Community action forms the core of the work done by the Northeast Michigan Community Service Agency (NEMCSA). From developing parks and playgrounds to programs that begin before birth and continue into old age, NEMCSA’s aim is to strengthen individuals and neighborhoods facing major economic and social challenges.
“NEMCSA was established in 1968, just a few years after President Johnson declared the war on poverty,” says Lisa Bolen, NEMCSA’s executive director. “In the last 50 years, we’ve evolved to deliver care from pre-natal to end of life.”
In 2017 alone, NEMCSA helped more than 5,200 children and youth, nearly 9,000 households, and 612,374 homebound individuals and seniors receive meals.
“We work in so many different ways, I don’t think people realize how many people are directly impacted by our programs across the 21 counties we serve,” says Bolen.
Nurturing success and independence
Childhood programs begin with care for expectant mothers and children up to age 3 and continue with programs that set kids up for success in elementary school and beyond.
“Our hope is to intervene early so children start school on the right foot,” says Bolen.
For those at the other end of life, NEMCSA works with Area Agencies on Aging in 12 counties to offer programs for seniors that enhance independence and quality of life. Services include everything from food assistance and help deciding on a Medicare plan to volunteer programs that provide seniors with companionship and opportunities to put their skills to use in their communities.
Services also include financial coaching for first-time home buyers, help with school expenses, clothing and other needs for older adults caring for grandchildren, and a weatherization program that pairs improved home insulation with smart thermostats that track energy use.
It’s part of NEMCSA’s mission to use its resources wisely, and Huntington helps meet that goal—in addition to assisting with making other goals a reality.
Bolen says, “Nick Florian, Huntington’s community president for the Northern Michigan Region, is a NEMCSA board member. He has assisted in many areas, from providing financial guidance, general organization oversight, to identifying potential funding sources. Huntington is actively looking to make our communities stronger.”
About the organization
City: Alpena, MIchigan
Phone: (989) 356-3474
Mission: To provide quality programs and services to strengthen and enhance the self-sufficiency of individuals, families, and communities
How you can help
Individual donations of any size help NEMCSA fulfill its mission. Donate at nemcsa.org/donate.