shut off. Additionally, they have continued to provide meals on wheels for seniors and children in their Head Start program.

LaJoie says isolation has been one of the most difficult things especially for seniors during this time and Meals on Wheels has helped them keep in contact with one other individual a day. She says anyone needing help should reach out to Community Action.

“If we don’t have the program ourselves we know of other service providers in the area that may be able to help,” said LaJoie.

Their programs can be found at the Community Action Alger Marquette website. The Eviction Diversion Program ends December 31.

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