Monthly Archives: June 2015

Lending a Helping Hand

by Dr. Chad Audi

Don’t you feel good when you are able to brighten someone’s day? Whether it’s helping with chores or providing transportation or paying another person’s bills, it makes the recipients —and you —feel so much better.

We, here at the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM) and Working Homes/Working Families charity, are feeling great about being able to bring some joy to a young Detroit mother.

Simone Hearn is 24-years-old and fighting Stage 3 cancer. She is a working mother of three small children. At one point, her family was homeless. When a local television station told Simone’s story, viewers stepped up to offer assistance.

DRMM and Working Homes/Working Families saw her story and presented her with a renovated, furnished home in Detroit. That’s what we do — restore houses and place working families in need into the homes. They are only responsible for paying taxes and utilities and maintaining the home for two years; then they become the owners. There is no mortgage or rent.

We do this because we know it’s possible to have a job, but still not be able to make ends meet. Many of the people who come to DRMM for meals are in that situation. They work, but their meager paychecks do not stretch far enough to cover rent, utilities, food and other necessities of life.

Working Homes/Working Families saw the need — and the abundance of empty and abandoned homes in the city — and together with our committed volunteers, we transform the houses into a safe, clean living environment. Often, the houses are donated by owners who would rather see them used for a good cause than sitting empty.

Recently, we embarked on a large project to rebuild six houses in one east side neighborhood. Employees from Cooper Standard Foundation and DOW Elastomers volunteered with the renovation. The non-profit, Humble Design, provided furnishings and design services. So much joy is possible when we work together!

Meanwhile, Simone Hearn still has a lot to overcome, but it’s a little easier now that she and her children have a roof over their heads. That’s one less thing she has to worry about.

See Simone’s story at: http://www.myfoxdetroit.com/story/29325512/homeless-detroit-mom-of-three-fighting-cancer-gets-free-home#

Dr. Chad Audi

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Cultivating Hope through Urban Farming

by Dr. Chad Audi

Across the country, urban farming has become very popular as a means of providing fresh food for the low-income, poverty-stricken and homeless.

Here in Detroit, as in many other urban cities, residents don’t always have access to grocery stores that sell fresh vegetables, fruits and meats. In addition to fast food restaurants, many people purchase food at neighborhood gas stations and convenience stores. Not a nutritious meal, for sure. But it’s often the only accessible locations for individuals without transportation and a shortage of money.

Therefore, farmers markets and urban gardens are good alternatives to feed individuals and families. Most urban gardens are tended by churches, community groups or nonprofit organizations. Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM) and Cass Community Social Services are partnering with a nonprofit named Buckets of Rain to use urban farms to feed our clients. This approach helps alleviate some of the high costs of purchasing food to serve thousands of people in need each day.

In many ways, urban farming can help us break the cycle of homelessness and poverty that has afflicted our clients. We are able to spend more money on other services, such as transitional housing, job training and counseling.

Buckets of Rain constructs the urban gardens on abandoned city lots. In addition to feeding the community, the urban farms bring hope and a bright spot to blighted areas.

Our clients at DRMM have actively been involved in urban farming, too. It’s a part of their therapy. There’s a peace that comes with being one with nature and knowing that you are cultivating fresh, nutritious produce that will not only enrich your life, but also will help to sustain the community.

Dr. Chad Audi

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