Newsletter March 2005
Fund Offers New Donation Option
Education opens doors to employment.
At the Open Door & Next Door we encourage guests to complete high
school or obtain the GED. In addition, we encourage vocational training
leading to specific careers as a step-up from minimum-wage jobs.
A number of our guests have completed
certified nurse aide training, cosmetology courses, and short-term
certificate programs at local community colleges, such as welding,
plastics, and construction trades.
This training has led to better-paying
jobs. However, it can be difficult for our guests who are saving money
for housing costs to also come up with money for tuition and education
Therefore the Board of Directors has
created a Scholarship Fund to assist guests with tuition, textbooks,
and related educational expenses. Donations are needed to establish
If you would like to help get this fund
started to enable guests to prepare themselves for better jobs, please
send your contribution to the Open Door and Next Door Shelters with
a note that it is for the Scholarship Fund. Thank you for your generosity.
- Jari Foster Pulford
President, Board of Directors
groups adopt rooms,
Some rooms still available for adoption
Building Will Offer Apartments
for Residence Program for Workers
Last year we launched our new residence
program for working people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
Many churches and civic groups prepared the rooms in two houses for
the new program.
Thanks to a generous anonymous gift we
have been able to buy a third building for this program: a 4– unit
apartment building at 419 S. Park. All 4 units are one-bedroom apartments
with wood floors.
In April we hope to get the apartments
cleaned, fixed up, painted, and furnished. We hope to move Residence
Program participants into the building in May.
Six churches have adopted rooms so far.
We still have bathrooms and kitchens available for adoption.
Douglas & Sons is donating paint
for these rooms and West Michigan Plumbing & Heating is donating
and installing new toilets, sinks, and plumbing fixtures throughout
Churches or groups interested in an April
project of painting, cleaning and furnishing a room to help low-wage
workers in our community have good places to live are invited to contact
Jari Foster Pulford, our Board President
((269) 731-4258, email@example.com.)
Mike Childress, Open Door and Residence
Program director ((269) 343-6064, firstname.lastname@example.org).
Housing Veteran Mike Childress Joins Staff
to Lead the Open Door & Residence Program for Workers
Mike grew up in Chicago and went to college
on a football scholarship at Central State University in Wilberforce,
Ohio, where he graduated with a degree in Special Education. He has
a certificate in Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counseling from Harold
Washington College in Chicago.
After teaching and managing group homes,
Mike served for six years as Director of Administration at the LA
Family Housing Corporation Valley Shelter in North Hollywood, California.
He has worked as an outreach worker and supervisor in programs for
chronically mentally ill adults and for young sex offenders. Mike
came to Kalamazoo to support his aging parents who have now passed
away, and to care for a brother with special needs. Since coming to
Kalamazoo, Mike has managed the Supportive and Transitional Housing
Programs and the Family Shelter of Housing Resources, Inc. Most recently
Mike has been with Goodwill Industries as a job developer for “welfare
to work” program participants.
Mike will serve on our staff as the Director
of the Open Door, our shelter for young men. He will also be our property
manager and will direct our new Residence Program for Working People.
We Welcome Barb Patterson as New Business Manager
Barb Patterson has come on board to handle
the business and financial tasks of our ministry. She graduated from
WMU with a Bachelor of Business Administration. She served as the
Manager of Accounting for a local printing company for 19 years before
joining the staff at Haven Reformed Church in Kalamazoo where she
supervises the office and custodial staff, food service, volunteers
and general administration. She also serves as Treasurer for the Classis
of Southwest Michigan. The classis is a regional body of 25 Reformed
Holley Elected to Board;
Wayne Conner, Louise Jameson Retire
Rev. Kevin Holley, Associate Pastor at
First Presbyterian Church of Kalamazoo, was elected to the Board of
Directors at the board’s January meeting. We are grateful for Kevin’s
willingness to serve. We are also grateful for four years of faithful
service from our retiring members Rev. Wayne Conner, Associate Pastor
at First Presbyterian Church of Kalamazoo and Treasurer Louise Jameson,
Office Manager of Ullrey & Co. and member of Westwood United Methodist
Giving Thanks for Guest Successes
and Adequate Financial Support for 2004
We give thanks for success in the lives
of several guests. One young woman has advanced to a wage of $12.03
per hour in fulltime work. She has taken care of some financial problems
from the past, stayed drug-free, and is now ready to move into her
own place. Other guests have played leadership roles in the recent
annual convention of Narcotics Anonymous. A previous guest at the
Open Door and a house leader in our Residence Program has moved up
to a new job on the staff of Ministry with Community and was elected
first President of the Kalamazoo Homeless Action Network, a group
of homeless people and friends who work on issues of concern to homeless
people in Kalamazoo.
We also give thanks for the hundreds
of individuals, 40 churches, the Dorothy U. Dalton, Irving S. Gilmore,
Gary Sisters, and Kalamazoo Community Foundations, and grant programs
of the City of Kalamazoo, the State of Michigan, and the US government
for making it possible to pay all but $2,000 of our costs in 2004.
Sincere thanks to all who made this possible. Thanks to you we provided
3,800 nights of shelter, over 10,000 meals, and countless hours of
support that our guests turned into real and important progress in
their own lives.
Open Door & Next Door Approved
for “Donor Choice” Option
in 2005 United Way Campaign
The Open Door and Next Door Shelters
has been determined to be eligible for Participant Agency status in
the United Way campaign in Kalamazoo this fall.
In organizations that choose to conduct
an expanded Donor Choice campaign, Open Door & Next Door Shelters
will be listed in campaign materials. We are eligible to receive
donor contributions made through the designation process.
In the most recent United Way campaign
we received $3,312 through donor designations. Questions? Contact
Rick Stravers at (269) 343-6064 or email@example.com.
$$$ TAX TIME
Don’t forget to cut your Michigan income taxes by claiming your contributions
to the Open Door & Next Door Shelters under the Homeless Shelter/Food
Bank credit (MI-1040, Line 22). Claim your gifts to our endowment
fund at the Kalamazoo Community Foundation under the community foundation
credit (MI-1040, Line 22).
Need temporary shelter & help to
get on your feet?
You can contact us seven days a week between 3 pm and 9:30 pm.
Young men: call the Open Door at (269) 345-1431.
Young women: call
the Next Door at (269) 349-2119.
you working but still find it hard to get or keep a place to live?
Contact us at (269) 345-1431 or (269) 343-6064
to learn about our Residence Program for Working People.