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Genesee County family says rental payment help is a godsend after job loss

Published: Apr. 15, 2021 at 11:22 AM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - The more than $12 million grant awarded to Genesee County to help people facing evictions due to the coronavirus pandemic will help one family struggling to make ends meet.

For many people in Genesee County, this money couldn’t have come at a better time -- including one man who said his family was just one day from being evicted before he got the news that help is on the way.

Michael Cook said this past year has been quite humbling. After being laid off from his job due to the coronavirus pandemic, his family of five struggled to keep their heads above water.

“It was very hard. My fiancée, she was able somehow to keep the family afloat. So all three of the kids. It felt almost like a failure as a man to have my fiancée having to help me,” Cook said. “Yeah, it was hard. I’ve never had to deal with nothing like that. It’s usually the shoes on the other foot, me helping her, you know.”

He said their situation got so bad recently that they were just days from being evicted when he received a call Wednesday from the Genesee County Community Action Resource Department. The agency helps people in Genesee County find resources in times of need.

“I cried a little bit. We were, we actually had a 24 hour notice to leave so this came at just the right time,” Cook said. “Wow. It was literally last minute, and I’m just so grateful that might get to keep my family together.”

GCCARD announced Wednesday that the county has been awarded a $12 million grant to help Genesee County residents facing eviction like Cook. The grant money will also those who have received shutoff notices for utilities.

“They are going to catch me up on my rent and help me with the next few months coming up as well as help catch up on all my utilities that God has really blessed us,” Cook said.

He is grateful for the help the grant will provide, not only for his family, but other families as well.

“It’s a lot of people could use the help,” Cook said. “I know we’re in a bad situation but I know there’s some people that haven’t been able to hold on to their homes that are even in a worse spot than me.”

Applications can be picked up at the GCCARD headquarters or downloaded from this state website. They can be emailed back to gccardnsc@co.genesee.mi.us or submitted in person by appointment only.

Completed submissions must include applications from the landlord and the tenant. Click here for copies of both forms from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority.

Call 810-768-4675 to set an appointment with GCCARD or for more information about the program.

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