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Shelter Association of Washtenaw County receives $40K to fight homelessness

Grant provided by Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan

Mattresses ready to be used in the winter warming center (Photo: Meredith Bruckner)

ANN ARBOR – The Shelter Association of Washtenaw County has received funding from the Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan to tackle homelessness.

The $40,000 human services grant will support SAWC’s efforts to provide temporary shelter and address affordable housing needs for Washtenaw County residents experiencing homelessness.

The grant is part of CFSEM’s effort to support nonprofit organizations focused on civic life, education, the arts, environment, human services, health and youth.

“Covid-19 has put a significant strain on our operating expenses and staff,” SAWC officials said in a release. “Affordable housing scarcity, brought on by landlord moratoriums, have made it increasingly difficult to place people into housing in a timely fashion extending shelter stays up to 95 days per person. This strain displaces more people to the streets as they wait to claim a bed in our residential program.”

The waiting list for SAWC’s program has grown significantly since the first cases of COVID were detected in Michigan in March 2020.

“Funding from this grant will allow us to offer more beds on the 2nd Floor of our Delonis Center location, previously shut-down due to funding cuts,” reads SAWC’s news release. “Despite these challenges, SAWC housed nearly 300 people last year.

“We are hopeful that one day, all southeast Michigan residents will have a permanent place to call home.”

SAWC has been providing temporary housing and support services for community members in need since 1982.

For more information about SAWC and the Delonis Center, visit www.annarborshelter.org.


About the Author:

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.