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Week of December 6, 2010

Emergency Hardship Program offers guidance, grants for employees

Through November 49 university staff and faculty members have received emergency financial awards from the Emergency Hardship Program (EHP), and more than 240 others have been connected with appropriate community resources.

The program provides resource recommendations and — in some cases — one-time emergency financial assistance for U-M staff and faculty members experiencing an immediate, severe and temporary financial crisis due to an emergency.

“Many at the university have a very real need for help,” says Tom Waldecker, director of the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FASAP). “Most people who contact us need someone to help point them to information or community resources. But for some, financial emergencies arise that can greatly disrupt their lives.”

When the financial need is urgent and temporary, the EHP may be able to help. Cases have included utility shut-offs, eviction notices, unexpected loss, theft of a car or catastrophic home damage. Awards from the EHP help applicants avoid immediate evictions or restore utilities while they regain their financial footing. Several grants provided one-time assistance to employees where there was a loss of family income when a partner lost their job for a short period.

The EHP was established in 2007 on a trial basis with a start-up grant from the U-M Credit Union and matching funds from donations of university faculty and staff. The EHP now is available to all faculty and staff members in the university community. It is supported with a generous donation from TCF Bank as well as contributions from more than 100 university employees.

“For guidance and/or assistance call either FASAP or the (U-M Health System) EAP. A counselor begins the process with a few questions to verify eligibility,” says Kathleen Robertson, manager of the U-M Health System Employee Assistance Program (UMHS EAP). “We help people tap into their personal and community resources. We are grateful for those who have donated funds to make this possible.”

Administration of the program is a collaborative effort between FASAP, UMHS EAP, University Human Resources and the Office of Development. For more information about requesting assistance or making a contribution, go to

For more information about FASAP, call 734-936-8660 or go to For more information about UMHS EAP, call 734-763-5409 or go to



Jennifer Jones, coordinator, Global Initiatives program, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, on directing Voices in Harmony: “Singing is a very important part of my life, and the people in this group are an important part of my life. The members become a family.”


Laura Patterson, Update on Campus IT Environment information sessions, 10 a.m.-noon Dec. 8, BSRB Auditorium, 2-4 p.m. Dec. 9, Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library.

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