Even though we often associate education with classroom curriculum’s, there are many organizations throughout Detroit and the United States that solely exist to educate and uplift members of our communities.
Throughout 2016, with your help, the Sean Anderson Foundation was able to provide educational resources and support to individuals and families facing extremely difficult circumstances. By partnering with the Community Foundation of Greater Flint, Wayne State University’s HIGH Program, Tarence Wheeler Productions and the Focus for Health Foundation, we were able to give over $100,000 to programs and initiatives focused on improving the lives of children and families!
This past December 10, the Sean Anderson Foundation was able to sponsor the ongoing efforts of the South Oakland Shelter, based in Lathrup Village, MI. An organization that aims to help families facing homelessness, the South Oakland Shelter uses education and follow-up care to offer long-term solutions for those in need.
Thank you to South Oakland Shelter’s Director of Development, Megan Holt, for both sharing photos from SOS’s holiday event and taking time to answer a few questions for the Sean Anderson Foundation’s blog.
If you would like to donate to the South Oakland Shelter or get involved with their volunteer efforts, Megan made sure to include contact information below!
Can you briefly tell us about the South Oakland Shelter? For over 30 years, South Oakland Shelter (SOS) has been ending homelessness for individuals and families in crisis. With an emphasis on homeless prevention, sustainable housing solutions, and career development, SOS implements strategies and programs that provide realistic options for homeless and at-risk people seeking stabilization and self-sufficiency.
After a family/individual seeks help from the SOS, what then? Is an ongoing relationship maintained between the SOS and individual(s) in need? Yes. When a client joins one of our programs, they are assigned a case manager- whether that be in our emergency shelter or housing program. Additionally, anyone re-housed outside of our programs is offered the opportunity to enter into SOS’s follow-up care program. Follow-up care is reflective of SOS’s commitment to offering long-term solutions to those who need our help. Case managers provide in-home services for one full year to assist clients in maintaining their housing. (For more details on the programs offered at SOS, visit our website at www.southoaklandshelter.org)
What compelled you to get involved with the SOS? I wanted to get involved with SOS because I felt I could help make a difference. I liked that SOS isn’t just a physical shelter, but that it addresses the needs of the clients and works to get them into safe and secure housing. I also like that it involves our entire community. With the help of over 8,000 volunteers, our shelter rotates to a different congregation in Oakland County each week.
For individuals and families in need, how can they make contact with the shelter for assistance? Our office number is (248) 809-3773. We take calls for shelter Sunday through Friday at 10AM. At that time, we’ll be able to inform you if we have any openings and would invite you and your family in that day for an intake. The demand for shelter is unfortunately high, and the area’s homeless shelters often cannot keep up with the demand. As such, it might take a few tries to secure a spot somewhere. With that said, we encourage people to call daily as things change on a daily basis.
For those who want to volunteer and/or donate to the SOS this holiday season, where should they go? www.southoaklandshelter.org/donate to make a financial contribution, and www.southoaklandshelter.org/volunteer to see the list of volunteer opportunities and to fill out a volunteer application.