by Audra Ellis, MiCAFE Community Partner Liaison
MiCAFE (Michigan’s Coordinated Access to Food for the Elderly), a program of Elder Law of Michigan, informs seniors about available benefits, like food assistance, and helps them apply. MiCAFE includes a network of over 120 community-based organizations across Michigan and has been serving older adults for nearly 15 years. The MiCAFE network coordinates outreach and application assistance efforts in order to help older adults access benefits and resources they need to make ends meet.
Southside Community Coalition is one of our many outstanding MiCAFE community partners in mid-Michigan. Southside Community Coalition is a non-profit organization that serves seniors, children, teens, and families. They provide many services for the community including after school programs, a health care outreach program, a food pantry, and senior luncheon and social programs.
Yolanda Sherrer runs the Youth and Senior Programs and is also a dedicated MiCAFE Application Assistant and volunteer. Recently, Yolanda devoted numerous hours to one of our MiCAFE clients, Jane*, who needed help applying for benefits. Like many MiCAFE clients, she needed help not only applying for benefits for the first time, but also with recertifying her benefits from year to year. Jane has returned to MiCAFE for help with recertification for three years in a row.
Yolanda was there to help Jane every time she needed to recertify her benefits. This year, Jane’s recertification was denied even though none of her information had changed. Yolanda made it her mission to find out the reason for the denial. After numerous phone calls, and resubmitting Jane’s documentation two more times, the client was finally approved. Without Yolanda’s hard work, her client would be without the assistance she needs. Jane was very thankful for the dedication Yolanda demonstrated and would have lost her benefits without her help. Yolanda is just one example of the amazing people we have working and contributing to the MiCAFE program.
MiCAFE is supported by the United States Department of Agriculture, Michigan Department of Human Services, Office of Services to the Aging, and the National Council on Aging. MiCAFE partners with community based organizations to conduct outreach and provide application assistance for the State of Michigan Food Assistance Program and other benefits. If you would like more information on how to become a MiCAFE partner, please call the MiCAFE Call Center at 1-877-664-2233 or contact Lindsay Felsing at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Names have been changed to protect client’s identity.
Audra is an MiCAFE Community Partner Liaison at Elder Law of Michigan. She has been with Elder Law since February of 2009.
Before coming to Elder Law, Audra worked as a Shift Leader at Alcohol Drug Administrative Monitoring, where she oversaw shift changes and worked closely with clients developing her communication skills.
As Administrative Assistant and member of the Elder Law team, Audra works closely with clients by managing intake calls and client appointments in addition to screening clients for benefits. She also partakes in case management and delegates attorney correspondence, working closely with both clients and attorneys to keep daily activities within the organization running smoothly and efficiently.