Rebecca Porter (left) was homeless for most of the past year. She is working with case worker Amanda Fleckenstein (right) and others at Volunteers of America Michigan to move into permanent housing. She hopes to be in her new home by Christmas.
Michigan’s long winter months can give anyone the blues, but it’s an especially dangerous time for the homeless. Hundreds of people in mid-Michigan live on the streets, and their circumstances are diverse. In Lansing, officials are so far pleased with the results of a pilot program to move 11 people out of a makeshift camp and into permanent housing.
A group of pastors and volunteers for a local non-profit in Ft. Lauderdale are facing jail time and hundreds of dollars in fine after a run-in with police last week. Their crime? Passing out food to the homeless in a city park. Advocates for the homeless says these kinds of ordinances are part of a larger trend of cities criminalizing the activities of homeless people. Here in Michigan, a number of cities have ordinances restricting vagrancy and panhandling.
The clinic at 430 N. Larch in Lansing is jointly run by Sparrow Health Systems and Volunteers of America Michigan. Officials say since it opened in March, their on-site services have helped reduce the number of ambulance calls to the shelter.
It’s Wednesday and time for our Neighbors in Action segment, where we feature people and organizations working to make our community a better place. Today we feature The Homeless Angels, a new Lansing-based organization that does outreach and referrals primarily for street-based homeless people.
Today marks the very first day that homeless individuals in the Capitol region will have a medical clinic to call their own.
The new $900,000 project, which is located at 430 N. Larch Street, is a collaboration between the area’s largest healthcare provider, Sparrow Health System, and the region’s largest homeless services provider, Volunteers of America Michigan.