Two local foundations have stepped up with grants to help Haven House kickstart a new pledge drive to combat homelessness in the community over the next five years.
The R.E. Olds Foundation and the Joe D. Pentecost Foundation recently announced grants to Haven House totaling $30,000. The funding will provide incentive matching dollars for Haven House’s new pledge campaign. The first 15 donors who pledge $1,000 per year for five years will see a 3-to-1 match in the first year of their pledge payment, tripling the impact they have on helping homeless families quickly reach housing. As a result, an additional 45 families will be welcomed into Haven House over the next year. Over the course of the next five years, 165 families will find shelter and move into housing with the help of these funds.
As one of the few family homeless shelters in the area, Haven House provides shelter for families when they have nowhere else to go. On a given night in Michigan, 8,351 individuals experience homelessness. In the Lansing School District alone, approximately 600 kids experience homelessness each year. The Haven House funding and just-launched pledge appeal is aimed at increasing the number of homeless parents and kids it welcomes into shelter during the next five years.
“We are committed, as a foundation, to supporting families and youth,” said Diana Tarpoff, co-chair and grants manager for the R.E. Olds Foundation. “Seeing the care and support that Haven House provides to homeless families made them a natural partner for us. Being able to help families staying in my neighborhood is an added bonus.”
Currently, families stay at Haven House for an average of 17 days before moving into a home. Despite this short length of stay, families often remain in shelter even after identifying housing because of high rehousing costs, such as security deposits or obtaining birth certificates and other documents. The quicker families are able to move into housing, the more families Haven House is able to welcome into its shelter that would otherwise be turned away.
“It takes the commitment of a community to support homeless families. We are thankful for the many donors and volunteers who further our mission every day,” said Gabriel Biber, executive director of Haven House.
Haven House is planning a pledge breakfast for spring 2020 to share the impact of the grants and pledges on families. To receive updates and learn ways to support Haven House, visit HavenHouseEL.org/joinus. To learn how to provide hope and a fresh start to homeless families as a pledge donor, contact Molly Cook, development director, at mcook@HavenHouseEL.org or call (517) 337-2731.