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For Family Partners:

What does your program cost?  Nothing! Through the generosity of our donors, we are able to provide free mentoring services to our community.

What is a family partner?  A family partner, or mentee, is someone in the community who has applied for help through our program and has been matched with a mentor.

Who decides what goals I will work on?  You, the family partner, will guide the goal setting process. Your mentor will help you identify and clarify goals but the goals have to be personal and meaningful to you. 

Do you have any success stories?  Short answer, yes! Those stories will be added to this site in the near future. Please check back.

How do I apply for a mentor?  First, you fill out an application. You can download the application here: Family Partner Application, or if you need help with the application you can call us at 231-421-8411. We will set up a time to talk about your application to determine if our program is the right one for you.

What do I have to do to qualify for a mentor?  We accept applicants that are living at no more than 200% of the federal poverty guideline. That means a single person can earn up to $22,980. A couple can earn up to 31,020. A family of three can earn up to 39,060. A family of four can earn up to 47,100. We cannot accept applicants who are struggling with addiction (not in recovery), or who have more pressing mental health issues that need treatment.

Why should I have a mentor? Everyone can benefit from a mentor regardless of their financial situation. If you have ever thought it would be nice to have a friend to talk to about your struggles, then a mentor is for you. If you have ever felt unsupported, isolated, and lonely, we are here to help. Your mentor is personally interested in helping you achieve whatever dreams you possess and giving you the support and encouragement to try new things.

This person is a stranger to me. How do I know this is a safe situation?  We screen, interview, and conduct background checks on all of our volunteers. Additionally, the director participates in your first meeting/s to help you get to know one another. We encourage you to meet in neutral and public places and we always match men with men, and women with women.


For Mentors:

What is a mentor?  Our mentors are trained volunteers from the community who have a desire to help someone else.

What does a mentor do?  A mentor acts as a supportive and knowledgeable friend. It is the mentor’s job to work collaboratively with his or her family partner to help them identify and meet personal goals. 

I’m not sure I’m ready to mentor on my own. Can I mentor as part of a team?  Yes. Mentoring someone as part of a team (husband/wife, church group, co-workers) is a great way to get started and can be very beneficial to the person being served. 

Will I be trained?  Yes, we provide training and education on poverty, boundaries, communication, self-care, and how to work with someone on goal setting. Additionally, we provide periodic training on many different topics to help you hone your skills.

What do I do if my family partner has a problem that I can’t help them with?  We do not expect our mentors to solve problems or to be knowledgeable about everything. Your job is to support your family partner as they work through their problems. If they have an issue that you are unable to help with you can call the director who will assist you in finding an appropriate resource. We never leave you on your own. The organization will support and assist you throughout your relationship.

How often do we meet?  We ask that you meet face to face at least twice a month but that you supplement those face to face meetings with phone calls, text messages, and/or emails. Just keep in mind that your family partner may not have access to all forms of technology, so you have to structure your contact with them accordingly.

How do I apply to become a mentor? You can fill out our application here: Mentor Application. You can mail, email, fax, or drop off your application.


Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions that were not addressed here.





Northwest Michigan Works! is an essential resource for employers and job seekers in the Northern Michigan area.

Kathy Stuart, Michigan Rubber Products Human Resource Manager