The city of Detroit has been hit hard by economic decline. Many of Detroit seniors who have worked hard all of their lives are now subjected to living in neighborhoods that are exposed to blight and crime. As Detroit works to rebuild and revitalize this once-thriving city, many local agencies are pulling together programs to help Detroit’s seniors remain in their own homes while feeling safe. Thanks to volunteers and concerned citizens, Detroit’s seniors have access to help with rent, utilities, food, and transportation.
Focus: Hope is a program that provides food to low income seniors and families with the idea that taking the focus off hunger gives families hope for improving other areas of their lives. For many Detroit seniors, a weekly box of food is their main source of nutritious food. The savings can be used to pay housing and other living expenses. Signs at the food bank are displayed in English Spanish, and Arabic. Community volunteers deliver food to homebound seniors.
The Detroit Meals on Wheels program provides up to five nutritious hot meals or five frozen meals per week to seniors age 60 and over. Participants must be homebound, unable to cook for themselves, and not have anyone available to cook meals for them. The program also provides liquid nutrition for older adults whose doctors prescribed a diet of liquid food. Meals on Wheels receives funds from state and federal programs. This program serves Detroit and the areas of Hamtramck, Highland Park, Harper Woods, and the five Grosse Pointe neighborhoods.
Wayne County Metropolitan Community Action offers many different programs to help seniors.
Wayne Metro’s Weatherization Assistance Program
With the intent on saving energy costs, the U.S. Department of Energy funds a program for low-income families that offers financial assistance to make energy efficient repairs to their homes. Here is a list of some of the things that can be funded:
Window Repair/Replacement Attic, Floor, or Wall Insulation Steel Replacement Doors Storm Windows Roof Replacement (in some cases) Programmable Thermostat Compact Fluorescent Bulbs Furnace and Duct Replacement or Repair Roof Repairs Ceiling and Wall Repairs Smoke Detectors
Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency and Out-Wayne County municipalities joined forces to strengthen and revitalize Wayne County residential neighborhoods. Using the Community Development Block Grant, homeowners can get financial assistance for repairs and renovations to make their homes safe, livable, and modern. They can also obtain home loans at 0% interest.
Utility Bill Help
The Detroit Area Agency on Aging offers transportation in and around the city. Services are offered by SMART, DDOT, and Detroit Agency on Aging at low cost. SMART offers regional passes, 31 day passes, and offers a discount for seniors. Smart also offers trip planner tools, real time trip trackers for ease of use, and the most accurate information.
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