MENOMINEE — What do Head Start, Meals on Wheels and the Menominee Senior Center all have in common?

They’re all a part of the Menominee-Delta-Schoolcraft Community Action Agency.

Allyson Jones, an employee of the MDSCAA for nearly a year, said the agency has been operating for more than 50 years in Menominee, Delta, and Schoolcraft counties. “We provide a large amount of different services for those communities; my primary focus is the Personal Care Services program and In Home Services,” she said.

Jones said the In Home Services program includes homemaker aide services, such as light housekeeping services like sweeping and mopping, respite services to provide companionship and supervision in relief of the primary caregiver, and other daily personal care.

She said they also provide home delivery meals through Meals on Wheels, weatherization, adult day services in Escanaba, Head Start and a fair amount of other community services.

“I’ve been with Community Action for almost a year now. They had an opening for their program manager position, so that’s how I got into it,” she said.

“It’s been really exciting to learn about all of the different services we have, because I had no idea prior to starting, so it’s really neat to see how many people we serve in so many different ways. I feel like this is a hidden gem in our community,” she said.

She said people often hear about similar services, especially personal care services, offered by other places. “Sometimes, you don’t have to leave your home, so it’s nice to know that there are a few more options,” she said.

Jones said the homemaking, respite and personal care program is looking to take on some new clients, and is also looking to hire personal care and homemaking aides. “We have plenty of grant funds available, and with those grants it covers the service for those that are in need. At this point it’s donation-based; the folks around here that are receiving our services can donate as much or as little as they want, and they are confidential,” she said.

She said they often hear from clients that their days are brightened when the personal care aides come into their homes. “It’s a safety thing, too; if you don’t have family nearby, you have that assurance that someone’s checking in. And that’s not just our program, the Meals on Wheels drivers are checking i,n too. If my grandparents were at the point where they needed these services, I would have so much comfort in knowing that the service is available and there’s someone looking out for them if I can’t be there,’ she said.

Between Delta and Menominee counties, in 2017-18 Jones said the MDSCAA provided 6,751 hours of homemaker aide services to 285 seniors, 26,779 personal care hours to 182 seniors and 4,755 respite hours to 123 seniors. Jones said services aren’t denied to anyone due to inability to pay.

Those interested in applying for the positions Jones mentioned may pick up applications at the Menominee Senior Center and at the Mid County Senior Center in Daggett.