FIA primarily serves people in the Chelsea and Dexter school districts with food pantry access and emergency financial services, and the Scio Farms neighborhood with food pantry access.
IF YOU NEED HELP Call during business hours, or complete this online Covid-Related Assistance Form anytime.
- NO DONATIONS OF HOUSEHOLD ITEMS, CLOTHING, OR DURABLE MEDICAL EQUIPMENT are being accepted at this time. We hope to resume taking items in early 2021. Please hang on to items until then if possible. DO NOT DROP OFF ITEMS until we resume collections.
- Emergency food pantry: Based on household income, food to last 3-5 days will be provided, along with household supplies. FIA is happy to accept frozen and perishable items as space permits. Food Gatherers, the premier organization that conducts food rescue in Washtenaw County, and local donors, provide the food for our pantry. We routinely provide food for 100 or more households each month.
- Clothing and Household Goods: Donated from local sources and shared with area families, the clothing room is available to anyone free of charge. Whether you’re starting up a new household or simply stretching limited resources, you may shop at the FIA Clothing Room every two weeks up to 12 times each year, 3 grocery bags of items/visit. An average of 10-15 family groups shop the Clothing Room each day.
- Benefits Access: FIA and outside help will help you file an application for SNAP, Medicaid, and other publicly funded programs, help you set up an online MIBridges account, or check the status of your application.
- Resume Support: Volunteer experts in resume construction and job skills assessment help people in their search for employment, available by appointment.
- Advocacy: Professional social work staff can advocate and help people connect with resources needed to stabilize their family situations. FIA provides information and appropriate referrals to clients for services provided by other agencies, and to congregations seeking help with requests that are coming into their church offices.
- Financial help with heat, electric, water, and rent: Income qualified families are eligible to receive help when they have received a shut-off notice or notice to quit/eviction. Staff will negotiate with utility companies and landlords to make sure there is clear understanding of expectations.
- Free Medical Equipment Closet: Donated durable medical equipment is made available to anyone who needs it on an as-needed basis.
- Furniture: FIA staff can provide escorted referral to the Kiwanis sale room for needed furniture items. See Doug or Nancy for info.
- Preschool Scholarship Program: FIA has limited funds available to help at risk children access early childhood education in an area preschool programs.
- Back to School Sponsorship Program: Individuals and groups sponsor a school child (privacy protected) and supply them with a new backpack, school supplies, and a new outfit to help them make a good start to the new school year. In 2015, 135 school children received backpacks.
- Christmas Family Sponsorship: Individuals and groups sponsor a low income family (privacy protected) and shop for Christmas items. Items are wrapped and delivered to FIA for distribution.
- Thanksgiving Food Baskets: A full holiday meal is supplied to needy families.
- Christmas Day Meal: A community meal is coordinated with local volunteers so no one eats alone on Christmas.
- Counseling: Counseling is available through local providers with FIA subsidy.
- Homelessness Prevention: FIA staff help people negotiate the wider service community to find housing, with shower and laundry facilities, as well as emergency food supplies, available on site.