Posted by John Ester on Aug 13, 2019
Karen Emerson explained that NMCAA is a private non-profit community action agency serving ten counties in northwest lower Michigan (including Benzie County).  Its motto is "helping people by linking services, resources, and opportunities."
NMCAA has three departments: 
  • Food & Nutrition
  • Child & Family Development
  • Community Service
Within these broad categories the agency offers a variety of services.  For example under Child & Family Development the agency offers Head Start and Early Head Start programs, with weekly home visits.  It offers "one-stop shopping" in housing counseling services, which include home repairs and weatherization assistance.  NMCAA also can assist with emergency heat and utilities as funding is available. 
The agency also offers a number of financial management services:
  • A Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program 
  • Free tax preparation
  • Individual Development Accounts (IDA's)
  • Homebuyer Education
  • Financial Fitness Workshops
  • Budget CoachingForeclosure Prevention
NMCAA also offers assistance for those who are homeless or at-risk of becoming homeless.  
The agency holds meetings in its Traverse City office the third Tuesday of each month with guest speakers to help people problem-solve.  NMCAA has a Super Saturday in the 1st or 2nd week of February, which is a day of education and training for people experiencing poverty.