MBA Statewide Outreach

As a result of Michigan Benefits Access being developed as a collaborative initiative, it is best implemented as a collaborative process. It is recommended that discussion and planning originate through community workgroups, who can speak to the various needs of low-income households.

The outreach materials were developed jointly by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Michigan Association of United Ways. The following are the outreach methods currently avaialble:

  • Michigan Department of Health and Human Services offers YouTube videos on the basics of MI Bridges
  • Kiosks are available at local MDHHS office for customers to apply for benefits and check status of applications.
  • MDHHS Community Resource Coordinators contact community organizations to inform them about MI Bridges and opportunities for training.
  • Michigan Association of United Ways is coordinating with leaders of nonprofit networks to provide informational webinars on MBA and provide in-person training on the navigation of MI Bridges to staff that wish to assist customers with completion of MDHHS benefit applications.
  • 2-1-1 Call Centers promoting bundled benefit access, pre-screen callers and provide referrals to community-based organizations serving as MI Bridges partners.

Outreach materials, developed by MDHHS and MAUW, can be found in the Toolkit.

MBA Outreach Pilot Projects

MBA pilot projects were implemented in SE Michigan by the United Way of Southeastern Michigan, the prison system, and within a two community college to develop outreach models.

  • UWSEM signed Memoranda of Understanding with 23 pilot sites in S.E. The sites were located in Macomb, Wayne, Oakland, and Monroe. As of September 2011, 110 staff and volunteers from the pilots sites had completed the one-day training.
  • Through the Michigan Council on Crime and Delinquency (MCCD) and the Michigan Department of Corrections the prison project screened 44,000 prisoners. The project connected prisoners who are close to release with the benefits for which they were eligible.
  • Lake Michigan College and Macomb Community College were selected to assess student data and develop and plan to connect students to benefits.
  • AmeriCorps members were located throughout the state as MBA Community Resource Navigators to directly assist households in connecting to benefits through outreach and technical assistance. AmeriCorps members also served to:
    1. Recruit nonprofits as MI Bridges Access and Navigation partners
    2. Train staff and volunteers to assist people applying for benefits
    3. Provide building capacity assistance to nonprofits serving as MI Bridges partners