House by the side of the road
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House Manager Report - September 2019
In September, we served 325 families for a total of 829 people. We have had 541 new families so far in 2019. This is an average of 60 new families a month. In September we had 86 new families. 325 families is the HIGHEST number we have ever served in a month – see attached chart.
Saturdays – We served 10 clients on Saturday, September 14th – the most ever on a Saturday. We had 4 or 5 volunteers from Zeta Phi Beta sorority in Livonia (or Canton). One volunteer brought her 2 children (ages 4 and 6). We had the children sort through the kids books and select which ones to display. When the 6-year-old was well into the process, he looked up at his mom and said “I thought this day was going to be really boring, but this is the BEST job ever!”
We are averaging 8-9 volunteers showing up every day. We have several who volunteer more than one day a week. This has been extremely helpful since our client visits and donations have increased substantially. One of our volunteers works 8-10 hours every week day!
We are basically overwhelmed with donations again.
However, our current needs are:
Dexter Pharmacy donated 8 shopping carts to us now that they have gone out of business. Very good news for us. We are able to use the entry way for the carts.
Four organizations are planning to do a coat drive for us in October/November.
First Baptist Church of Ann Arbor plans to collect items we are especially in need of. They will start the collection in October and deliver to us in November! They have done this before and donated a wide range of wonderful items.
The student from Eastern Michigan University has come in several days in September to learn about each role at the House. She is ready to start writing up the procedures for each role.
Thomson Reuters donated to the House. They plan to fill a table at the Gala. I attended an event for employees with about 12 other NPOs at Thomson Reuters on September 26th. Several people stopped by our table – most had never heard of the House but were eager to donate items since we are just a few miles up the road from their location.
Alpha Phi Omega fraternity at the U of M wants to start volunteering again this fall.
Pollock Investment Advisors on E Huron wants to sponsor a table at the Gala.
Zeta Phi Beta sorority showed up on Saturday – see above.
Jewish Family Services is also supplying occasional volunteers (with a translator on their first day)
Washtenaw Community College donated chairs, a small table and 2 TVs.
Ferguson (the company behind us) wants to donate chairs to us also. They will store them for us until we have room to display some.
DAPCO would like to partner with us on fundraising ideas and do a joint project.
We continue to share donations with the Belleville Clothes Closet and 2nd Baptist Church of Ann Arbor on a weekly basis.
I delivered a carload of medical supplies to World Medical Relief.
We didn’t get the shoe room shelves up in September – hopefully in October. One of the volunteers and her husband are going to paint the room first.
Still no progress on the awning, carpet cleaning, signage for back door, or bathroom upgrade. I did give our landlord a tour of the bathroom when he came a few days ago to donate items.
Areas that need attention
Documenting procedures – This is now underway with the Eastern Michigan University student!!
Handling more clients than we previously had – This needs more discussion and planning.
A client who collapsed twice while shopping had come on the bus to shop. I offered to take her home which she agreed to. She wouldn’t have been able to carry what she got on the bus. One of the main items she got was a winter coat. She is 83 years old, very thin, and lives in an extremely small 1-room apartment with a bed and no other furniture. She has a place to hang her clothes on one wall but everything else is on the floor. Every time I see where a client lives, I can understand why they need the services we provide.
One of our clients has been living in a tent behind Kroger’s for the past 3 years. He finally got into Delonis. He has been all over the United States doing different jobs with a long list of reasons why each one ended. He and another homeless client who lives in a van spent quite a bit of time discussing the best way to construct a bed in a van.
Overall Appearance and Organization
At the moment, we are a bit too full of items. That will be addressed this coming Saturday.
Computer plans – No update.
Language barriers – A board member has volunteered to help pay for a translation tool.
We need more space or more open hours
Submitted by Mary Danforth, House Manager