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Money Smart Classes for Adults

Wed, 01/20/2016 - 3:35pm


Through partnership with United Way, [|Washtenaw Literacy] is offering free classes that include [|financial literacy] curriculum professionally prepared by [|FDIC] and presented by a staff member from [|United Way of Washtenaw County]. Sessions will be 1-2:30 on Wednesdays, February 3 through April 6 at the [,-83.581935/@42.226579,-83.581935,17z|Community Opportunity Center Computer Lab] (1301 S. Harris in Ypsilanti). The curriculum will be presented 1-1:45, then, tutors will be available to help folks review materials, complete graphic organizers, and more. This is a great opportunity to improve your Money Smart knowledge! To register, or for more information, call 734-879-1320.

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Dawn Farm's Education Series Continues...

Tue, 01/19/2016 - 11:14am


The public is invited to Dawn Farm’s free [|Educational Series]. All programs are presented in the [,-83.7142224,13z|St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Education Center] auditorium, at 5305 Elliott Drive in Ypsilanti. The Education Series schedule can be found here. You can also contact Dawn Farm at 734-485-8725 or All are welcome to attend! Registration is not required.

On Tuesday January 19, 2016 from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm Dr. Kevin T. McCauley, MD; co-founder of the Institute on Addiction Study; writer of the award-winning DVD [|Pleasure Unwoven] will present a free program on “The Brain and Recovery: An Update on Neuroscience of Addiction .” The last twenty years produced an explosion of understanding not only about addiction but how our brains enable our most human capacities such as hedonic valuation and decision-making. This talk will summarize the most current neuroscientific research about addiction - research that explains how the brain constructs pleasurable experiences, what happens when this process goes wrong, and why this can have a dramatic impact in our ability to make proper choices. There will also be a free reception from 6:30 to 7:30 pm, with snacks, beverages, and an opportunity to meet and socialize.

On Tuesday January 26, 2016 from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm [|Professor Stephen Strobbe, PhD, RN; Clinical Associate Professor, University of Michigan School of Nursing, and the Department of Psychiatry] will present a free program on Telling Our Stories: Narratives for Recovery in Alcoholics Anonymous. Storytelling has always been an important part of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Dr. Strobbe examined 24 new personal stories in the [|4th edition of the Big Book of A.A.], and found that these accounts shared certain elements and structures. Dr. Strobbe will describe a model to help us better understand and appreciate these transformative narratives.

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Encuesta Buenos Vecinos Latino Health Survey

Thu, 01/14/2016 - 10:00am


The Encuesta Buenos Vecinos (EBV) Community Leadership Team is pleased to share the results of Washtenaw County's first, comprehensive Latino health survey. The report is available in English and Spanish. [|The EBV report] is the result of an innovative, multiyear collaboration with the Latino community. Over 500 Latinos in Washtenaw County participated. The report describes the process, results and future goals. For more information about the EBV collaboration, please contact Adreanne Waller at or 734-544-3057.

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PIT Count 2016

Wed, 01/13/2016 - 2:43pm

[img_assist|nid=327047|title=PIT Count 2016|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=100]Every January, Washtenaw County takes part in the Point-in-Time count, as required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Point-in-Time count, or PIT count, is the night when homeless service provider staff and volunteers will canvass the streets of Washtenaw County to count the number of persons who are unsheltered on one night in our community. Our community's 2016 unsheltered PIT count will occur between 4 a.m.- 8 a.m. on Wednesday, January 28, 2016. If you are interested in volunteering as part of a street canvassing team, please complete [|this] form.

*For social service providers: if you know of someone who is currently sleeping in an unsheltered situation (on the streets, in car, etc.), please contact Heather Nash, the [|Washtenaw Housing Alliance’s] Communications & Administrative Assistant as soon as possible, at or (734) 222-6544. Include the number of people, and details about their location.

If you or someone you know is in an unstable housing situation, please contact Housing Access of Washtenaw County at (734) 761-1999 to speak with a housing specialist.

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University of Michigan Housing Bureau for Seniors Tax Preparation Assistance

Wed, 01/13/2016 - 2:38pm


The [|University of Michigan Housing Bureau for Seniors] is offering assistance with federal and state tax returns, [|back taxes], property tax concerns, and [|poverty exemption] applications to lower property tax bills. There are no age limits for these services. Assistance will be available on Fridays from February 6 to April 8 and on Wednesdays February 10, March 9 & and March 30. There is limited walk-in availability, and appointments are preferred. To make an appointment, call Dare Adewole at 734-998-9341.

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Want to Save Yourself Money This Tax Season?

Fri, 01/08/2016 - 3:58pm


[|Volunteer Income Tax Assistance] (VITA) is a nationwide program sponsored by the IRS that is available during tax season. Volunteers provide basic tax preparation assistance to individuals and families with a household income of approximately $53,000 a year or less. An alternative program helps you prepare your own taxes if your income is below $60,000 a year.

This service allows low-income families to file their taxes for free - without expensive tax prep services or predatory refund-anticipation loans. The [|United Way of Washtenaw County] VITA program also helps you receive valuable tax credits or programs that you may be eligible for, such as the [|Earned Income Tax Credit] and [,4676,7-238-43513_66852-330928--,00.html|Home Heating Credit].

The VITA Program ensures that low-income individuals receive the maximum refund possible, to meet their own pressing basic needs or save for the future. In 2015, the United Way of Washtenaw County VITA Program returned approximately $375,000 to the community.

The United Way of Washtenaw County VITA Program offers a few services:

* Full-service tax preparation: Available by appointment only, February 4-April 6. Schedule your appointment now by calling 734-677-7235 or email

* Onsite or At-Home Self-Preparation: For taxpayers that do not qualify for full-service tax prep or those who prefer to do their own taxes with a "coach" available. Tax coach assistance is available over the phone or onsite if you have questions or need help. Free help is available from 1-855-698-9435. [|] is a free service for individuals with a combined income of $62,000 or less in 2015. Access from any computer with internet access and file your taxes for free.

* Scan & Go: For qualifying tax clients at select locations. Have your documents scanned and your tax return will be prepared off-site to be picked up by you in one or two weeks.

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Leading a Self-Determined Life...

Mon, 01/04/2016 - 2:16pm


For people with disabilities, navigating social support systems & government benefits can be an uphill climb. Listen to a couple of local self-advocates- Peg Ball and Lloyd Shelton- share their take on the best ways to engage in self-advocacy in the areas of Public Benefits, Education, [|Housing] & Careers. Peg is a life coach,a person with a disability and has extensive experience with both Center for Independent Living and PPA. Lloyd now works for U of M after getting his MSW there, and is an organizer for students with disabilities at the University. The workshop will be held at the [|Center for Independent Living] on Thursday, January 7th from 3:00-4:30 PM. The talk is sponsored by [|Partners in Personal Assistance] in partnership with the CIL. Please RSVP by calling PPA, 734-214-3890 or CIL, 734-971-0277.

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Warming Centers and Stations Up and Running for Winter

Mon, 12/28/2015 - 2:18pm


Washtenaw County is again expanding its daytime and overnight warming to provide [|safe, warm spaces for individuals] experiencing homelessness during severe winter weather.

To address these very real needs, the Winter Emergency Shelter/Warming Center Response work group has worked with local agency partners to provide additional beds this winter. In addition to the 50 beds at the Delonis Shelter, an [|Overnight Warming Center] will be hosted by three congregations on a rotating basis thru March 30th of 2015 from 7pm-7am, and operated by Shelter Association of Washtenaw County (SAWC).

Overnight Warming Center participants are required to check in between 7 pm and 8 pm at Delonis Center, 312 West Huron Street. Individuals will be screened for access to housing resources, then will be bused to the offsite location. At 7:00 am each morning, participants will be transported to the Saint Andrew’s breakfast program.

The [|Daytime Warming Centers] will be open 9 am-4 pm each day and participants will be required to give their name every day they attend to keep track of the community need. Monday-Friday daytime warming center will be at the churches on a rotation basis, with the Delonis Center operating Saturday and Sunday from 7:45 am to 7 pm.

In cases of extreme cold, when public schools are closed (20 below, with or without wind chill), additional temporary warming stations will also be available to any Washtenaw County resident. Individuals in Washtenaw County who are at risk of or experiencing homelessness can call 734-961-1999. For more information about the warming center, please contact Andrea Plevek at or 734-544-3039.

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Tiny Expo: Indie Art & Craft Fair

Saturday December 12, 2015: 11:00am to 5:30pm
Downtown Library Lobby

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Free safety gear

Thu, 12/03/2015 - 4:13pm

[img_assist|nid=325890|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=67]The getDowntown program and the Downtown Development Authority are looking to supply commuters with free reflective gear. Beginning this month, employees who work in Downtown Ann Arbor have access to free lights and reflective wrist and ankle bands to keep them safe on their trek to and from work. Those that are interested can stop by the getDowntown office located at the Blake Transit Center, 328 S. Fifth Ave., or email to request delivery of an item to any downtown work place.

Ride on, and travel safe!