www.mybaycity.com December 5, 2006
Rotary Article 1399

Homeless In Bay County

Some think that there is little homeless problem in Bay County. Not So!

December 5, 2006
By: Stephen Kent

Visit RotaryBayCity.org, web site of the Rotary Club of Bay City, Michigan

  • Dues are Due : January through June dues invoices have been distributed. Please pay promptly!

  • Club Web site committee reports that the Club's new site is beginning to take shape. Ideas and comments are welcome! Visit our new web site and pass along suggestions to Stephen Kent or Gena Gates: www.RotaryBayCity.org

    Hanna Thelen, daughter of Rotarian Joe Thelen, previewed two songs that she will sing with the Bijou Orchestra at Sunday's annual Holiday Pops to presented Wednesday and Friday at First Presbyterian Church. Hanna, age 14, is in the 8th grade at Holy Family Middle School. She has appeared in a number of productions.

  • Rotary Foundation: Harry Farris reminds all members to keep the Foundation in mind as you plan your year end giving. Gena Gates said the goal is 100% member giving. The amount is not as important as just giving.

  • Vocational Days Committee is planning this year's event and needs companies to host students. Contact Ralph Knopp or Griff Acker. Griff noted that because of the success of our event, the Frankenmuth club is planning to start a Vocational Day event there.

  • NEWEST ROTARIANS: Kevin Ayala, Kelly Frick, Sarah Delehanty.

  • NEW MEMBERS to be inducted December 19: Kathy Dwyer, Jennifer Carroll.

    Upcoming Meetings
  • December 12, 2006 Board meeting 11:00 at the Quality Inn.

  • December 19, 2006 Annual Christmas Program. Anyone who would like to participate in the music should contact Leo Najar.

  • December 26, 2006 NO MEETING the day after Christmas. Happy Holidays!

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    Last Weeks program - December 5, 2006 - Homeless In Bay County

    Dan Streeter, Directory of Bay City's Good Samaritan Rescue Mission, and Erin Dunkle of the Red Cross and Chair of the Continuum of Care, presented an overview of the needs of the homeless in Bay City and the response of local organizations which have completed a 10-year plan to end homelessness in Bay County. The 10-year plan is part of a Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) initiative state wide.

    Some would think that there is little if any homeless problem in Bay County. That perception may be because of the effectiveness of local support and care organizations. In fact, The Good Samaritan Mission sheltered 560 women and children and the Bay Area Women's Center served 836 men, women and children in the last year. On September 27, 2006 alone, 148 men, women and children were served by Bay County organizations.

    Another misconception is that the typical homeless person is an alcoholic, or drug abusing male. While that may have been true before the 70's, today the fastest growing population is single mothers with children. The average homeless family is a woman 25 to 34 years old with two children. The causes are more often unemployment or underemployment.

    The goals of the Continuum of Care are:
  • Closing the front door by preventing an episode of homelessness through retention of existing permanent housing.
  • Opening the back door by providing rapid placement in affordable permanent housing when a person becomes homeless.
  • Building the infrastructure by providing more units of affordable permanent housing along with the community will and resources to end homelessness.

    Today's approach to the problem has turned completely around from that of the past where the approach was drug testing, rehabilitation and education programs, finding a job, then housing. The new plan is housing first. It has been found that getting a person into stable housing must happen before any of the other things.

    In response to a question about the relationship of teen pregnancy to homelessness, it was noted that teen pregnancy is down nation wide. In fact, 25 to 35 year olds represent the majority of single mothers and one of the largest groups of unplanned pregnancies is in the 45 to 55 year age group.

    For more information visit these web sites:
  • National Coalition for the Homeless nationalhomeless.org
  • Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness mihomeless.org
  • Association of Gospel Rescue Missions agrm.org

    Wes Timm was presented with a Diamond Circle pin and promoted to the Major Donor Level of Paul Harris Fellowship for his contributions to the Rotary Foundation. The entire club expresses it's appreciation of this significant contribution to the humanitarian work of the Rotary Foundation.

    RotaryBayCity.org Rotary Club of Bay City Web Site

    eClub-One: Members with internet connections are encouragedto visit eClub-One monthly for a makeup. To get makeup credit you need to fill out the makeup form on that site. Print the acknowledgement for you receive and turn it in to receive credit. Be sure to enter our club's district number (6310) on that form.
    Click this link to open eClubOne in a new window: www.rotaryeclubone.org.

    The Bay City Rotary Club meets at Noon each Tuesday at the Lumber Barons resturant on the West Side.

    Rotary Club of Bay City Web Site

    District 6310 meeting schedule

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