Please consider volunteering to help support homeless families in our community by providing or preparing food, supervising kids activities or serving as an overnight host as an Alpha House volunteer. This is a great opportunity to join together as a family to help others.
You can also help by contributing items that help Alpha House support families during the year. Click here to view a Wish list.
Homelessness is a profound and growing problem for our nation. Today, America is confronted with a homeless population whose magnitude could once have been caused only by a major economic depression. Hundreds of thousands of Americans – children and adults – have no place to call home.
Today’s homeless population is very diverse and goes beyond the stereotypes of the past. A large segment of this growth in homelessness includes families. Over half of the homeless are women and children.
More than any another group, a family’s life is turned upside down and can be virtually destroyed if the family stays homeless very long. Victims of eviction, urban renewal, unemployment or family breakup, members of this vulnerable group have suffered most from a lack of decent affordable housing.
UUAA Outreach to Area Homeless Families
We participate as one of the network congregations that provides meals and other support for three to five families (up to approximately 16 people) for one week on a rotating schedule. We have been hosting IHN 3 - 4 times a year. The families stay at Alpha House, located at 4290 Jackson Rd., near the intersection of Jackson and Wagner. The phone number for Alpha House is 734-822-0220.
We usually obtain over one hundred volunteers from our congregation through the year.
We have an IHN committee that works behind the scenes to coordinate all of the volunteers and other miscellaneous tasks that must be completed in order to make this happen.
How You Can Help
The three Sundays before our hosting week we have a table set up in the Social Hall after church for volunteers (that's you) to sign up to help!
- Bring in food/dry goods items. Ex. Milk, cereal, paper napkins, etc.
- Bring in specific dinner items. Ex. Salad, meat dish, dessert, etc.
- Help set up dinner.
- Eat dinner with the families.
- Help transport food and supplies.
- Volunteer to sleep overnight.
- Host on Saturday/Sunday for 2-3 hour shifts
IHN Is Structured to serve families. It provides:
- Overnight lodging and meals in private, safe, healthy, "home-like" accommodations.
Short Lead Time
- Use of existing facilities eliminates time spent buying and renovating a building; it takes only a few months to put together a Network program.
- Operating cost reduced by using existing community resources.
- Direct involvement often motivates volunteers to play an important role in providing additional support services for families.
- Network program does not institutionalize shelter as a permanent solution. It is not a substitute for affordable housing initiatives.
Catalyst for Change
- Network volunteers and congregations are motivated to develop more permanent solutions for homelessness.
Social Concern Ministry
- Churches and synagogues experience ownership of the program as their outreach ministry to the homeless.
Think globally and act locally. It feels good and you can have fun too!
Read more about efforts to fight homelessness in our community at the web site for the Shelter Association of Washtenaw County.