Homelessness is a nationwide issue and here in Michigan, the problem can be even harder to address with harsh winter weather. The Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness (MCAH) is a statewide association consisting of housing, shelter, and service providers. MCAH provides useful information, data, training, best practices and advocacy on the issues involving affordable housing and human services. MCAH also advocates public awareness, collaboration, data collection and technical assistance to help reform the way homelessness is perceived by the public. MCAH works to decrease homelessness, improve the quality of services provided to people who are homeless and effect change relating to the causes of homelessness. MCAH was founded in 1990 and was incorporated as a statewide organization. The group is devoted to providing services and systems that help improve the lives of individuals and families affected by homelessness. Homeless service providers benefit directly from MCAH educational and networking services. These services are intended to improve operations, outreach and resource development. Providers also benefit from the Coalition’s advocacy efforts focusing on the education of media and general public on issues relating to homelessness. Homeless Awareness Week (HAW) is an annual national effort, that takes place every November, to raise public awareness about issues relating to homelessness. MCAH promotes HAW throughout Michigan, providing support to local partners in developing events and generating local media coverage while also taking the lead in generating media coverage statewide. “Governor Snyder, in 2012, proclaimed that November tenth through the eighteenth would be officially Homeless Awareness week in Michigan, with a certificate.” — Brewster Hamm, president of MCAH. Awareness week, which has taken place in Michigan for nearly 20 years, has received acknowledgement on an annual basis from the Michigan legislature and the presiding governors. For more information, visit mihomeless.org or call (517) 485-6536.
Kyle Dowling is an employee of M3 Group and is pursuing a writing degree at LCC. He enjoys fiction writing, video games and movies.