MISSION: Serving people as an expression of the love of Christ
OUR STORIESReal People, Inspiring Lives
A partnership of Lutheran Social Services of Michigan and Wayne County, offering transitional shelter for homeless families. We welcome: two-parent families, single mothers or fathers with children and pregnant women.
Open for telephone intake seven days a week, 24 hours a day
Request more information
The Family Center relies heavily on the generous contributions and volunteer efforts of surrounding communities. If you would like to make a monetary donation, a donation of items, or a donation of your time, please contact us. Please take a look at the WCFC wish list to see what we really need right now.
Below is an excerpt from a story out of The Observer, February 19th, 2012. The piece was written by staff writer LeAnn Rogers:
Family Center helps clients get back on their feet
A large overdue DTE Energy bill and issues with housing brought Christina King and her five children to the Wayne County Family Center about four months ago. “It's been decent (at the center). I'm working on housing, schooling and getting myself out of debt,” said King, 28, who has 11-year-old twin boys, 7-year-old twin girls and a 9-year-old son. “I'm making progress.” The Wayne County Family Center is one of the few homeless shelters in Michigan where family members can stay together in the same room. The 24 families - currently 79 people, including 55 children - don't share their room with anyone else. Before coming to the center, King said she and the children had lived in a place without electricity for eight months. “I'm trying to get a business and finish up my schooling,” said King, who is working to complete her GED. “I would like to open a clubhouse for kids and adults.”
With a large debt still owed to DTE, King is faced with the problem of trying to deal with past debt and trying to support her family going forward. That's a common dilemma for family center clients.
“If bills need to be paid and you're not working, the debt is still growing,” said Wayne County Family Center Director Angela Pilarski. “Getting out of poverty isn't as easy as getting a job. It's not that they aren't trying.”
As clients struggle to get back on their feet, Pilarski said they often don't make enough money at jobs or are underemployed. The only criteria for families to receive help at the family center is homelessness. Families can stay up to two years although but the average is six to seven months.
Some families had trouble with large utility bills or another financial issues that resulted in homelessness, said Brenda Johnson, program administrator. “Some were living in homes that were in foreclosure and the landlord didn't tell them. Or a landlord gets people into a house and didn't own it,” said Johnson. “There is a loss of jobs. Some owners lost their homes.” When clients meet with case managers, Johnson said they determine what the clients see as their obstacles and set goals to help them move forward with their lives.
A single parent, Johnson said, would be encouraged to apply for jobs that would work around the children's school schedule. Once a family has left the center, there is a six-month outreach program that helps them connect with after school care. “We try to promote getting families into Section 8 subsidized housing. It's affordable,” said Johnson. “The rent goes down, if your income drops. It doesn't mean you get put out of your home. It's secure housing.” Many families are struggling economically, Pilarski said, with housing being a major problem. “It's very emotional to try to get the best for your kids, your intentions might not come to fruition,” Pilarski said. “That's why trying to connect people to all these services is essential. It's very difficult to negotiate.”
Wayne County Family Center
30600 Michigan Avenue (East of Merriman, three miles north of I-94)
Westland, MI 48185