According to Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries:
- In the Detroit area, there are at least 3,700 people in need of emergency shelter on any given night. To meet the need, there should be 1,400 more beds available.
- There are less than 940 transitional housing beds for over 5,086 homeless men, women and children per night.
- Over 2,000 people live on the streets each night in abandoned buildings or “double up” with family or friends.
- Over 10,000 families in Wayne County will become homeless at least once during the next year.
- Families now constitute 26% of the number of homeless persons per year.
Heartbreaking. Let’s figure out how we can help fix this.
I want to start a Modest Needs-like fund at Christ Church, Ann Arbor as a pilot program. A sort of replacement for the traditional discretionary fund. If it works, I want to write up a proposal for use elsewhere.
According to the minds behind Modest Needs, many people find themselves in a housing crisis over an emergency expense: medical bill, vehicle breakdown, etc.
This does not account for “cronic” homelessness, due to drug abuse or choice. It is a start, though and may address a portion of the 26%. I have some experience working amongst the homeless in Atlanta, and I think there are not very many good, long-term solutions available now. There are many misconceptions about homelessness, and a definite stigma attached to it.
A person does not become homeless in a moment, but it is often a process–a series of negative experiences. “Get a job” is not an adequate response, but neither is a handout. It is a complex issue, but we’re willing to talk about it.