Nonprofit spends millions on Northern Michigan childhood development


MIO — The Northeast Michigan Community Service Agency donated nearly 300,000 hours’ worth of service to its constituents in 11 local counties in 2017.

NEMCSA Outreach and Communication Officer Frances Whitney approached the Oscoda County commissioners at their Aug. 28 workshop meeting in order to give its annual report. During the report she mentioned that this year marks 50 years of service to Northern Michigan communities. Whitney said the organization's goal is to alleviate the causes and conditions of poverty for Northern Michigan communities.

Last year the program was 50 percent funded by the federal government, which provided $27 million. The state provided 41 percent of the funding at roughly $23 million. The final 9 percent was funded by local sources, which added up to roughly $4 million.

NEMCSA spent roughly 50 percent of its budget on early childhood services and 25 percent on its other community-based care programs. The rest was split between youth services, senior services, volunteer programs, community development and management costs.

Whitney said last year the group helped to care for more than 3,000 children through its early childhood services. Those services include early childhood education, family engagement, physical and mental healthcare, nutrition and support for children with disabilities. She said NEMCSA employs roughly 700 people across the state, and nearly 500 of them work for its early childhood development programs.

NEMCSA also provided assistance to slightly more than 2,200 students in primary and secondary school. The School Success program identifies children who are struggling academically and finds ways to assist them, whether the issues they’re facing originate at home or in the classroom.

According to Whitney, nearly 9,000 homes received supplemental food assistance through donations of food boxes, and more than 600,000 meals were provided to seniors and homebound individuals. Overall that program, among others, helped more than 11,000 seniors maintain an independent lifestyle.

In addition to the different programs for children and seniors, Whitney said NEMCSA also provided more than $450,000 worth of emergency payments to families in need. Those payments were disbursed in the form of tax, rental and utility supplementation programs, among other things.


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