January 2020
Your monthly news & updates
The Muskegon Millage Minute is your source for regular updates on programs and services funded by the Muskegon County Senior Millage, which was approved by county voters in August of 2016.

Members of the Muskegon County Senior Activities Committee (MCSAC) make recommendations for programs and services to the full board of commissioners. MCSAC members are: Commissioners Marcia Hovey-Wright, Ken Mahoney, and Rillastine Wilkins; Sharon Ackerman, Judy Kell, Nancy McCarthy, Janet Perreault, Greg Scott, and Pat Shafer.

Senior Resources of West Michigan, the area agency on aging for Muskegon, Oceana and Ottawa counties, is the administrator of the funds, and produces this monthly newsletter update. If you have questions about the Muskegon County Senior Millage, please contact Karla Betten at Senior Resources, 231-733-3593, or email kbetten@seniorresourceswmi.org. Contact Lisa Tyler, communications director, at ltyler@seniorresourceswmi.org, if there is something specific you'd like to see covered in a future newsletter.
Collaboration leads to successful home repairs for home owner

Marie is an older adult still living in the home she raised her family in. She is a tiny, quiet woman who has always tried to make her own way and does not easily ask for a helping hand. Her home sits far back off the road in the woods, and has had little in renovations or repairs done for decades. When she was brought into the Pathways to Better Health Program through the Health Project, Marie's home needed major repairs to make it a warm, safe home.

The first problem was a leaky, drafty roof. An USDA urban renewal grant provided some of the funding, allowing the project to be done in stages. At this time, the roof over the main part of the house has been completed, and the back portion will be finished when weather allows.

Marie's home had no furnace. For years, after their fuel oil furnace quit working, the home had been heated by a small wood stove in the living room, but the heat did not really spread through the house into the upstairs bedrooms. The family spent many chilly January nights dressed in layers and quilts.

A heating company came in to do an estimate. DTE was contacted to explain that Marie's family would not be able to afford the fees for gas line installation beyond what is covered by the company. DTE agreed to pay for the additional gas line installation, and additional funding for emergency furnace replacement was found.

But funding was still several thousand dollars short. DHHS approved the remaining funds needed, with enough additional funding to finish the repairs on the roof when the time comes. A company installed the duct work and furnace, contracted the needed electrical upgrades, and added additional insulation in Marie's attic to help keep her home warm. DTE has made several trips to the site and installed the meter and inspected the furnace and lines. Now, for the first time in many, many years, Marie will not have to bring in wood for the little stove in her living room to try and keep warm.

Because of the generosity and cooperation of community partners such as DTE, Bowen Heating, Muskegon County, the USDA, and State of Michigan, Marie and her family will enjoy the first of what will hopefully be many, many warm and comfortable holiday seasons. 
Coming Soon - Muskegon County Senior Millage video series

Staff and volunteers from millage-funded programs recently filmed several short video segments that will soon be available for sharing. Lauren Stanton and Andy O'Riley learned more about senior millage-funded programs and services, and will be sharing that information in a series of short videos. Stay tuned to this newsletter, as well as the Muskegon County Senior Millage Facebook page, and https://seniorresourceswmi.org/muskegon-county-senior-millage/ for updates.

In the photos above, at left, Lauren Stanton interviews Liz Keegan of Fair Housing Center of West Michigan, and Kris Collee of AgeWell Services; above, right, Andy O'Riley talks with Morgan Kantola of the MCC Lakeshore Fitness Center and Carla Eenigenburg of the Muskegon YMCA.
Resident is thankful for millage-funded Senior Medical Transportation services

The Senior Transportation program at AgeWell Services, which receives senior millage funding, recently received the following letter from a participant:

"Please share with all your wonderful employees and volunteers how much it means to people like me to have this wonderful service. Without your help my life would be far more difficult.

"I began losing my vision several years ago, then, in 2012 my husband passed on. now, at the age of 80 ... I'm able to continue living independently thanks to all of you. I do not know how I would get to medical appointments without your help. I have no family here, tax service would be prohibitively costly, and imposing on friends and neighbors would be asking too much.

"The people who schedule my transportation, and the volunteer drivers are treasured friends. I've met so many wonderful, caring and interesting people associated with your service. You all are a true blessing to me."
Snow removal phone number listed
Living Word Church in Muskegon was awarded millage funding by the Muskegon County Board of Commissioners for snow removal for qualifying older adults in Muskegon County. To find out more about qualifications, call 231-288-5595.
Your senior millage dollars at work!