Life with MS

A Guide to the Programs and Services of MS Focus

By MS Focus Staff
In 1986, when MS Focus was first founded, our goal was to simply assist people with MS in our local community. After more than 30 years, our core principal remains the same, but our audience has shifted from the local stage to a national one, and the types of services we offer have expanded several times in order to better respond to the most current needs of the MS community.

Currently, MS Focus has nine distinct groupings of programs and grants. Each one of the branches divides into several different services, giving the MS community dozens of avenues for many different kinds of assistance. Despite our continued awareness efforts, we regularly meet people in the MS community who don’t know about our wide range of services. This article will offer you a brief look at each one, so that if you need assistance, or know someone who does, you will be confident when you say, “MS Focus can help!”

Assistive Technology Program
    By far our most popular program, the AT program offers financial assistance for devices that can assist you with activities of daily living. This covers everything from canes, walkers, and wheelchairs to hearing aids, eye glasses, and grab-bars. The list of acceptable items is constantly growing. Applications are accepted year round.

Emergency Assistance Grant
    Emergencies are stressful, but when MS is added into the mix, things can get dangerous quickly. The EAG offers one-time assistance so that you are able to continue living in a safe environment. If you have received an eviction notice or a utility shut-off warning, we can help cover those payments. Grant recipients are ineligible to receive this grant a second time. Applications are accepted year round.

Homecare Assistance Grant
    We can all agree that nearly everything takes more effort when you have MS. That’s where this grant comes in handy. If you need physical therapy sessions; hygiene services, meal prep, or housekeeping; or if you’re a caregiver looking for some respite, this grant can help get someone to your house to assist you. Applications are accepted year round.

Cooling Program
    The first of our two cyclical services, the Cooling Program is open from Feb. 1 through June 1. The most popular requests from this grant are cooling vests, but we can offer a variety of cooling items, including hats, neck wraps, and wristbands. Applications are only accepted during the open period.

Computer Program
    With the growth of the Internet during the past 10 years, finding help and support is the easiest it has ever been. When you go online, you can learn about MS and symptom management, request assistance from a nonprofit, find a healthcare provider, or participate in an online support group. However many people lack the means to use the Internet. Through the Computer Program, we can provide you with a new computer, so that you can access a wealth of information, and assistance that the Internet can offer. Applications are accepted year round.

Brighter Tomorrow Grant
    The second of our cyclical services, the BTG is open from June 1 through Sept. 1 and offers applicants the opportunity to “make a wish.” Through this grant, people can request items or services not covered by one of our other programs or grants. Popular requests are beds, household appliances, and hobby supplies. All applications require an essay and are only accepted during the open period.

Transportation Program
    This program has gone through several big changes over the years, most recently in 2019. The Transportation Program was originally conceived to assist with small auto repairs and paratransit fees. In 2019, after a successful pilot program, we teamed up with Lyft and Uber to provide travel to- and-from infusions and doctor appointments. Applications are accepted year round.

Healthcare Assistance Grant
    This grant exists to assist people without medical insurance. Through the Healthcare Assistance Grant, MS Focus can help cover the cost of visiting an MS specialist (plus a follow-up consultation), but can also help with dental services. Unfortunately, the grant does not cover MRIs or any other scanning procedures. Applications are accepted year round.

Health and Wellness Grant
    One of our oldest grants was designed to help people with MS maintain physical activity in a group setting with trained professionals. From aquatics to yoga, with a little horseback riding thrown in, the Health and Wellness Grant is funding programs across the country that will encourage you to get active. In cases where group sessions aren’t available, the grant can even help fund individual activities.

    The needs of the MS community are always on our minds, and those needs are constantly changing and adjusting. So, MS Focus remains diligent in assessing and adapting to those changes. During the past 33 years, we have developed, expanded, and revamped almost every one of our programs and grants, keeping our fingers on the pulse of the MS community. For more information about, or to apply for, any of our programs and grants, visit or call our National Toll-Free Support Line at 888-673-6287.