House Manager Report

November 11, 2021

1. Client Statistics

We served 271 families in October, 432 adults and 447 children. This is 29 families more than we served in September. In October we had 85 new clients. We averaged 12 families a day.

2. Virus impact

 Since July 1st clients do not need an appointment to shop.
 Since November 8th donors do not need an appointment to make donations.

3. Volunteers

 We have 35 regular volunteers.

4. Donation Status

Our current needs are:

  Pots and pans
  Silverware
  Tennis shoes, both men’s and women’s
  Small household appliances – microwaves, toasters, coffee pots, blenders, fans
  Can openers
  Underwear preferably new
  White sport socks
  Pajamas – men’s, women’s and children’s
  Winter gloves and hats, men’s, women’s, and children’s
  Men’s jeans
  Men’s and children’s winter coats
  King, queen, and twin sheets
  King, queen, and twin blankets/comforters
  Towels and washcloths
  Cleaning items – vacuum cleaners, mops, etc.

5. Business/Community Contacts

Friends in Deed (a 501,c,3 established in 1983 in Ypsilanti)  asked for help with referrals for their Circles program. Circles is a national, relationship-based program that helps people permanently move out of poverty. It matches low-income people with two middle-income partners. These partners help broaden participants' social networks, giving access to people and resources they might never have if they only relate to their neighbors in poverty.

The Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation awarded House by the Side of the Road a $10,000 grant from their COVID Relief Fund to support our client needs and building rent.

Pat Holt, one of our dedicated volunteers, was recognized with the 2021 “Constant Contributor” award at the recent RSVP (Retired & Senior Volunteer Program run by Catholic Social Services Washtenaw County) luncheon event. Pat has been with the House since 2013.

6. Community Outreach

Students from the Hunger and Housing Committee of Circle K at the University of Michigan will help us open on Saturday, November 13, from 10am-2pm. Clients are invited to come shop that day. We will also be putting the summer clothes away, putting the winter clothes up, cleaning the building, and tagging clothes.

7. Facility Status

Although the elevator is fixed, it is not certified by the State of Michigan. We reminded our landlord of this on September 27th. There was a recent article distributed in state media acknowledging a backlog of years certifying Michigan elevators.

8. Safety Issues


9. Incidents

On October 25, around 9 am, a client came to the house soaking wet, smelling of urine, and feces. One of our volunteers gave her wipes to clean herself, clean clothes, and adult diapers. After an hour the client wasn’t ready to leave, so our volunteers decided to call the police. Eventually she went outside and the police came shortly after that. She left peacefully after we handed her a warm coat, a blanket, gloves, and a hat. She had known of no place to go or stay overnight. The warming centers are open in Washtenaw County from November 8th to March 31st.

10. Areas that need attention

We have made great improvements to our signage in the building but are not finished yet.

11. Client Stories

One client came in with her husband and one-year old daughter. Since they were homeless last year, they couldn’t properly celebrate Christmas. She was very happy that she could take a lot of Christmas decorations for their new apartment and celebrate their first Christmas together as a family in a festive atmosphere.

12. Overall Appearance and Organization

Improvements in appearance and organization continue to be made, more easily since we expanded into the second floor of our building in July.

Submitted by Gemaya Griffin, House Manager