A New Income and Lease on Life
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A New Income and Lease on Life


The city of Detroit has fallen on hard times recently, and so have its citizens. Mr. D, 57, was living in an abandoned house in the city that his uncle had left him, which had a utility bill in arrearage at $5,000.

When he approached the Detroit Economic Security Service Center—one of a network of centers supported by NCOA that provides holistic assistance for older adults struggling financially—Mr. D’s only source of income was $200 per month in food stamps. The Service Center helped Mr. D formulate an economic security action plan whose first task was to address his main concern: increasing his income and getting help with his utility bill.

The economic security case worker, a trained enrollee in the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), helped Mr. D to get:

  • $1,187 in monthly Social Security Disability benefits;
  • Utility assistance of $1,700 from the Wayne County Department of Human Services' State Emergency Relief (SER) fund; and
  • A $69.50 monthly bus pass for transportation.

As a result of this critically needed assistance, Mr. D. reported that his self-esteem has greatly improved and he feels like he has a new life.


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