Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

SOS Open Houses Provide Grass-Roots Opportunity

9. February 2005 • MarkDilley
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SOS Community Services will open its doors on February 24, March 24 and April 28, 2005, to community members interested in learning about and supporting the county-wide Blueprint to End Homelessness. From 5:30-7:00 p.m. on each of these days, community members can meet with SOS board directors and staff, share ideas and engage in discussion about how we can all work together to end homelessness in Washtenaw County. Each open house will start at the SOS Administrative Offices, 101 S. Huron Street, Ypsilanti. At 6:00 p.m., staff will escort guests on a guided tour of the SOS Crisis Center and Prospect Place Family Shelter, with discussion continuing afterward.

To attend an open house, please contact Kathryn at 734.961.1207 or by Monday, February 21, March 21, or April 25, respectively. Those unable to visit SOS on these dates may contact Kathryn to make alternate arrangements for groups of five or more.

At these gatherings, SOS board directors and staff members will share what we know about family homelessness in this community and the solutions SOS has been pursuing to end it. We invite our fellow community members to share their own perspectives on this issue. The goal of the SOS open houses is to exchange good information that enables all of us to make knowledgeable, realistic and effective decisions about what each of us can contribute towards transforming the Blueprint from vision to reality.

The Blueprint charges SOS Community Services with two responsibilities:

1) to work with the Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN), the Salvation Army, Saint Joseph Mercy Health Systems and the rest of the community to increase the number of family emergency shelter units in Washtenaw County, and

2) to work with Washtenaw County’s Workforce Development Board, Employment Training and Community Services Group, Family Independence Agency, Office of Community Corrections and MSU Extension; the State of Michigan’s Michigan Works! and Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS); Food Gatherers; Michigan Ability Partners (MAP); Project Outreach Team (PORT); Shelter Association of Washtenaw County; and Washtenaw Community College to develop an integrated strategy of education and employment services for people who are homeless.

SOS Community Services responds with care and respect to families in need by working in partnerships that result in economic, family, and residential stability. SOS provides comprehensive services for homeless families and children, including but not limited to eviction prevention, emergency food distribution, utility assistance, shelter location and housing relocation, temporary shelter and transitional housing, educational and employability support services, life skills training, parenting programs and play-groups, therapeutic child care and after-school programs.

For more information about SOS Community Services, including opportunities to volunteer and donate, please visit or call (734) 485-8730. For more information about the Blueprint to End Homelessness, please visit .