Poverty. Homelessness. Hunger.
While these issues affect a broad demographic of the Greater Lansing region’s population, it’s a daily struggle for some.
Overall poverty in Lansing in 2017 (the most recent numbers available) was 27.1% according to the U.S. Census, but 54.11% of unemployed single mothers and their families were living in poverty.
Homelessness is also devastating to single mothers, according to the 2017 report of Michigan’s Campaign to End Homelessness. In the tri-county region encompassing Ingham, Eaton and Clinton counties, 6,815 people were homeless; and of those 63% were single mothers.
Hunger is yet another obstacle faced by families unable to secure proper nutrition. According to Hunger America, in 2016 food insecurity affected 14,480 children.
Help is available to people in the Greater Lansing region who struggle to make ends meet or are unable to provide housing and food to their families. Here is a list of agencies and organizations and contact information to seek assistance.
The Homeless Shelter Directoryallows for a city-specific search of agencies providing shelter and food resources to struggling families. You can get more information at homelessshelterdirectory.org/.
Advent House Ministriesin Lansing provides day shelter and food aid to families living in poverty. In addition, Advent House offers limited monthly rent assistance through a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and with the support of the city of Lansing Human Relations and Community Services Department. Visit the website at adventhouse.com/or call (517) 485-4722.
City Rescue Missionin downtown Lansing, founded in 1911, provides shelter to 140 women, children, and men every night and serves about 100,000 meals every year. For information visit lcrm.org/or call (517) 485-0145.
Loaves and Fishes Ministries in Lansing provides emergency short-term housing and support services for homeless men, women and children, and long-term transitional housing and support services for mothers with children, Call (517) 482-2099 or visit loavesandfisheslansing.org/index.php.
Haven House in East Lansing provides emergency housing and support services for one-parent and two-parent families with children. The shelter helps families who are homeless prepare for permanent housing by developing and promoting self-sufficiency, stability and financial responsibility. Visit havenhouseel.org/ or call (517) 337-2910.
SIREN/Eaton Shelter in Charlotte works to eliminate domestic violence and homelessness by providing temporary housing, support, advocacy, education and information to the community. Call (517) 543-0748 or visit the website at sireneatonshelter.org/ for more information.
Volunteers of America Michiganprovides help for the homeless, food for the hungry, employment and shelter for veterans, housing for poor seniors, and a helping hand for struggling families. Visit the website at voami.org/ or call (248) 945-0101.
The Salvation Army has a number of different services to help the disadvantaged. The organization uses food banks, community gardens and meal programs to fight hunger, and housing is provided through emergency shelters, group homes and family service programs. Visit centralusa.salvationarmy.org/lansing or call (517) 482-9715.
The Greater Lansing Food Bank provides emergency food to individuals and families in need throughout mid-Michigan. In 2018 the organization served 6.9 million meals. Call (517) 908-3680 or visit greaterlansingfoodbank.org/.
Southside Community Kitchen serves between 200-250 meals weekly to hungry people of all ages who are unable to physically prepare their meals, do not have the skills to prepare balanced meals or who are needing to stretch their limited resources. For info visit the website at southsidecommunitykitchen.org/ or call (517) 375-2977.