Clinton County is having a very important conversation on a topic many aren’t talking about: Homelessness. Although many county residents may not be aware, homelessness is happening right in our backyard. A representative from a local non-profit organization, Housing Services Mid Michigan, reports having served 97 total homeless clients in Clinton County over the last year. That breaks down to 52 separate households comprised of 61 adults and 36 children without stable housing and experiencing housing emergencies in Clinton County. The representative also reported that 18% of those 97 homeless individuals were seniors (over 55 years of age) and 30% were individuals/families fleeing from domestic violence. This is only one local organization that serves the homeless population. Services for homeless individuals are limited in Clinton County, although assistance opportunities are growing every year as new programs become available and more funding is allocated for homelessness in our community.
An important step in combating homelessness is being aware of the concern and coming together as a community to address it. An event has been scheduled to bring some much-needed awareness to the topic of homelessness within our community. Here people can; learn more about the topic and have a productive conversation on efforts to serve these individuals. The event is called the Clinton County Community Conversation on Homelessness and will be held at the AgroLiquid building, 3055 M-21, St. Johns, MI 48879 on Monday November 12, 2018 from 6-8 pm. It will include information booths on many important organizations working to combat homelessness within the community, a Speaker Series, panel discussion, and audience questions. Panel speakers include, Denise Cornelius- Executive Director of Housing Services Mid Michigan, Mark Criss from the City Rescue Mission, Karen Leif- from First Baptist Church Ministries Beacon of Hope, Shelly Safi- Executive Director of SafeCenter, and Sophia Estrada-Ferreira from Child and Family Charities. Seats are limited, however the event is open to the public to attend. Please contact Hudson Bennett at [email protected] for questions or to secure your seat.
The event also includes a Community Art Installation. Any individual within Clinton County is able to submit artwork representing the theme of “What is Homelessness?” There are no age requirements to enter and submissions can be any form of artistic expression. The winner will be chosen by a panel consisting of staff from multiple organizations within the county involved in the event. The chosen artist will win a $100 Visa Gift Card and have their artwork prominently displayed at the November 12th event. Please email Lauren at [email protected] for more information, entry forms, and rules/requirements regarding the art installation.