Opportunities for Veterans: A Look at Housing, Employment and Your Rights

Tuesday February 9, 2016: 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Join us for an informational panel discussion about resources for veterans and their families in Washtenaw County. Particular focus will be on housing, community re-integration, employment opportunities and supportive services.

Rebecca Rowland, M.S.W, Michigan Ability Partners. Rebecca is the Vocational Team Leader for MAP, and Co-Chair of the Hire MI Vet community initiative.

Heather Popkey, B.S.W, Michigan Ability Partners. Heather is a Veterans Services Case Manager, and administers the Supportive Services for Veteran Families program in Washtenaw County.

Sterling Meeuwen, works in Ypsilanti and is a current student at Eastern Michigan University majoring in History and Philosophy. Sterling was stationed at Fort Benning, GA as an infantryman of the United States Army from 1999-2003, serving as a combat engineer in the Republic of Korea.

Derrick Miller, Deputy Director for Community Action Network. Derrick is a 6 year Veteran of the Marine Corps, and has extensive experience working with low-income clients and service providers in the Ann Arbor area.

Peter C. Clark, Esq. Peter is a former federal prosecutor and US Army JAG attorney, and Ann Arbor native. Currently Peter works with clients to cover a wide variety of estate planning needs

Martina Wells, LCSW, LCAS- Transition & Care Management (TCM) Team Program Manager, VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System. Martina oversees the TCM program which is committed to helping Post 9/11 and OEF/OIF/OND Veterans with a seamless transition to civilian life and accessing the VA Healthcare system. Martina is also an Air Force Reservist.

Warming Center Schedule 2015-2016

Thus far, Michigan has thankfully been spared from the extremely harsh weather of years past. But for those that don't have a reliable place to stay, many hours exposed to the elements can exacerbate an already difficult situation. The Shelter Association of Washtenaw County has released the following information about the Delonis Centers' Overnight Warming Center.

Please note that interested parties must have a referral from Housing Access, and need to meet the definition of "literally homeless." You can contact Housing Access at (734) 961-1999 M, W, F 8:30 a.m.- 5:00 p.m., and T-Th 8:30 a.m.- 7:00 p.m. Drug or alcohol use are not allowed on site and is grounds for trespass.

Warming Center Details:

Opens: November 16th 2015
Closes: March 28th 2016
Sign-In is at 9:00 p.m. People may stay inside at the Delonis Center beginning at dinner until sign in. Clients must leave at 7:00 a.m. Breakfast is served at Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 304 N. Division St. beginning at 7:30 a.m.

If you have any questions, please contact Ellen Schulmeister at schule@ewashtenaw.org. Details about a Daytime Warming Center will be released at a later date.

VisionConnect™ Free Accessible App from the American Foundation for the Blind

VisionConnect™ is a new, free, accessible app for iPhones and iPads from the American Foundation for the Blind that gives support to people losing their vision. The app can also help busy rehabilitation professionals, teachers, doctors and other health care professionals as they provide information about vision rehabilitation services to individuals with vision loss and/or their families.

VisionConnect™ provides:
• A directory of services searchable by service, zip code, and distance, available in the U.S. and Canada.
• Resources and tips for living independently with a visual impairment.
• Links to useful information on VisionAware, FamilyConnect, and CareerConnect.
• Information on products and technology.
• Personal stories and employment advice.
• A way to save directory search results and email them.

You can learn more about the app at AFB VisionConnect™ App and download it for free at afb.org/apps.

Foreclosure Prevention Deadline

The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) will close its Step Forward Michigan foreclosure prevention program website to new applicants on December 31, 2015. All homeowners in need of assistance must register with Step Forward Michigan by December 31, 2015 and submit the complete application package by January 31, 2016 in order to be considered on a first come, first serve basis. Applications already received will continue to be actively reviewed. They may also call 866-946-7432 to start a Step Forward Michigan application before the deadline.

**Last Date to Apply for Funds is December 31, 2015**Foreclosure Prevention DeadlineForeclosure Prevention Deadline

Since July 2010, Michigan’s Hardest Hit Fund program has assisted over 28,381 homeowners who were unemployed, underemployed, delinquent on their mortgage, property taxes, or condominium association dues, or owed more than the value of their home. Over $253 million has been disbursed to participating mortgage lenders, counties and condominium associations.

Step Forward has paid real property taxes to counties, schools, cities, and townships since 2013 to prevent tax foreclosure. A total of 9,434 homeowners have received property tax assistance from Step Forward Michigan with a net disbursement total of $71,541,364.13. In Washtenaw County, Step Forward has paid real property taxes in the amount of almost
$2 million to nearly 200 families, preventing tax foreclosure.

Call the County Treasurer, Catherine McClary, at 734-222-6600 or e-mail taxes@ewashtenaw.org if you would like assistance in applying.

Re-Entry Creative Arts Workshop

The University of Michigan College of Literature, Science, and the Arts presents the Re-Entry Creative Arts Workshop on Fridays, 9-10:30 am from October 2 to December 11, 2015 at Catholic Social Services. Volunteers from the Prison Creative Arts Project will lead a weekly workshop with formerly incarcerated men and women and any other participants who feel that crime or incarceration have had an impact on their lives. This workshop will encourage participants to explore their creativity in a supportive community. Different means of creative expression will be explored, including writing and theater. No experience necessary! For more information, contact Marissa or Rita of Washtenaw Prisoner Reentry at 734-327-9717.

Army- Navy Wheelchair Basketball Game

Army-Navy Wheelchair Basketball GameArmy-Navy Wheelchair Basketball GameFor the 10th time in as many years, fans will experience the grit, spirit and keen competition of the University of Michigan’s Army vs. Navy Wheelchair Basketball Game.

As it is the University’s only disability related sports event, founder Gerald Hoff points out that “this is a chance to emphasize the ABILITY within ‘disability’ and to honor veterans and active-duty military, especially student veterans, and to raise awareness of and appreciation for the spirit of inclusion.”

This annual, free event will be held Sunday, November 1st. Doors open at 2:00 p.m. and tip-off is at 3:00 p.m. Other features on this day include the U-M Dance Team and Cheerleading Squad, the Men’s Glee Club and a half-time performance by the 338th Army Band.

If you require accommodations, be sure to look over Crisler Center’s Guide for Guests with a Disability, or email disability@umich.edu to make a request.

Easy English News For You

Are you an adult who is learning to read or is becoming an English Language Learner? AADL has a couple magazines that should get your attention.

The Easy English News is available at all of our branches. It contains current events written at a fourth grade reading level. It's written in a way to build your vocabulary and help you read for meaning. There's also News for You, which you can find at our downtown location or put a hold on a copy and have it sent to the location most convenient for you. Both publications have vocabulary words, puzzles and interactive websites. Spread the word!

Free Classes at MSU Extension

Michigan State University Extension helps people improve their lives by bringing the vast knowledge resources of MSU directly to individuals, communities and businesses. You can find a class by searching the event schedule here. Some of the featured free classes are:

Parenting on Your Own: Nurturing Parenting, every Thursday, 10:30 to 11:30 am at the Hope Center. To register call 734-222-3943.

Basic Money Management Course, every Thursday, 9:00 to 10:00 am at the Hope Center. To register call 734-222-3943.

Home Ownership Education, Sat. Oct. 31, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm at the Washtenaw County Learning Resource Center and Thurs. Nov. 12 & 19, 6:00 to 9:00 pm at MSU Extension Washtenaw County. To register call 734-222-9595.

Free Flu Clinics Scheduled Throughout Washtenaw County

Walgreens, United Way of Washtenaw County and FamilyWize have teamed up to help more Americans fight the flu!

As part of an ongoing commitment to helping those that are uninsured and underinsured get their flu vaccines, the flu shots will be available for those without health insurance and those unable to afford a flu shot. Click here for a list of Flu Shot Clinics throughout Washtenaw County where you can get your free flu shot! Walk-ins are welcome at all dates and locations. Contact Bupe Mulenga with questions at bmulenga@uwwashtenaw.org or 734-677-7214.

Basic ESL Courses: Learn English Online

Introducing Basic ESL®! Enter by way of "Instant Access" provided by AADL!

Basic ESL® is an online system built to help students learn English as a second language. This learning system is built with the basic building blocks of the English language including the basic vocabulary of around 2,800 words as well as the basic sentence structures that people use in their daily lives. It consists of 4 courses. Each course is a level in the language learning system. Each level consists of 5 chapters that contain 3 lessons each. The courses are geared to elementary, intermediate, high school and adult education students. You can find this resource in the language section of AADL's research databases.

Looking for more practice? The Easy English News is available at all of our branches. It contains current events written at a fourth grade reading level. It's written in a way to build your vocabulary and help you read for meaning. There's also News for You, which you can find at AADL's downtown location or put a hold on a copy and have it sent to the location most convenient for you. Both publications have vocabulary words, puzzles and interactive websites.

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