Friendship House programs.

Resources are provided by the Friendship House, and the charity relies on donations and volunteers to help the less fortunate. Everything from food to referrals and just a listening ear is available, and the goal is for people from the Detroit community to help their neighbors in need.

Much of the aid is for basic needs, as this is what volunteers can oftentimes provide most effectively. So they may hold fund raisers or food drives to collect goods for seniors and qualified low income families, especially children. There may be bags of groceries passed out, or a hot meal served to the homeless or people in poverty. More financial type assistance is available as well, and this will usually be in the form of referrals or applications to government resources, such as grants.

One of the programs available in Wayne County is known as Emergency Food and Shelter. Some non-profits in the region, of which Friendship House may have referrals too, will offer homeless and hunger prevention services.

This assistance program is funded by HUD and it is entrusted through the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act of 1987. The goal of the grants from the state and federal resource is to offer free food or emergency funds for paying rent. It can also help the homeless in Detroit by issuing money for security deposits on new, low income housing or apartments.

Anyone receiving financial support or even a short term loan will access other supportive services from the volunteers, and this includes case management. The goal is to help people establish permanent stability. This will help prevent poverty and homelessness.

As part of this, the charity known as Friendship House will coordinate various services to break the cycle of poverty. This can include, but is not limited to, GED preparation, employment assistance, Life skills development, Outreach services, Relocation assistance and housing advocacy, advocacy for the working poor and more.

Other food programs include help from local pantries in Hamtramck and Wayne County. The homebound, such as seniors or the disabled, can benefit from Meals on Wheels. This is operated through many centers and local charities. Volunteers from the community, including Friendship House, provide a free hot meal to the home of the client. It will be freshly prepared and there may also be frozen meals available for weekends, holidays such as Christmas, and inclement weather days.




Emergency shelter, including during the cold winter weather in Detroit, are available, and staff from the Friendship House can provide information on them, as well as locations and hours. The locations assist homeless families as well as single parents or children. They can also keep the elderly warm, or even cool during the hot summer months.

The local shelter system will also provide people with free nutritious meals, clothing, personal hygiene, and other items. There are a wide range of supportive services available from staff, including volunteers, with a goal of helping people establish permanent stability in the greater Wayne County area.

Programs at the local shelters also attempt to address the underlying issues of homelessness by including programs such as job readiness training, GED preparation and they will also coordinate the availability of affordable housing or apartments in Detroit as well as Hamtramck Michigan.

Friendship House staff also focus on helping seniors in the county. Keeping the older population fed, warm, and safe is always a priority, and volunteers may offer everything from free meals, coffee, and snacks to just conversation or fellowship. Using food and donations from the community, the charity may also deliver items such as a hot meal to the home of a sick or homebound senior in the region, as noted above.

The faith based charity Friendship House will offer resources regardless of religion or age. The list above is only part of what is provided, but for more information, the address is 9540 Conant Street, Hamtramck, Michigan 48212. Call 313-871-7443 for information.




By Jon McNamara

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