What is the Diocesan Heating Assistance Program?
The Diocesan Heating Assistance Program is now closed for the season. Funds will become available again in January 2016. Additional information about those served by the 2015 season will be updated here in the weeks to come. Thanks to all who worked so hard to support this program!
The Diocesean Heating Assistance Program (DHAP) provides emergency heating assistance to needy persons residing within the nine counties of the Diocese of Kalamazoo (Allegan, Barry, Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo, St Joseph, and Van Buren counties). The program begins January 5th, 2015 and ends March 30th (or earlier if no funds remain). Services are performed by Heating Assistance Volunteers at Catholic Charities. The program helps needy persons defray heating expenses and obtain heating resources (fuel oil, natural gas, electricity, firewood, etc).
The DHAP is funded through a special collection taken one weekend in November -- with funds contributed from more than 50 parishes and missions across the Diocese of Kalamazoo. Parishes/missions may keep 20% of the funds collected for local use, serving the poor and vulnerable. The remaining 80% is contributed to the DHAP Fund and given out to families in need.
To apply for assistance through this program, call your local parish/mission Heating Assistance Volunteer (HAV) between January 5, 2015 and the end of March 2015 (exact date will be posted here as funds are used). To obtain the name of your local HAV, contact Catholic Charities via e-mail at
and include your address in the e-mail or call 269-381-9800 during business hours. A maximum of $250 is set for each eligible family.
What is the Michigan Energy Assistance Program?
The Michigan Energy Assistance Program (MEAP) is funded through a grant and managed by the St Vincent de Paul Society in Detroit, Michigan. In order to be eligible for heating assistance through MEAP, an applicant must:
- Have an income at or below 150% of the poverty level.
- Have a source of income (food stamps do qualify as an income source).
- Have a valid State of Michigan photo identification which matches the address on the utility bill. The name on the bill must also match the name on the photo identification.
- Have made payments from their personal finances of $450 for a combined (or $225 for a single) utility bill in the last six months.
- Have an overall bill of between $250-$3,500 for a combined (or $200-$2,000 for a single) utility account.
An applicant can access both MEAP and DHAP assistance through the Housing Assistance Volunteer (HAV) at their local parish. To obtain the name of your local HAV, contact Catholic Charities via e-mail at
and include your address in the e-mail or call 269-381-9800 during business hours.
The HAV will screen the applicant to determine if they are eligible and, if so, will schedule an appointment to complete the application. During this meeting, the applicant should bring the State of Michigan photo identification, proof of all household income, the current utility bill, a DHS decision letter (if applicable), and a shut-off notice (if applicable). The completed application will be sent to St Vincent de Paul and processed within 10 days.
Information for Parishes, Missions, and Heating Assistance Volunteers
Thank you for your partnership in the DHAP and MEAP programs. Neither of these programs could successfully serve our Diocese without your support. Please contact CCDOK via e-mail at
or via phone at 269-381-9800 if you have any questions or need any assistance.
Both the DHAP and the MEAP programs will begin operating at CCDOK on January 5th. A packet was mailed to all volunteers, parishes, and missions on December 1st with originals of all documents, related procedures, and contact information to support you in your work. If you do not receive this packet, please contact CCDOK and another will be sent to you. If you would prefer to receive any of the forms electronically (via e-mail) contact Kerry Williams using the e-mail or phone above. In your e-mail, please specify which forms you would like.