Clothing drive to help victims of abuse, homeless



Back when I attended high school, you just had to have enough credits to graduate. There were no tests, no projects, no community service required to get your diploma.

Today things are different. Students have to work harder to graduate. There are several hours of community service required, and there’s what they call a senior exit project.

My daughter, Lucy, will graduate Davison High School this spring. Right now, she is in the midst of her senior exit project. It’s a clothing drive she put together to help the community.

For her senior exit project at Davison High School, Lucy has chosen to help with a clothing drive for women and victims of abuse at The Shelter of Flint to get them on their feet and get a job. The shelter is located at 924 Cedar St. in Flint.

Lucy is collecting clothing and household items to help women and children get back on their feet. So far she’s had a pretty good response from the community, but more donations are needed.

Homelessness is a national and local issue. Right here, in Genesee County there are more than 200 individuals living in emergency shelters every night and countless others living on the streets, in their cars and in abandoned buildings.

The fastest growing group of homeless is families with children, according to The Shelter of Flint’s website.

Last year, Shelter of Flint served more than 1,300 homeless individuals and family members. Every day the Emergency Shelter fills its capacity of beds.

The Shelter of Flint offers a full range of programs to support families in emergency, transitional, permanent supportive, first time buyer, affordable and senior affordable housing. Their philosophy involves supporting families well beyond the emergency shelter. They work to identify underlying problems causing their homelessness and provide programs and services proven to address family challenges.

The causes of homelessness are complicated and have no simple fix. Through emergency, transitional and permanent supportive housing — and through the generosity of its host communities — the Shelter is helping families find their way home.

The Shelter of Flint’s mission statement is simple: Integrating programs and services with safe, affordable housing to help low income and homeless individuals and families achieve independence and stability.

To help establish permanent stability, Shelter of Flint clients are provided with access and referral to the following supportive services: Comprehensive case management, employment assistance, GED preparation, home visits, individual and family advocacy, Interagency referrals, life skills development, literacy and educational assistance, nutrition program, Outreach services, parenting skills courses and relocation assistance and housing advocacy.

Anyone wishing to help with Lucy’s project can do so by dropping off clothing and item donations at the Davison Index and View Newspapers office, 220 N. Main St., Davison, during regular business hours of Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and Wednesdays from 1-4 p.m.

Monetary donations should go directly to the shelter by mail. Send your check or money order to: Shelter of Flint, 924 Cedar St., Flint, MI 48503. Or if you’d like to donate by phone, please call 810-238-4711 ext. 301.

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