Monthly Archives: May 2015

Chronic Homelessness

by Dr. Chad Audi

For some individuals, homelessness is a temporary situation. But for others, it is much more persistent. These are the chronically homeless. They have a diagnosed disability and have been homeless for at least one continuous year or experienced at least four episodes of homelessness in the past three years.

The National Alliance to End Homelessness reports there are 84,291 chronically homeless individuals in the United States, based on last year’s point-in-time counts.

Chronic homelessness presents a challenge for many cities and social services agencies that are working to reduce the number of people living on the streets and lower the public costs associated with the homeless, which result from the use of emergency medical services and frequent jail time.

Here in Detroit, city officials are currently working on a plan to address chronic homelessness. The issue presented itself over the winter when about a dozen homeless people camped in tents in a park for several months. They refused to go to shelters in the area. The city later moved them to a hotel and apartments.

Now, the director of the city’s Housing and Revitalization Department is pulling together a group of local social services agencies to analyze metrics, set goals and make recommendations to the Mayor to keep this from happening again.

Many believe the most cost-effective solution to chronic homelessness is permanent supportive housing. That’s a combination of affordable housing and supportive services that will help the individual become a stable resident with improved health and social skills.

As head of Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM), I know that it will take even more to break the cycle of chronic homelessness. We must address the individual’s medical, behavioral and substance abuse issues; provide educational opportunities; teach him or her marketable job skills; and offer continued aftercare.

Only with this “complete support package” can we begin to permanently rid this country of chronic homelessness.

Dr. Chad Audi

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A Summer Experience for Kids

by Dr. Chad Audi

School is almost out for the summer. Children everywhere are looking forward to time away from the classroom and spending more time outdoors and traveling.

But not all children have the advantage of going on family trips to fun places like Disneyland or Cedar Point.

Would you believe some children have never been outside of their own neighborhood? It’s sad, but true.

For more than 40 years, Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM) has run a summer camp for underprivileged kids from the inner city. Our 240-acre Wildwood Ranch in Howell, Michigan is equipped with all of the best camp equipment, and we offer academic, recreational and spiritual activities. The kids love it! They see and do things they have never seen or done before. They ride horses, climb the ropes courses, go boating, room with others in a cabin, and make new friends.

Now, DRMM is pleased to be named as the new operator for another summer camp for Detroit Public Schools (DPS) students. Camp Burt Shurly is located in Gregory, Michigan and we have a lot of renovations planned, such as updating the cabins, expanding the programming, and adding a nature center. DPS has launched a campaign to raise money for the camp improvements.

Just like at Wildwood, we want to make sure that the kids have a great experience on both the educational and recreational levels.

So, when you’re watching the kids in your neighborhood play outside this summer or taking your children on a family vacation, think about the young children and teens who are experiencing the beauty of nature for the very first time at summer camps like ours.

These are the experiences that will shape their futures and broaden their horizons. All kids deserve that opportunity.

Dr. Chad Audi

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