United Way of Washtenaw County awarded $275,000 Michigan Enhancement Grant

“When families become financially stable, our whole community thrives.”

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Tree Town-based nonprofit organization United Way of Washtenaw County has received $275,000 to fund its financial coaching and tax help programs.

The Michigan Enhancement Grant will support the programs over two years, allowing the organization to provide free financial help and services to county community members in need.

“I am so excited to see all the great work United Way of Washtenaw County will be able to do with this grant funding,” State Representative Felicia Brabec said in a statement.

“We know that our community has work to do in terms of addressing the equity gap. Offering financial stabilization and workforce development programs will improve the overall economic stability of our community and help to ensure that our residents can realize their full potential, regardless of their zip code. I am so pleased we were able to secure state funding for this all-important work.”

Brabec, who represents Michigan’s 55th District, led efforts for the funding and helped the Ann Arbor organization with the grant, UWWC officials said.

United Way of Washtenaw County recently announced its partnership with TrustPlus to offer no-cost, virtual one-on-one financial coaching and advice.

Read: United Way of Washtenaw County partnership offers free financial advice for area residents

The state funded grant monies will support the counseling resource as well as the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, which provides no-cost tax preparation services to low or moderate income community members in the county.

“Filing taxes is a key part of building financial stability and independence. Tax returns are needed to access housing supports, for mortgage loan approval, and to verify income for other benefits. Tax refunds are often the single largest sum of money a family will receive in a year and can act as a savings plan, an opportunity to pay down debt, or fund larger purchases such as replacing a car,” said UWWC president and CEO Pam Smith.

“When families become financially stable, our whole community thrives.”

Those wanting to use the TrustPlus resource can text UNITEDWAY to 646-349-5959 or make appointments on the TrustPlus website.

Appointments for the VITA program can be made by calling 2-1-1 or 1-800-552-1183. Learn more here.

About the Author:

Sarah has worked for WDIV since June 2018. She covers community events, good eats and small businesses in Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics from Grand Valley State University.