Our Mission

Southwest Michigan Community Action Agency (SMCAA) is dedicated to empowering diverse people in need and supporting their journey towards economic security.

Our Vision

To be a beacon of support in a strong, thriving community by helping people and changing lives.

In order to accomplish our mission and reach our vision, SMCAA will establish, coordinate and carry out programs to promote the health , education and welfare of low-income individuals and families in Berrien, Cass and Van Buren counties.  These programs include, but are not limited to; monthly Commodity Surplus Food Program for seniors, Quarterly Temporary Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) and food pantries for Families and individuals.  Utility Assistance, Rental Assistance, Rental Education, Housing Rehab programs, Weatherization, Homeless Shelter, Homebuyer Education and additional programs that are designed to provide for the health, education and self-sufficiency of the population we service.  All programs have eligibility requirements that SMCAA adhere to.  Operating programs requires us to apply for, receive, administer and disburse federal, state, local and private funds as well as form partnership with government and private entities sharing our purpose.

Promise of Community Action

Community Action changes people's lives, embodies the spirit of hope, improves communities, and makes America a better place to live. We care about the entire community, and we are dedicated to helping people help themselves and each other.

Our History

The Southwest Michigan Community Action Agency (SMCAA) is a private, non-profit Community Action Agency - part of a state and national network. In 1982, the agency started servicing Van Buren County.  In 1986, our agency was incorporated and began providing human services to Cass and Van Buren Counties.  In 1992, Berrien County was officially added to its service delivery area.

SMCAA brings together federal and state grants funds as well as dollars from local, private, and public sources. These resources are then directed into programs which aid the low income and otherwise disadvantaged throughout the age spectrum, from preschoolers to the elderly of southwestern Michigan. The funds include dollars which are targeted at very specific problems, as well as dollars which are more flexible in nature.

Serving Berrien, Cass & Van Buren Counties
Governed by Board of Directors

SMCAA Board members shoulder significant responsibility for the oversight of finance, executive leadership, human resources, strategic planning, customer input, community engagement, community assessment, data, analysis and planning supported by Community Service Block Grant (CSBG).    The Board accomplishes this responsibility through board action and oversight.  They ensure the agency is meeting legal compliance, and work as a body to remain intact.  It is important to have the three sectors of the board so SMCAA can keep the community informed about issues affecting the poor and facilitate communication between the poor, locally elected public officials, and the private sector.  Having consumer representation helps SMCAA identify and address the causes of poverty.


Administrative Office

185 E. Main Street, Suite 303

Benton Harbor, MI 49022


331 Miller Street

Benton Harbor, MI 49022

Service Centers

Berrien County (DHS)
401 Eighth Street
Benton Harbor, MI 49022

Cass County (DHS)
325 M-62 Highway
Cassopolis, MI 49031

Van Buren County (DHS)
57150 C. R. 681
Hartford, MI 49057

Our Community Partners

SMCAA’s growth and success in serving the low-income individuals and families of the tri-county area could not be achieved without the many forms of support so generously provided by the following entities:

Contact Us

If you have thoughts, questions, or concerns about your experience with SMCAA, please share them with us. A representative will follow up shortly if appropriate.


If you have an inquiry on a known topic (ex. with a specific program or with a specific staff member), please begin your message with the program/staff member's name. This will allow us to better direct your message to the correct correspondent.


Thank you.

Contact Information

185 E Main St, Ste 303

Benton Harbor, MI 49022

(269) 925-9077


Office Hours

Monday - Friday

8:00am to 4:30pm

Southwest Michigan Community Action Agency

SMCAA is dedicated to empowering diverse people in need and supporting their journey towards economic security.

Our vision: to be a beacon of support in a strong, thriving community by helping people and changing lives.

USDA Non-Discrimination Statement

In accordance with Federal Civil Rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Civil Rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior credible activity, in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA (not all bases apply to all programs). Remedies and complaint filing deadlines vary by program or incident.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the responsible Agency or USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program discrimination complaint, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD-3027, found online at How to File a Program Discrimination Complaint and at any USDA office or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: (1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; (2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or (3) email: program.intake@usda.gov.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

© 2019 Southwest Michigan Community Action Agency. All Rights Reserved. 

SMCAA is a private social service non-profit 501(c)(3) membership organization.