CARES Application

Who Qualifies?
  • 200% of Poverty

  • Layoff, Decrease in Hours, Recipient of Unemployment

  • Receipt of benefits through the MI Dept. of Health and Human Service

  • Benefits to include but not limited to: SNAP, TANF, SDA, Medicaid and childcare benefits

  • Current enrollee in other assistance programs (Ex. MEAP, HUD programs) that currently have income guideline restrictions

  • Residents of Berrien, Cass, and Van Buren Counties



Begin Your Application Process

If you fit within the qualifications of CARES, you may begin the application process​. 

The following are documents you MUST include with your application:

  • Proof of Identification: Social Security cards for all household members, birth certificates for infants under 12 months of age, documentation for all foster children in household, ID copy of head of household, AND a picture of head of household holding their ID

  • Proof of Income: all earned income information for everyone 18 years and older who reside in household

  • Proof of Emergency: copy of utility bill OR copy of current lease and letter from landlord with total amount you are behind on rent

If you do not include all required documents, your application will not be processed. For a full documentation list, click here.


Once you have your required documentation, you are ready to fill out the SMCAA CARES application and coordinating forms. To successfully apply for CARES funding, you MUST complete each of the following items in their entirety:



You can submit your completed application and supporting documents in a number of ways:

  • Fax: 269-934-8242 (Attention to Linda Mills)

  • In-Person: Visit our Main Office in Benton Harbor

  • Mailing Address:          185 E. Main St., Ste 303

                                                       ATTN: Linda Mills
                                                       Benton Harbor, MI 49022


  • Drop-Off Box:           (Located Inside Main Floor's Front Door)
                                             185 E. Main St., Ste 303

                                                  Benton Harbor, MI 49022


Are you outside our service region?

You can find a participating CARES Community Action Agency where you live by visiting one of the following websites:

Have a question?

Call SMCAA at 269-925-9077.

Download All
App Documents
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