House Manager Report
May 9, 2019

Client Statistics – We served 294 families in April for a total of 847 people.  In April 2017 we served 179 families.  In April 2018 we served 241 families.

Saturdays – On Saturday, May 4, we had 2 clients. We had lots of volunteers and got a tremendous amount of sorting and cleaning done. 

Volunteers – We have 34 regular volunteers and 2 reliable community service volunteers.  We have had 5 new volunteers this year and another one starting soon.  One of our regular volunteers had to resign due to a schedule change, but one of our former volunteers has returned after several months of recovery from surgery.  Currently one volunteer is out for at least 4 weeks due to a health issue.  She may be back by the end of May.  Another volunteer has stepped up to fill in for her.

Donation Status –

Donations continue to pour in, but we are keeping up with the donations.  We received 2 very large black bags – one filled with socks and one filled with underwear – from the Presbyterian Women!

Our current needs are:

  • Pots and pans
  • Twin, full, & queen size sheets (we mostly get King size from hotels)
  • Blankets/comforters/spreads of all sizes
  • Small appliances
  • Backpacks/suitcases
  • Plus size women’s clothes
  • Dinner size plates
  • Forks
  • Boys clothes sizes 6-18
  • Towels

Business/Community Contacts –

We had 4 volunteers from CHS Group in Ypsilanti today.  This is an organization that helps people with some sort of disability.  They will be sending us 4 volunteers every Wednesday.  Today they worked on putting toiletry packets together and marking shoes.  They did a very good job.  They are similar to the Work Skills group that comes on Thursdays.  Both groups send a coach to work with the volunteers from the group.

On April 22nd I spoke to about 10 women from a local P.E.O. Chapter about House by the Side of the Road.  The presentation was well received.  We will be getting donations from this group.  If we get clients who need financial support for college, I will recommend them to this group.

I spoke to about 30 women from the American Baptist Women group at the First Baptist Church in Ann Arbor.  There were women from 5 different Baptist churches in the area.  The talk went very well.  Each woman brought something on our “items we need” list to donate to the House.  My car was filled up when I left the meeting.  This group donates to us annually and has been doing so ever since I have been connected with House by the Side of the Road. 

Dixboro United Methodist Church sent 3 volunteers in April.  They do this every year.

I was asked to speak for 8 minutes on the Lucy Ann Lance show for a spotlight called “Community Cares”.  There will be 2 other organizations speaking also – Catholic Social Services and Jewish Family Services.  They were focused on faith-based organizations.  I think the show will air on May 18th.  I also recorded a 30 second PSA (Public Service Announcement).

Community Outreach –

DAPCO (Destiny and Purpose Community Outreach) gave us $50 for “rent” and a large donation of items.  We have referred several clients to them.  We have also had two rather large donations of diapers which we gave to them to distribute. 

We continue to share donations with the Belleville Clothes Closet and 2nd Baptist Church of Ann Arbor on a weekly basis.

We donated some clothes to a clothes closet in Monroe when the clothes closet in Belleville stopped accepting clothes for a couple of weeks.  They are accepting clothes again, but we may have an opportunity to share with Monroe in the future.

We donated about 4 large bags of shoes to a church that was collecting shoes for people in Guatemala.  We currently have an excess of shoes.
There is an organization in Northville that is also collecting shoes for the homeless that we will probably donate to in the near future.

Facility Status –

We keep the back hallway very, very clear. We seem to be working a bit faster this past couple of weeks.  This has been helped by having a few more volunteers each day.

No progress on the awning, carpet cleaning, signage for back door, or bathroom upgrade.  There may be some opportunity for grants here or projects for Boy Scouts!

Safety Issues –
We posted the Safety Procedures in prominent places in the lunch room, sorting area, and check in area.

Areas that need attention –

Documenting procedures – We need to finalize some of these. 

Client Stories –

A woman came to us who has just gotten out of the hospital after a long bout with pneumonia.  When she got home from the hospital, she discovered that her children had sold all her clothes and furniture, thinking she was going to die.  We were able to help with many items.

We served a young homeless man who is staying in a hotel but looking for someone to share an apartment with.  He has 2 jobs but can’t afford an apartment on his own. We didn’t have everything he needed (particularly a backpack) but we had most everything else.

Overall Appearance and Organization – In general, everything is looking very good! 

Computer plans – Our computer software volunteer has come in 3 times this past 2 weeks to “shadow” the check-in and checkout people to make sure the software he has written will match our needs.


  • Language barriers – There is still room for improvement here. 
  • Donation overflow – currently under control
  • Garage storage is being reduced.
  • We need a few new racks.  One of the older racks “collapsed”.  We have some more like it that don’t balance well. 

Submitted by,

Mary Danforth, House ManagerType your paragraph here.