January 2018 House Manager's Report


1.     Client Statistics – For 2017, we served an average of 50 families per week or 207 per month.  This is an increase from 2016 where we served an average of 150 per month.  90% come from Ann Arbor or Ypsilanti (38% AA, 52% Ypsi).  51% are black, 31% are white, 8% are middle-eastern.  We had 807 new families in 2017.

2.     Saturdays – In 2018 we are trying to get new volunteers to come in on Saturdays rather than trying to encourage current volunteers to put in an extra day.  This past Saturday (January 20th) went extremely well.  We had 11 new volunteers, 3 current volunteers, and 3 students from Alpha Phi Omega.  We got an amazing amount of work done.  We had 2 clients.  One came because she worked during the week.  Another one came because she is disabled and needed her teenage daughter to be with her.

3.     Volunteers – We have 3 new volunteers so far in January.  This is very good because 2 of our current volunteers are out for a couple of months due to illness and 1 is out due to family issues.  There is a constant need for recruiting new volunteers. 

4.     Donation Status –

What we need:

- New socks and underwear for men, women, and children.

- Pots and pans.

- Linens (especially blankets and towels).

- Winter coats for men and children.

We get steady donations from a large variety of sources.  The word continues to spread.  Today the person who installed our new carpet a few months ago came with a large delivery of coats and linens.  He had been so impressed when he learned what we do and really liked the idea that we give items directly to those in need for FREE.  He says he has been telling others about us.

5.     Business Contacts –
-       Ann Arbor State Bank contacted us about having someone join the board. 
·       North Star Bank delivered their gathering of hats, gloves, and lip balm. 

6.     Community Outreach –
·       2 of our volunteers (Flossie and Pat) went to Mitchell School on January 13th as part of CAN’s annual gathering of local agencies that might be useful to families in low income school districts in Ann Arbor.  It went well.
-       As a result of the CAN outing, we have been asked to have a table at SMTMD (Show Me The Money Day) on Friday, February 2nd  – sponsored by United Way of Washtenaw County.  This event helps people get the access they need to the resources they need. 

·       On February 4th we will have a table at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Ann Arbor.  The collection they take in at both services will be donated to us.  Probably about $2000. 

7.     Facility Status –
·       We had a couple of racks that broke that we use to transport clothes from the sorting area to the shopping area.  Jim Danforth was able to make one good rack out of the 2 broken racks.  We won’t replace the rack.  I have asked the volunteers to be more careful when rolling the racks from room to room.  (No more banging into the walls!)

8.     Safety Issues – The only remaining suggestion we have from the police department is that we install a peep hole in the back door.  We have yet to do that. 

9.     Areas that need attention – (no change):

·       Document detailed procedures,
·       Do more complete training of volunteers when they start

10.  Client Stories –
·       We received $1.00 on a Western Union check from a current client.  We received the check in the mail.  The envelope was covered with hand-drawn Christmas pictures.

11. Overall Appearance and Organization – Overall things are going very smoothly.  Clients and new volunteers often comment on how well organized and pleasant the place is.

12. Computer plans – I think it is time to start to think about connecting to the Internet.  We get quite a few emails from our website. We need to be able to share files and programs without having to use a USB drive.  Email would be handier.

Mary Danforth

Board President, House by the Side of the Road