Background & History

For over 50 years, UPCAP has been developing and managing a wide array of programs to meet the needs of Michigan's Upper Peninsula residents.   View some of the highlights below or read more in the 2015 Annual Report and UPCAP 50 Year Anniversary Booklet.

1961   UPCAP is established by the U.P. County Boards of Commissioners to serve as the regional economic and human resources development and planning organization.

1965   UPCAP establishes the six original Community Action Agencies in the U.P. at the request of the Office of Economic Opportunities.

UPCAP organizes the first Head Start programs in the United States.   The Washington staff had been on the job only two weeks when UPCAP presents them with its plan to create Head Start programs in various U.P. school districts.   Program administration is shifted to the six Community Action Agencies the following year.

1968   UPCAP organizes the three Upper Peninsula Planning and Development Districts at the request of the Economic Development Administration.
1971   UPCAP receives a grant from the Emergency Employment Act Program to establish three ancillary manpower boards in the U.P.   These boards evolve into three Consortia under the Comprehensive Employment & Training Act (CETA).   Today the Consortia are administered under the Job Training Partnership Act (JPTA), and have come to be known as the Private Industry Councils (PICs).

1974   UPCAP is designated as the Region XI (U.P.) Area Agency on Aging.

UPCAP begins serving as ex-officio secretary to the Upper Peninsula Association of County Commissioners (UPACC).

1980   UPCAP begins providing monitoring, training, and technical assistance to U.P. agencies providing Weatherization Services.

1984   UPCAP enters long-term care arena when it is selected as one of five pilot Care Management projects.

1988   Michigan Departments of Social Services and Public Health contract with UPCAP to implement a second "Pre-Admission Screening" pilot program in the U.P.   Pre-Admission Screening was the model for the future MIChoice Home & Community-Based Services Waiver program.

1989   UPCAP begins contracting with private non-profit housing organizations to manage low-rent family and elderly apartment complexes.   UPCAP secures Farmers Home Administration (FHA) funding and a real estate brokerage license so as to offer more affordable housing options for U.P. residents.

UPCAP developes the Dickinson County Adult Day Care Center with a grant funded through the Michigan Department of Mental Health. This program (now under DICSA) offers day care, in-home respite, and crisis intervention to people with dementia and their caregivers.

UPCAP developes the Escanaba Community Day Care Center through a grant from the Neighborhood Builders Alliance. The Center offered high-quality, affordable child care through 2009, to moderate and low-income residents of Delta County, in part, by utilizing senior citizen volunteers.

1991   UPCAP begins its involvement with the West-Central U.P. Regional Community Corrections Board and its Annual Implementation Plan.

1992   UPCAP is selected as one of three pilot sites to develop and implement Michigan's Home & Community-Based Waiver Program (MIChoice Waiver Program).

1993   UPCAP is selected to administer the Medicare Medicaid Assistance Program (MMAP) for the U.P.

2005   UPCAP is selected by the Department of Community Health as one of four "pioneer" sites to develop and implement a Self Determination/Self Directed Care option for the MIChoice Waiver Program.

2006   UPCAP's new 2-1-1 Call Center begins providing easily accessible, responsive, and professional information and assistance to U.P. residents and families in need.

UPCAP is selected to be one of four demonstration sites in Michigan serving as a Single Point of Entry to Long-Term Care (Long-Term Care Connection). Funding for this program ended in May 2009.

2008   UPCAP is named Secretary/Administrative Agent of the Upper Peninsula 911 Authority.   This Authority oversees 911 emergency call answering and dispatch services across the U.P.

2009   UPCAP is named Secretary/Administrative Agent of the U.P. State Fair Authority.   This Authority oversees the operation of the U.P. State Fair and the fairgrounds.

UPCAP and the Superior Alliance for Independent Living (SAIL) are working collaboratively to develop and serve as an Aging & Disability Resource Collaborative (ADRC).   ADRC programs are designed to help individuals make informed choices and streamline access to long-term care.

2013     Bridgewood, Soo Hill location, opens as a group/support home for autistic adults - the first of its kind in the Upper Peninsula.

2014   UPCAP's Community Diabetes Education Program receives accreditation by the American Association of Diabetes Educators.   It is the first accredited program offering UP-wide diabetes education at community-based locations such as senior centers, churches, and community centers.  

Visit individual Programs & Services pages for more information.