Homelessness isn’t confined to the city of Detroit. There are over 2,500 homeless persons living in shelters, transitional housing or on the streets in Macomb County, and nearly 1,300 of them are homeless students.
Many of the county’s homeless find their way to the food pantry, Sunday soup kitchen and Wednesday community suppers at Grace Episcopal Church of Mt. Clemens. Its care for the homeless made it eligible for a $5,000 grant from the A Hole in the Roof Foundation, whose mission is to help faith and relief groups of every denomination who care for the homeless, underserved populations, and victims of disaster by providing funds to repair the spaces where they offer their services.
A sister organization of SAY Detroit, A Hole in the Roof selects one local organization each year to support with funds raised during the annual Radiothon.
Best-laid (floor) plans…
As a recipient of Radiothon funding raised in December of 2017 and distributed in a special ceremony the following March, Grace Episcopal Church originally planned to repair the floor of its dining hall. Nature, and a literal hole in the roof, presented a more immediate need. An unexpected leak in the kitchen’s roof would periodically cause up to 2 inches of flooding, which in turn would shut down the kitchen’s use for meals the homeless community had come to depend upon.
Frequently unable to cook, they would resort to ordering pizza. The grant from A Hole in the Roof covered more than half of the repair project’s $9,000 cost.
“The best thing is that it has not leaked since it was fixed in March … Now we can continue feeding people every week without the fear of having to close the kitchen due to flooding.”
— Pastor Steven Steinberger-Domienik
The community supper at Grace Episcopal provides a full warm meal, blood pressure screening and companionship to approximately 125 people every Wednesday night, 52 weeks a year.
A Hole in the Roof’s name is inspired by its formation in assisting the I Am My Brother’s Keeper church in Detroit, where, despite a gaping hole in the roof that exposed the sanctuary to the elements, the late pastor Henry Covington provided food, shelter, and spiritual nourishment for the homeless and underserved in his community.
SAY Detroit’s own roots grew out of a modest effort to extend the services offered to the homeless during the 2006 Super Bowl weekend (if you’ve never seen it, check out our running timeline.) Your support continues the work of SAY Detroit and A Hole in the Roof in funding and partnering with programs that help our homeless populations – which include individuals, families, veterans – with immediate and long-term transitional needs.
A Hole in the Roof awarded a grant this spring for needed structural improvements at St Luke AME Church in Highland Park, which has been providing spiritual food to the community for over 100 years as the first black church in the city. Stay tuned for more updates from this latest project.
DETROIT, March 27, 2018 — Representatives from 22 area charities accepted checks totaling nearly $1.25 million on Tuesday from donations raised at Mitch Albom’s S.A.Y. Detroit Radiothon last December.
The ceremony at the Fisher Building, which included six first-time recipients, has become S.A.Y. Detroit’s favorite day of the year, said Albom, who distributed the funds to the benefitting charities with Dr. Chad Audi and representatives from major sponsor organizations, and supporters. Audi is president of the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries, which is S.A.Y. Detroit’s operating partner.
“It’s really the generosity of the people who gave to our Radiothon — some even $5 or $10 contributions, all the way up to large corporate gifts — that we are sharing with worthy charities around Detroit,” said Albom, who founded the S.A.Y. Detroit nonprofit in 2006. “It’s our honor and pleasure to do so each year.”
Funds were distributed to the following charities:
- S.A.Y Detroit Play Center, $565,000
- S.A.Y. Detroit Family Health Clinic, $300,000;
- Working Homes Working Families, $100,000;
- S.A.Y. Detroit Tomorrow Fund (endowment), $100,000;
- College for Creative Studies/Detroit Dream Scholars, $30,000;
- Cass Community Social Services, $25,000;
- Bing Youth Institute, $10,000;
- Humble Design, $10,000;
- Westside Cultural & Athletic Club, $10,000;
- COTS/Bright Beginnings, $10,000;
- SASHA Center, $10,000;
- Michigan Veterans Foundation, $10,000;
- LA SED INC., $10,000;
- *Notes for Notes, $7,500;
- Real Life My Music, $7,500;
- *D2N/EVO Detroit, $7,500;
- United Sisters of Charity/Mother Batie’s Kitchen, $6,000;
- Hole in the Roof Foundation/*Grace Episcopal, $5,000;
- Veterans Matter, $5,000;
- *Art Road, $5,000;
- *Friendship Circle/Farber Soul Center, $5,000;
- JVS, $5,000;
- *Buckets of Rain, $3,000.
(* Denotes 1st-time recipient).
Albom also announced the expansion of S.A.Y. Detroit’s Board of Directors. The 11 members are: Dennis Archer, Cynthia Ford, Carmen Harlan, Judge Damon Keith, Rob Orley, Al Papa, David Provost, Charles Rothstein, Arn Tellem, Albom and Audi. A new advisory board will be announced soon.
“We’re so pleased to form the expanded board of S.A.Y. Detroit, which reflects a wide range of backgrounds, expertise and history,” Albom said. “I’m proud to be working with them and have great confidence that they will help steer S.A.Y. Detroit into the future and even greater level of effectiveness to help the needy in our city.’’
The 2018 Radiothon is Dec. 6 at the Somerset Collection in Troy.
It’s not everyday that you’ll find Fr. Gary Wright kneeling beside a concrete pit in the basement of his 168-year-old church.
But this was a special occasion. (more…)
A children’s library opened Friday in the central Philippines. But it symbolizes so much more than that.
In November 2013, a super typhoon flattened areas of the country, killing more than 6,000 people and displacing thousands more. When author Mitch Albom visited the island nation three months later, touring schools where he saw tents and plywood serving as makeshift walls, he pledged to build 10 libraries in one of the hardest hit regions ravaged by the storm and stock them with books. (more…)
When Charlotte Coleman submitted an application earlier this year to A Hole in the Roof Foundation on behalf of Christ Temple Apostolic Church, she was stunned by the immediacy of the response.
“Let me tell you, normally that doesn’t happen,” said Coleman, chairperson of the Sacramento, Calif.-based church’s board of directors. “A friend of mine was saying that there has to be someone out there that can help us get over the hump. And when you all responded so quickly we were so grateful. It really pumped us up.” (more…)
DETROIT, March 26 – More than a dozen Detroit charities were grateful recipients of more than $400,000 in donations distributed from Mitch Albom’s “S.A.Y. (Super All Year) Detroit Radiothon.” The monies were collected in a single 15-hour broadcast last December at the Somerset Collection in Troy.
Albom handed out 14 oversized checks at a ceremony held at WJR Radio in Detroit’s FisherBuilding Wednesday morning. With him was Dr. Chad Audi of the Detroit Rescue Mission, which facilitates the “S.A.Y. Detroit” charity founded by Albom in 2006. (more…)