What is the Diocesean Heating Assistance 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 the first Monday in January 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 (in 2013, it will take place on the 23rd and 24th) -- 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.
Last winter the DHAP assisted 390 families (or a total of 1,210 people) with heating assistance funds. In total, $71,065 was given to those in need. Seven (7) dedicated volunteers oversaw the disbursement process at the Catholic Charities offices and an additional 52 volunteers assisted with the collection of funds at parishes and missions across the Diocese. Despite challenging economic times, a total of 50 missions and parishes contributed to the DHAP. In its 31 year history, the DHAP has assisted a total of 11,245 families (36,300 people) by providing heating assistance totalling $1,688,390.
To apply for assistance, call your local parish/mission Heating Assistance Volunteer or Catholic Charities at 269-381-9800 (between the dates above). A maximum of $200 is set for each eligible family.
Information for Parishes and Missions
The 2013 DHAP collection will take place the weekend of November 23-24. You will be contacted in late September and asked to complete the DHAP Form (stating parish/mission involvement, if collection envelopes are needed, and contact information). The DHAP Form is available on this website (see below) or via e-mail upon request.
The completed DHAP Form is due on October 17th and should be submitted to Kerry Williams at Catholic Charities. If you have any questions or need any assistance, please contact Kerry Williams at 269-381-9800 or via e-mail at