Finding the path out of poverty is hard. But sometimes, with the help of a friend, one finds it. HELPLINK volunteers can be that friend who listens and then supports as solutions are found and paths appear. 


Linking to Resources


Navigating the System

Individual Focus

HELPLINK® services are free to everyone and provide a single point of access connecting individuals and families with community resources to assist in their efforts to exit the cycle of poverty. Volunteer intake specialists, resource coordinators, and navigators listen and then work as a team to connect neighbors who are in crisis or experiencing a continuing problem with the community resource that best stabilizes or resolves a situation. We strive to build meaningful relationships as we connect people in need to resources in the Traverse Bay Region.

The HELPLINK® drop-in center connects people who have family or personal needs to a range of options for assistance. Many people in crisis do not know the scope of available options or know how to make arrangements for assistance. Our volunteers are trained to guide those served, our neighbors, towards identifying needs, options, and goals toward self-sufficiency by:

  • Identifying needs and strengths

  • Expediting help

  • Providing support and encouragement


HELPLINK®’s concept of no wrong door gives us the ability to connect people in poverty to what they need through partnerships with area organizations, agencies and resources. Rather than sending neighbors out on their own to navigate the complicated system of resources, we sit down with our neighbors one on one and work together towards immediate and long term solutions.

Ongoing collaboration from many area agencies and human service organizations contributes to the success of HELPLINK®.

Find out more

Volunteer to change lives

Office Volunteers are those who take responsibility for a number of tasks that create and sustain a top quality service office environment where people in need are treated with respect and dignity from the moment they enter the office. Volunteers serving in this capacity have interactions with people that are in all walks of life from neighbors to volunteers to other area organization leaders. 

Time commitment: one three-hour shift per week (Tuesday or Thursday)

HELPLINK Intake Specialists are one of the first points of contact when neighbors enter the drop-in center seeking help. They are a vital part of offering our neighbors a safe and calm environment. The intake specialist will go over the immediate struggle of the neighbor and work directly with the resource coordinator to find the most appropriate resource in the area to help. 

Time commitment: one three-hour shift per week (Tuesday or Thursday)

HELPLINK Resource Coordinator's are instrumental in solving the neighbor's most pressing and immediate needs. The resource coordinator works directly with organizations such as Father Fred, Salvation Army, DHHS, NMCAA, and many area churches to find the best solution for the crisis at hand. 

Time commitment: one three-hour shift per week (Tuesday or Thursday)


HELPLINK Navigators create an encouraging atmosphere and work with neighbors to remove current and future barriers of poverty through exploring the hopes, dreams, and goals of the neighbor and helping them create a plan to succeed. Navigators are well prepared with training including shadowing an experienced navigator prior to working with neighbors. These services take place in a confidential setting at the HELPLINK drop-in center. 

Time commitment: one three-hour shift per week (Tuesday or Thursday)


Onsite Navigators work to create an encouraging, safe, and friendly atmosphere while our neighbors are utilizing the HELPLINK Laundry Project program. 

Time commitment: one 3.5 hour shift every other Thursday through the school year


Mentors work one on one with neighbors who have created a plan for success with our navigators and wish to continue fulfilling their personal, educational, and financial goals. The main job of a mentor is to guide, support, be a friend, and encourage our neighbors as they grow and strive to achieve their hopes and dreams. 

Time commitment: varies 


1105 E. Front Street Traverse City, MI 49686

Telephone: 231-946-6278