House Manager Report

January 16, 2021

Client Statistics – We served 104 families in December.  For the number of days we were open in December, we averaged 6.5 visits per day. For the year, 2020, we had 1,585 client visits.  In 2019, we had 3,214 visits.  So we were able to serve about half the number we served in 2019.  In 2020 we had 351 new clients
Virus impact –

We are still not open on Saturdays.
Clients must wait about 5 weeks for an appointment – 7 weeks if you add in the 2 holiday weeks.
Donors still must wait about 2 months for an appointment. 

Volunteers –

We are still at 27 volunteers who are showing up regularly – one returned, one is new, 2 have health issues and won’t be here for several weeks.
The balance is not good and won’t be predictable for quite awhile…

Donation Status –

Our current needs are:

  • Pots and pans
  • Men’s boots, and tennis shoes
  • Small household appliances – microwaves, toasters, coffee pots, blenders, space heaters – we are filling the gaps with appliances from the First Congregational Church grant
  • Can openers – also being filled by the First Congregational Church grant
  • Boys clothes – sizes 7 and up
  • Plus size women’s and men’s clothes
  • King and queen blankets/comforters – Queen sheets
  • Cleaning items – brooms, toilet brushes, plungers, vacuum cleaners, mops, etc.

Business/Community Contacts –

Reinhart Realtors completed their annual coat drive.  We have received many more winter coats from them.
We received the 2021 grant money with no restrictions from First Congregational Church of Ann Arbor.  Debra Dill and I did a 1 minute video for them.
We haven’t received the collection money from Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Ann Arbor yet.
Jean Bush-Bacelis purchased a second round of appliances using the First Congregational grant. 
Trader Joe’s continues to deliver flowers and plants to us for clients.
We received $600 from COSTCO in Van Buren Township because of our connection with Gentry Valley, the photographer at one of our last Gala!
A former board member (Susan Anstett) informed me on Thursday of an opportunity to get winter coats for toddler’s for $6/coat at COSTCO.  I went there on Friday.  COSTCO gave us $100 in gift cards.  I purchased all remaining 18 coats for $108!!
A Target store called me.  They will be donating $250 to us.  They allow the “employee of the month” to pick a charity of their choice.  Someone picked us this month!

Community Outreach –

We may have an opportunity to provide winter coats for homeless people at the warming shelters in Ann Arbor.  I was contacted by First Baptist Church about this.

Facility Status –

The parking lot has big chunks of asphalt near our dock.
The elevator doesn’t work yet for the upstairs where we are renting space to store excess donations.
A semi-trailer ran into the corner of the building roof a few weeks ago.  There are still shingles in the driveway and the roof needs repair.
The water bill for December will be a problem.  Two of the upstairs toilets were running for a while.  The landlord noticed the increase in the bill.  My husband turned off the urinal and the running toilet.

Safety Issues – None.  All the areas are much clearer now.
Incidents – One of our volunteers fell down in the parking lot when taking some bags of clothes to the recycle shed.  A donor found her lying in the parking lot and contacted us.  We called an ambulance and she was taken quickly to the hospital.  She has a closed fracture and a knee contusion.  She will not be back to volunteer for a while.

Areas that need attention –

More people needed to answer the phone.  We have one volunteer who came back to answer the phones on Mondays and Fridays!  However, the person handling the phones on Wednesday will be taking the next 3 weeks off.
Better oversight of administrative issues – we continue to improve slightly in all the areas, but it continues to be an ongoing challenge. 
We are still overwhelmed by donations.  In addition to blocking out one week in February for no donations, we are also accepting NO DONATIONS on Fridays.
With the volunteer who usually works 4 days a week not able to do so, we are finding it challenging to make sure someone is there every week day to open up on time.

Client Stories –

We had one client call us to tell us how much he appreciated us.  He has just moved to Dearborn Heights and probably won’t be back soon but said he was looking around his apartment and realized how much of what he had came from the House.  He was very grateful.
One woman was getting a new mattress from Friends in Deed.  All she needed from us was sheets and blankets.  She was unable to pick them up herself, but sent her son to pick them up.  We had them ready in a box.  She was also grateful.

Overall Appearance and Organization –

The place continues to look VERY GOOD. 
The Christmas decorations have all been packed up and stored for next year!


Submitted by Mary Danforth, House Manager