Oakland County Continues to Make Big Investments into Mental Health for Students

It has never been more important than now to recognize the role mental health plays in our overall well-being and helping those in need receive support. Oakland County continues to invest tens of millions of dollars in resources for school mental health, learning delay, food and housing assistance, and wraparound services for students and their families in 2022.

Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter and Board of Commissioners Chairman David T. Woodward, joined by educators, students, and community leaders, highlighted how American Rescue Plan funds are bolstering the beginning of the new school year during a recent news conference at the Pontiac School District Administration Building:

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Welcoming Week in Oakland County

While Welcoming Week was officially celebrated for 10 days this month, Sept. 9-18, we celebrate it all year long in Oakland County. Welcoming Oakland is an official county member of the Welcoming America network that brings together communities to reaffirm the importance of promoting inclusivity and celebrating the vast array of cultures that make our neighborhoods and towns so vibrant and exciting.

The theme of this year’s Welcoming Week celebration was #WhereWeBelong. All individuals throughout the county should understand that there is a place for them here.

In the last year or so, that’s been especially true for people fleeing the wars in Afghanistan and Ukraine. Through the Uniting for Ukraine initiative, more than 630 Oakland County residents have stepped up to sponsor and financially support families who have left Ukraine because of the war.

But Welcoming Week is about more than just helping resettle refugees. There are services, people, and organizations across Oakland County that are helping newcomers when they arrive in the state.

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Oakland County Resources for Older Adults

Older adult holding younger person's hands

Oakland County provides many services to help our rapidly growing older adult community and those who care for them. While National Senior Citizens Day is on August 21 each year, we want to celebrate older adults all month and highlight resources that are available to them year round.

To improve and expand upon these services, Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter included funding for an Older Adult Advocate position in his balanced, three-year budget recommendation for fiscal year 2023-2025. This new position will coordinate and help improve services the county provides to older residents across all departments.

Additional resources and services are available within the county to help our community of older adults. Find a full list of services below to take advantage of:

Older Adult Services from Oakland County

Animal Shelter and Pet Adoption Center 

C.A.T.S. (Companion Animals Touching Seniors) offers older adults the opportunity to foster a cat. The program lasts two months, in which the Oakland County Animal Shelter and Pet Adoption Center provides all the necessary supplies to care for the cat. When the foster period ends, the older adult has the chance to adopt the cat. The only fee they are asked to cover is for the license. For more information, contact Oakland County Animal Shelter and Pet Adoption Center at 248-858-1070 or email petadoption@oakgov.com.

Older adult holding a kitten

Board of Commissioners

The Healthy Aging Oakland County Ad Hoc Committee was formed in 2021 to create a strategic blueprint for an aging-friendly county that meets the needs of the rapidly growing 65+ populations and those who care for them.

In honor of Older Americans Month in June, 12 community members were recognized by the Oakland County Board of Commissioners with 2022 Oakland County Outstanding Older Adult Awards. The program, spearheaded by Commissioner Kristen Nelson (District 5), was designed to highlight Oakland County residents 60 years and older who demonstrate a passion for volunteerism and community service. Commissioners were invited to nominate a resident from their district for this special award program.

Group photo of board of commissioners

Health Division

The Oakland County Health Division offers a guide for older adults who are looking for information about aging well. Many resources are available for housing, health, medical, legal issues, and local services as well as other valuable information. Additional services the Health Division provides:

Contact Nurse on Call at 800-848-5533 or email noc@oakgov.com for more information.

MSU Extension

Older adults can subscribe to the MSU Extension-Oakland monthly newsletter, which offers up-to-date, research-based information affecting senior health and wellness issues. Each month includes a healthy recipe.

The Senior Market FRESH program is aimed at helping older adults eat healthier. Senior Market FRESH gives coupon vouchers to eligible older adults to get Michigan-grown fruit, vegetables, herbs, spices and honey from farmers markets.

Mark your calendars for the upcoming Senior Market Days:

Neighborhood Housing and Development

The county’s Neighborhood Housing and Development Division offers reverse mortgages for those aged 62 or older. Housing Counselors can explain the program to you so you can make an informed decision on whether it is the right product for your household. They can also provide the necessary certificate to be able to apply for a reverse mortgage. Call to speak with an advisor: 248-858-5402.

Parks and Recreation

Oakland County Parks and Recreation offers a variety of programming for active adults. Explore their parks, try a new activity, learn about Oakland County history and enjoy socializing with others in a welcoming, friendly environment. Older adults ages 62 and up can receive a free Annual Vehicle Permit to access eight of the 14 Oakland County Parks. Call 248-858-0916 or email info@oaklandcountyparks.com for more information.

Photos courtesy of Oakland County Parks and Recreation

Sheriff’s Office

Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard’s 911 Emergency Senior Cell Phone Program is designed to equip seniors with a mobile means of contacting help in the event of an emergency. The cell phones are available to any Oakland County Senior Citizens free of charge. There is no monthly s​ervice fee to use the phone for emergency use.

Cell phone distribution hours are:

  • Every Friday from 9 a.m. to noon

Where:

  •  Oakland County Sheriff’s Office
  • 1200 North Telegraph Road Building 38E
  • Pontiac, Michigan 48341

Learn about domestic safety for older adults by visiting the Sheriff’s Office website.

Veterans Services

As a U.S. veteran, part of your life’s journey was serving our country, and the Oakland County Veterans Services team is dedicated to honoring your service and helping you to map out all the veteran benefits you have earned. Learn more about all the resources available to veterans.

For more information, call the Veterans Services Pontiac office at 248-858-0785 or the Troy/South Oakland office at 248-655-1250.


Follow along with Oakland County on FacebookInstagramLinkedInPinterest, Twitter, and YouTube using #OaklandCounty, or visit our website for news and events year-round.

Oakland County Announces Grants to Help Eligible Residents Access Healthy Food

Peaches at Oak Park Farmers Market

Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter, with the support of the Board of Commissioners, recently announced $700,000 in food assistance grants to help eligible families access nutritious food as the prices of fruits, vegetables, milk, and other staples continue to rise.

“Our goal here is to reach any Oakland County resident struggling with food insecurity. We don’t want our families to scrimp on other essentials, like rent or utilities or medicines, so they can make sure they don’t go hungry.”

-Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter

The county is also allocating $250,000 to the Double Up Food Bucks program, which doubles the money for fresh produce at farmers markets for people eligible for food assistance.

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Oakland County Announces Career and Education Navigators to Help Residents with Post-Secondary Education

Graphic that reads "We're here to support your future"

The Oakland County Executive Office recently announced a new initiative designed to assist residents in securing a post-high school degree or credential. A press conference was held at Oakland Community College, where the county’s chief deputy executive and guest speakers introduced the brand-new career and education navigators.

These navigators will work closely with Oakland County adults to help future and current students find their path to a meaningful career. Residents can meet individually with the navigators and create a road map to completing a post-secondary degree or credential. The navigators will also help with registration, college or training completion, financial aid and loan application, transferring records, and accessing academic supports and additional supportive services.

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