Member Resources

Winter & Holiday Resource Spreadsheet

We have created a spreadsheet specifically for winter and holiday resources available to individuals and families in Washtenaw County! This spreadsheet is a collaborative effort, and we are asking agencies to add their support resources for the BB network to reference this winter season. 

Access and edit the spreadsheet here

Examples of resources include winter clothing, gifts/presents, household items, and food/meals.

Barrier Busters Member Frequently Asked Questions

1. I'm having log in problems with my Encompass or DTE account, who do I contact? 
All training and technical assistance questions should be first addressed to the dl-bbstaff email group. The BB staff on rotation will get back with you. 

2. Encompass says I’ve been suspended due to improper activity?! What did I do? 
If a user doesn’t log into Encompass after 4+ weeks, their account is locked. Contact l-bbstaff and your password will be reset.

3. A client needs an auto repair, what’s the process? 
Please follow the auto repair guidelines located at Make sure to upload the required documents to

4. What’s the maximum I can request? 
A client can receive up to $3,000 in a calendar year (transportation requests are capped at $2,000. Requests above $1,000 face additional scrutiny – please make sure the explanation of need field is thoroughly filled out. 

5. My client received assistance 6 months ago, can we put in a new request? Barrier Busters is for one-time emergency assistance per calendar year. In the event that an additional request is needed in the same calendar year, please contact Barrier Busters staff to discuss the situation.

6. How much is available in emergency assistance, annually? 
The current 2023 budget is just over $650,000. However, some funds are restricted to certain populations (such as seniors) or to certain types of assistance (such as eviction prevention). 

7. Why are funds only available on a quarterly basis? 
To ensure that there’s funding availability year-round, $47,500 in flexible funds are made available at the beginning of each quarter.

8Housing is listed as an assistance type, can any agency apply for eviction   prevention or security deposit funding?  All eviction prevention or security deposit assistance have to go through the HAWC/SOS process. Other agencies can request assistance for other housing emergencies, for example: storage lockers, moving vans, and home repair.

9. Why is academic assistance, such as for books or tuition, not considered an emergency? Barrier Busters defines an emergency as a need, that if unpaid, will result in negative impacts to the social determinates of health as it relates to immediate economic stability. 

10. I put in a request, but I don’t see it anywhere in Encompass? Should I submit again? 
Encompass doesn’t provide an alert that a request has been submitted to the requesting user. Additionally, BB staff have to confirm a client before they’re assigned a case number.

11. A utility payment was never cashed by DTE, and isn’t reflected in DTE ORA?  
This can occur if the wrong account number is entered in the “Optional Information to be printed on the check”. Please double check the account number, and put the account number FIRST in the field – this field corresponds to the memo line and is character limited. 

Barrier Busters Email List-server

We ask that all members using this resource agree to our List-serve guidelines on content and use.
This link is provided for your reference. 

Barrier Busters Emergency Unmet Needs Fund (BBEUNF)

Barrier Busters Training Materials

  • New Member Orientation
    This guide gives an overview of the Barrier Busters program and funds request guidelines and requirements. 
  • Encompass User Guide
    This guide shows a step by step walk-through of processes in the Encompass system. 

Utilities Assistance

  • DTE Agency Access
    This tool allows Barrier Busters members to access DTE account information and the ability to place up to two thirty-day shut off holds in a calendar year. 
  • Bill Payment Process Tool
    This guide shows suggested courses of action based on what status the utility customer's account is in. 
  • DTE Energy Assistance and Payment Programs Overview
    This guide aimed at social services provides information about payment plans, shut off prevention programs, customer credits, and information about energy efficiency programs. 
  • Payment Assistance Programs
    This informational brochure is formatted for printing. This brochure is aimed at empowering DTE customers with information about types of energy assistance and qualifications. 

OCED Community Resource Guide

This resource guide provides a broad listing of agencies. Agencies are categorized by what types of assistance they can provide. 

Types of assistance include: 

  • Housing
  • Children and Youth Supports
  • Older Adult Supports
  • Health Services
  • Education Services

Housing Assistance: Housing Access for Washtenaw County

Visit the Housing Access for Washtenaw County (HAWC) website. If you are homeless or experiencing a housing crisis, please call 734-961-1999.

HAWC is Washtenaw County’s central intake for individuals and families who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness. The central intake is the single point of entry for all emergency shelters and housing resources that are available to serve people experiencing homelessness in the county. Residents of Washtenaw County may call HAWC for housing assistance, information and/or referral. Please note: there is a severe shortage of housing resources in Washtenaw County and HAWC is not able to help all people who are experiencing a housing crisis.

Michigan Legal Help

Michigan Legal Help empowers Michigan residents with information and access to how to navigate legal issues without having to work with a lawyer. They also have information about how to find a lawyer and community services for assistance if needed. 

Areas of assistance include family law, personal safety, housing, money and debt, public assistance, taxes, employment, wills and end of life planning, education, immigration, farmworker rights, voting and civil rights and much more.  

Resources for Residents who are Immigrants