Tag Archives: families

Homeless for the Holidays

by Dr. Chad Audi

The holiday season is here once again. As families gather to share meals, gifts and holiday cheer, we all need to remember the people who have no one and nowhere to go. For them, the holidays are just another day. Another day struggling to survive. And another day wondering where their next meal will come from.

For the homeless, the holidays are a lonely time. Most don’t want to be on the streets. They ended up there through unfortunate circumstances or by making wrong decisions. However, they long to return to a home and job, and they want to be reunited with their families. But it can be difficult to gather the strength and confidence to seek help to turn around their lives. This undertaking is too monumental to achieve alone.

Through the kindness and generosity of our donors and supporters, Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM) is able to give help and hope to the hungry, hurting and homeless during the holiday season and year round.

We’re particularly happy that we could make the holidays brighter for a homeless Detroit couple who had turned their four children over to Child Protective Services, rather than subject them to a cold existence of living and sleeping in their car. One child suffers from severe asthma; another is autistic.

DRMM is providing the family with a new home — rent-free, furnished and stocked with food for the holidays. Based on their new housing situation, I reached out to the courts to request that a hearing be held in time to return custody of the children to the parents prior to Christmas. You can read the full story by clicking here.

As you celebrate this joyous Christmas season, think about those who don’t have a roof over their heads. Say a prayer for them and recognize the healing power of “giving” on Christmas Day.

Dr. Chad Audi

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Poverty Remains Unchanged

by Dr. Chad Audi

The new U.S. Census Bureau report on poverty in America was neither encouraging nor discouraging. Statistics show the country’s median income and poverty rate in 2014 remained the same as the previous year.

If you’re a “glass half full” kind of person, the numbers are good news. But if you look at things through a “glass half empty” perspective, the report isn’t particularly positive.

Here in Detroit, where I operate Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM), the news was especially disheartening. We were rated as the most impoverished major city in America with 39.3-percent living below the poverty line of $24,008 for a family of four.

DRMM and other organizations that assist the homeless and disadvantaged can pretty much predict the annual numbers by the amount of people we service. The Census numbers indicate the nation’s middle class and poor didn’t see any extra money last year. In other words, the economic recovery has not touched the needy.

Here at DRMM, we still see working families come in for a free dinner. Their paychecks don’t always stretch to cover a daily, balanced meal. We still provide basic needs and career training services for laid off workers who can’t make ends meet. And, we still find our shelters filled past capacity on many nights.

Addressing the needs of this country’s poor and hungry is one of the top issues that should dominate the agenda for next year’s presidential candidates. A group of 100 faith-based organizations calling themselves “Circle of Protection” has asked each candidate to create a short video outlining their plans for helping the disadvantaged. You can view the videos here.

I hope that you will show compassion toward the poor, just as God commanded that we give generously to the needy and speak on their behalf.

Dr. Chad Audi

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Reaping the Harvest of a New Season

by Dr. Chad Audi

Ready or not, we are about to experience a change in the seasons. Children are going back to school. Families are taking their last summer vacation. And soon, the leaves on the trees will change to a brilliant red and orange. All of these are sure signs of fall.

Autumn is associated with the harvest — a time when things planted are gathered. The Bible says God stands in control of the harvest time; it is part of His work. Luke 10:2 reads, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

Here at the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM), we are laborers standing ready to gather the harvest and share it with the homeless, poverty-stricken and disadvantaged that come to our doors for help. The harvest that we provide for these individuals and families includes food, knowledge, education, job training, and the love of God.

Additionally, DRMM offers a harvest of hope to our clients. They can get a second chance. They can turn around their lives. And, they can be reunited with their loved ones. Hope abounds throughout Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries.

You, too, can reap a harvest by giving to the less fortunate. Visit your local rescue mission or homeless shelter and donate money, goods and products, or your time and expertise. Proverbs 19:17 says, “Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will repay him for his deed.”

Make this the season to harvest your rich rewards.

 

Dr. Chad Audi

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Creating Blessings out of a Tragedy

by Dr. Chad Audi

As you can imagine, I have seen and heard many moving stories over the years as President & CEO of Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM). However, the story of a young Detroit woman who was the unintended victim of a drive-by shooting six years ago, touched me like no other has in a while.

Dreia Davis was 13 years old when she was hit by the stray bullet. Today, she needs a wheelchair to get around and has endured years of surgeries and serious illnesses as a result of the shooting. Through it all, Dreia’s dad, Curtis White, has provided around-the-clock care for his daughter.

So, when a local television reporter told me about Dreia’s story, I immediately wanted to make life better for Dreia and her father. DRMM is giving the struggling family a new home that is being outfitted to accommodate Dreia’s wheelchair. We could have simply renovated Dreia and Curtis’s current rental, but it wasn’t in very good condition. Now, the family not only has a house, but they have a real home!

I’m so very happy to be able to bring some blessings to this young woman who is truly a living miracle.

Matthew 5:16 encourages us all to be a blessing to others: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

You can read Dreia’s story at: http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/detroit/2015/08/13/dreia-davis-shooting-detroit/31466877/

Dr. Chad Audi

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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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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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Educating Homeless Families

by Dr. Chad Audi

It’s probably something you don’t give much thought to, but have you ever wondered how well homeless children perform in school? Due to their unstable living environment, many are at increased risk of not learning as well as other children. But, one way of increasing the chance of academic success is to provide education programs for the entire family.

Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM) is pleased to be involved in a pilot project called the “Family Learning Program,” administered by the St. Vincent and Sarah Fisher Center (SVSF) and funded by Reading Works of Detroit.

The program works like this: SVSF creates personalized education programs for homeless women and children staying at our Genesis House II transitional housing facility. In a press release, Diane Renaud, SVSF executive director and CEO, said: “We believe that by working with multiple generations simultaneously, it will help break the cycle of resistance to education faster.”

Makes sense, right? After all, much of what a child learns about life comes from watching his or her parents. So why not teach academics and employment skills to the entire family at the same time!

Many of DRMM’s clients need help improving their reading skills. Detroit has an alarmingly high illiteracy rate: 47-percent of adults, according to the National Institute for Literacy. Without the ability to read adequately, it is difficult for our clients to learn job skills and land employment as we help them rebuild their lives. The ability to read is essential for them to become self-sufficient, productive citizens in our society.

Meanwhile, the children will get personalized assistance with their school work to make sure they keep up with the standard levels of achievement as they progress to the next grade. We also expect that this family learning opportunity will raise the self-esteem and confidence of the women and their children.

Thank you, SVSF and Reading Works. We are excited about the potential of this pilot project!

Dr. Chad Audi

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