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Kalkaska County Commission on Aging have nearly empty emergency fund

Kevin Steinhardt|

The Kalkaska County Commission on Aging is running out of money at one of the worst times. Officials said their Unmet Needs Emergency Fund is running out of money at a time when clients need more help paying their bills.


The Commission on Aging uses the emergency fund to pay for costly necessities like car repairs and appliance maintenance. During the winter months, demand on the fund increases, as it’s also used to help seniors pay heating and energy bills. 

Officials say they typically give between 200 and 400 dollars to and individual. Currently the fund has less than $200, just enough money to help one more person. 


Kalkaska County Commission on Aging Director, Jodi Willison, said the Unmet Needs Fund helps people who don’t qualify for  other assistance programs.


“It’s designed for any senior. There is no income barrier on it at all. It is really to help certain seniors who fall through the cracks that may be over income for certain programs like GSA or Salvation Army.”


Willison said the fund is typically depleted fast in the winter. “With the colder temperatures, the higher their bills are. So it just makes it more challenging to pay those,” she said. 


She said the commission now is relying on private donations to help seniors pay their bills.