Cass Community Social Services
Cass Community Social Services grew out of the work of Cass Community United Methodist Church with the homeless and developmentally disabled in their immediate community. What started as simple feeding program in the years following the Great Depression grew into a broad-spectrum social service agency that continues to have a profound impact on the neighborhoods in which they operate. They now work to connect and lift up residents in the areas of food, health, housing and jobs.
Volunteers placed with CCSS will spend roughly one third of their time working with Cass Community United Methodist Church and two thirds working with the organization. Work with the church will center around engaging the neighborhood surrounding the church, an area that is quickly changing with gentrification. This is an opportunity to build bridges between lifetime residents and those who have moved in more recently.
Work with the organization will be centered around finding new and creative ways to tell the organization’s story. CCSS not only supports clients in finding work, it also employs a number of them to create innovative products made from the abundant neighborhood debris found on the ground: old tires turn into exceptionally durable welcome mats, building materials turn into coasters. Proceeds from these sales not only support the organization, they also sustain the local artists who produce them. Our volunteers' work will help facilitate the creation and sales of these products.
Westminster Church of Detroit
Westminster Church has a long history of mission in the surrounding community. Westminster calls itself “a church for all people,” and the congregation is a mixture of African-American, white and African members. In it’s current location for more than fifty years, the church has witnessed a changing neighborhood. Now, some members live in the neighborhood, and others commute to church.
Our volunteer will work to support youth programs in the church and deepen connections with the neighborhood, with new mission projects growing out of conversations with neighborhood schools and groups about what they need. This position will almost have a community organizing feel, working to continue the bridge building work between the church and the people in the area. Weekdays will involve neighborhood conversations, Sundays will be spent with youth. A day off to rest and reflect will be built in.
Presbyterian Villages of Michigan
PVM is a large faith-based nonprofit organization serving the needs of seniors throughout the state of Michigan. They have nine facilities in the city of Detroit and are committed to serving senior citizens of all faiths, walks of life, and financial means. The Villages offer a sense of community and dignity to their residents whereas the alternative for many would be loneliness and a struggle to make ends meet. They have been recognized by Crain Communications as one of the best managed nonprofit organizations in the country.