In every community, there are people who are homeless. Many Downriver are currently finding shelter at the Taylor Church of Nazarene, a building on Eureka Road. Very soon, ChristNet, an agency supported by local churches and volunteers, hopes that a recently purchased building in that same city will become a permanent residence.
To accomplish this mission, a Nov. 17 fundraiser, “Holiday Dazzle & Dreams,” at the Orlando Familia Banquet Center in Riverview, will bring together a room of people who want to make a difference and help their “neighbors” find their way once again. The proceeds from this annual event will go toward paring down a $400,000 renovation cost, which will include a commercial kitchen, showers, laundry room, carpentry and measures for security. A new floor, roof repairs and water lines have already been completed.
The Taylor site is the only emergency homeless shelter in western Wayne County. This year, Father Bob McCabe, a Catholic priest, whose photographic talents have put a face on the homeless, will attend the event. His camera has captured with grace and dignity the daily struggles of those who live on the street. His talk at the fundraiser is titled, “Winters on the Street” and his pictures will tell the story.
The pastor of St. Pius X Parish in Southgate believes that when it comes to poverty, none of us can put an end to it, but many aren’t even trying to do anything. Centers like ChristNet are crucial to the community and can offer a safe, cost effective and realistic way to provide emergency housing.
Linda Cleaver and Linda Dickman are chairing the 2017 Harvest for the Homeless and have planned an evening of socializing at 6 p.m., followed by dinner, dancing and opportunities to bid on auction items at the Orlando Familia Banquet Center, located at 15001 Sibley Road in Riverview. Tickets are $50 per person and $450 for a reserved table of 10. Information on tickets can be obtained by contacting Cleaver at (734) 558-9912 or (734) 675-5562 or firstname.lastname@example.org; and Dickman at (734) 675-0893, email@example.com. In addition, there are sponsorship opportunities that range from $100 to $10,000.
The Downriver program of providing shelter and meals to the homeless began more than 25 years ago and started as a grassroots effort providing emergency overnight stays to mostly men. The statistics have changed over the years and now nearly 25 percent of the requests come from women, many with children. Efforts are made to find schooling for children.
Beginning with eight participating churches, now nearly 60 churches provide a host site and support services. The night shelter runs from October to June and meals at the churches and Daytime Center are distributed throughout the year. All services are provided at no cost to the guest/client.
More information is available at www.christnetservices.org.