Help and information from Highland Area Christian Service Ministry.

HACSM provides aid to families in the form of referrals and direct services. The only places in Madison County that offer assistance are Highland, Grantfork, St. Jacob, Alhambra, Marine, New Douglas, and Pierron. The non-profit will emphasize housing issues in the greater Madison County region, and focus on eviction and general homeless prevention.

If you are struggling to pay rent or are in need of emergency housing, there are a number of programs in the area that can help. The programs are meant to assist people who are homeless or at risk of being homeless, whether because they cannot afford their rent or mortgage.

Most of the non-profits in Madison County, including HACSM, have a phone line where people can call to get help if they are in a difficult situation. The results of this research may help direct people in need of housing assistance to programs or resources in Madison Illinois County.

Some local agencies will offer emergency financial aid if they have the funding available. Others may issue loans instead. If you’re struggling to make ends meet, some organizations can help you with a partial payment and also provide case management, financial literacy education, budget counseling, and employment referrals. The goal of HACSM is to help clients not just with immediate problems, but also to set up a plan for long-term financial security.

There is help from HACSM in applying for government programs like food stamps and LIHEAP. The volunteers from the churches that are part of Highland Area Christian Service Ministry want to get struggling families the help they need, so they explore all resources.

Some other self-sufficiency services that may be provided are help with looking for a job or taking classes on how to make a resume. They also help the elderly with their income tax returns through the AARP Tax Service.

Madison County also offers seasonal programs such as free Easter Baskets for children, back to School Supplies, and the Christmas Gift Program. There may also be meal distribution or food boxes given out.

Highland Area Christian Service Ministry has information on local workshops that can teach individuals and families about methods that can reduce everyday expenses and how to save money more effectively. The workshop goes over different ways to manage your money, and how to save money on things like taxes, cell phones, student loans, and cable TV. It also explains how to handle home repairs. The workshop also teaches attendees how to make safe investments, improve their credit scores to get cheaper loans, and file effective complaints against dishonest companies.

The agencies in Madison County help people with money management and improve their financial situation. Families who need help creating a budget that works for them can get counseling. This counseling will take into account the family’s income and typical expenses. Clients who are already budgeting can work with counselors to find additional ways to save money on their bills and other costs they face.

If you are struggling to pay off credit card debt, working with a counselor can help you create a debt management plan. This can involve negotiating with your creditors to lower your interest rates and monthly payments. They look at what the person earns, what they spend and owe, to get an idea of how to even out their finances.

Individuals who are considering a declaration of bankruptcy can consult a local non-profit credit counseling agency to get information on how to declare bankruptcy. The company and the consumer can work together to look at all the different choices before making a decision.

As part of the bankruptcy process, counselors will inform individuals of the pros and cons of declaring bankruptcy and provide direction on how to obtain the requisite court certificate for filings, if that is the best option. The non-profit emphasizes that bankruptcy should only be considered as a last resort for people with financial difficulties.

Programs available by referrals from HACSM

You can find much of what you need by asking around for referrals. The agency can help you with housing problems and has information on local HUD approved housing counseling agencies. The agency’s counselors are certified to offer guidance and advice on various homeownership-related issues. This can include things like helping you keep your home if you’re struggling to make payments, or letting you know about government programs that can help you modify your loan.

If you are behind on your mortgage payments in Madison County, there are agencies that can help you for free or at a low cost. This service helps individuals manage expenses and debt, and staff from local agencies work with both homeowners and lenders to resolve the situation.

Foreclosure prevention counseling helps people who are struggling to keep their homes. This helps people who own homes and are behind on mortgage payments by at least three months. Without this assistance, they could lose their home.

The Christian Service Ministry looks at all the different ways they can help their clients stay in their homes and get back on track with their payments. The organization provides potential solutions to prevent loss and obtains detailed information about loan balances and payment records from banks and lenders. Specialists can also help people draft hardship letters and gather the documentation they need to support a home loan workout. Counselors also help homeowners negotiate modifications that are acceptable to everyone involved.

The government agency that manages housing programs has also been given permission to provide counseling for people who have mortgages that must be paid back in reverse. This is focused on seniors, and the Homeowners Against Corruption and Scam Mortgage loans help homeowners who are 62 years of age and older understand and obtain reverse mortgage loans. This type of program allows people to take out loans using their home as collateral. There are no required payments as long as the person lives in their home. The money obtained through a reverse mortgage can be used for home repairs, to supplement monthly income, or to pay off an existing mortgage.

Locations and applications

For help finding resources in Madison County, call (618) 654-9295 or 1-800-427-4626. Highland Area Christian Service Ministry provides services to people in need, such as food and clothing assistance, and also provides information about other charities that can help people in need.

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