NEMCSA receives donations from two banks to support a new program and literacy

NEMCSA receives $10,000 from Huntington Bank to launch a new program in Northeast Michigan

Thanks to the generosity of Huntington Bank, Northeast Michigan Community Service Agency (NEMCSA) is ready to launch the new SOAR initiative program in northeast Michigan.  The SOAR initiative is the SSI/SSDI Outreach Access and Recovery program that will assist homeless or individuals at-risk of homelessness apply for SSI or SSDI and begin their path to self-sufficiency.  Under the SOAR label, SSI/SSDI applications can be fast tracked through the application process.  Individuals must also be 18 years or older and either have a mental or physical illness that affects their ability to work. 

NEMCSA currently has three SOAR Case Managers who will partner with our Housing program to identify qualifying individuals.  Once applicants are identified, the SOAR Case Managers will work with the client on completing the application paperwork, gathering all medical records, obtaining statements from previous employers and/or family members, and act as the liaison between the client and Social Security Administration.


Nikki Amrich, Financial & Support Services Manager

Katrina Kendall-Thompson, Client Services Program Intake Liaison

Rosemarie Pokorski, Client Services Program Intake Liaison

The SOAR Case Managers will compile the information and complete a Medical Summary Report identifying the key factors that may be preventing the client from being able to work. Although SOAR is not a guarantee of eligibility, SOAR Case Managers are specifically trained to identify the areas of functioning which include understanding, remembering or applying information, interacting with others, concentrate, persist, or maintain pace, and how they adapt or manage oneself.

SOAR is an underfunded program across the nation and with Huntington Bank’s donation, NEMCSA is able to bring the benefits of SOAR to our Community.


Chemical Bank has donated $2,500 to Northeast Michigan Community Services

 as part of the 2019 Literacy Program

Thanks to Chemical Bank’s donation to Northeast Michigan Community Service Agency, NEMCSA, more individuals will be given the services tools they need to succeed. NEMCSA Heat & Utility Program will be developing a collaborative effort with the Weatherization program and Financial Literacy Programs to provide specific energy education and budgeting classes that would benefit all participants, regardless of which program they initially enroll in.  The goal is to teach individuals ways to reduce energy use, such as hanging clothes to dry or unplugging electronics, and how these expenses affect their monthly budgets.  Developing the necessary skills to evaluate their individual situation will put them in control of their own decisions, ultimately gaining self-sufficiency. 

Pictured: Laura Parks-Werda, Assistant Vice President, Banking Center Manager II for Chemical Bank

Nikki Amrich, Financial & Support Services Manager (NEMCSA)


NEMCSA’s Heat & Utility Program has dedicated staff that are trained to identify needs and assist households towards self-sufficiency by providing services that include case management, financial budgeting, and energy education.