People Care by Consumers Energy

Jun 13, 2013

Since 1983, donations from Consumers Energy, its customers and employees have allowed The Salvation Army to help more than 375,000 Michigan households with assistance, ranging from food to transportation to medical needs.

The Salvation Army caseworkers also distribute PeopleCare bill credits to Consumers Energy’s low-income gas and electric customers. When funds from another source are available, caseworkers also can use bill credits to match those funds. ">The following is a sampling of PeopleCare case scenarios reported by Salvation Army caseworkers from 36 participating corps and three service extensions located in Consumers Energy service territory throughout Michigan.

AIDS: A man living with AIDS, who also was grieving the loss of his wife to cancer and caring for his two granddaughters, needed help with the arrearages that had accrued while on the Consumers Energy Winter Protection Plan. He did not have enough money to pay his electric bill. We were able to assist him and help him avoid having his electricity shut-off.

DEATH OF CHILD: A single mother, whose newborn daughter died, needed help paying for her daughter’s casket. The funeral home agreed to cover all additional costs, and we were able to pay for the casket.

DISABILITY/APPLIANCE REPLACEMENT: A single mom with two children living on Supplemental Security Income and Family Independence Program assistance was in need of a new refrigerator. When her refrigerator quit working, she could not afford to purchase a new one. We were able to assist her with the purchase of a used refrigerator, which she helped pay for.

ELDERLY/COST OF PRESCRIPTIONS: An elderly couple with medical expenses, including prescription co-pays, exceeding $1,000 each month came in to see us about their electric bill. As they fell behind each month on their electric bill, the arrearages kept on accumulating and eventually they received a shut-off notice. We were able to assist them and keep their electric service on.

ELDERLY/SEPTIC REPAIR: An elderly woman contacted us in need of assistance to pay for her septic tank to be emptied. The tank was full and all of the drains in her home were backing up. This situation had lasted for nearly seven months, and she compared the smell of her home to that of a sewage dump. In the meantime, she was using a bucket for a commode. We were able to pay the entire amount necessary to have her septic tank emptied.

HOMELESSNESS: A homeless couple that had been living in a campground came in looking for assistance. They had found a place to live and needed help with the initial costs associated with securing a home. We were able to assist this couple and as a result, they are no longer homeless.

LOSS OF JOB: A single father lost his job because the business he was working for closed. His electricity had already been shut off for a month when he contacted us. We were able to work in conjunction with other area agencies to pay the balance due and have service restored. >WIDOW: A recently widowed woman, left with no income, needed help covering the funeral costs of her late husband. We were able to help assist her with this cost so that she could lay her husband to rest.

WORKING STUDENT: A young woman came to us in need of rental assistance. Her mother had struggled with a drug addiction since her childhood, and she never knew her father. Her grandmother, who is stricken with cancer, raised her from birth. In an effort to reduce stress on her grandmother, she moved out to care for herself at the age of 18. She was enrolled full time at a local university and was working part time in a group home. Although she was beating the odds, she was faced with the obstacles of attending school and maintaining a household. We were able to assist with her rent so she could not only remain in her home, but also in school.

(taken from Consumers Energy)

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