Ending Homelessness in Michigan

April 1, 2010

Karen Holcomb-Merrill

This week I attended my first meeting with the Michigan Campaign to End Homelessness.   This is not a new initiative,  but the League is new to the Campaign’s State Implementation Group.

Being a part of this Campaign seems like a natural fit for the League as we work to help vulnerable families and populations around the state.  I went into the meeting knowing little about the Campaign, but learned a lot.

There are more than 86,000 homeless people in Michigan, the size of a large city.  Over one-third of the homeless are working poor and nearly 60 percent are female heads of households.

I didn’t know that Michigan is the only state addressing homelessness on a statewide basis.  Every community in our state has a 10-year plan to end homelessness.  These local efforts are coordinated and supported at the state level.

The Campaign’s goal is to end homelessness by 2016.  Certainly a formidable goal.  But I’m learning that there are lots of folks in communities working diligently on this goal.  They include service agencies, faith-based organizations, government entities, local leaders and business leaders.

If you go to the Campaign’s website, you can find the 10-year plan to end homelessness for your community.  I hope you’ll take a look.  In the end, no one should have to sleep on the streets, in a box or in a car.