In conjunction with our community partners, MISSION has been housing people since the Zero:2016 campaign began in January of 2015. So far, the community effort including the Washtenaw Housing Alliance, Office for Community and Economic Development, Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness, Shelter Association, Ann Arbor Housing Commission, MISSION, HAWC, Avalon Housing Support Team and others have permanently housed 42 veterans and 35 chronically homeless individuals. In fact, members of our board [MISSION] are now in permanent housing as a result of these efforts. We are grateful that Council has put skin in the game for support services and infrastructure repair. We are also grateful to our all of our community collaborators, including all the council members who came out for Count Day 2015 and who have supported our wider community's efforts with votes that deliver concrete resources to the cause of better housing and better social services. Please read the first two-month report in the slide show above for more information about our housing successes!
Council Member Briere gave a shout-out to us at council last night for the Maiden Lane bridge clean-up project we accomplished last weekend. Our team removed refuse from a camp site that was shut down this spring. This project was taken on as a result of Council Member Briere calling Brian Durrance to let him know that residents were asking about whether a cleanup is planned or not. After talking it over, for a day or so we came up with a plan to get this first site cleared. We are hatching a plan for another site that is closer to E. Medical Center Drive, in the near future.
The slide show above shows some pictures of our team in action. As Briere mentioned tonight during her "Communications from Council" remarks, we [MISSION] are happy to help out, but our resources are minimal. As an organization, not only do we have operating costs, but also, we have a mortgage and we pay property taxes to the city. We hope, in the future, to collaborate directly with the city to help remove refuse from abandoned and current camp sites alike. If containers we placed at strategic locations, for example, we could have our team[s] fill them up the night before pickup.
Let's please not forget that while we have been successful in housing many people, there are many more who are out there and who still need our support. We can and should continue to build a robust continuum-of-care that helps house as many people as we can, while reducing the harm to those relegated to living outside.
Building Communities with Compassion