Homelessness & Poverty

Join Transitions Legal for our Monthly Take Action: Lunch and Learn 
A special panel discussion about ending homelessness in Michigan
December 7, 2017 | 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
at the Law Offices of Alisa Peskin-Shepherd
280. N. Old Woodward Avenue, Suite LL20 | Birmingham, MI 48009 

Invited Speakers:

Since assuming leadership as President & CEO of South Oakland Shelter (SOS) in May of 2010, Ryan Hertz and his team have expanded the organization’s scope to encompass emergency shelter, housing, and supportive service solutions that have helped thousands of displaced people get back on their feet and find a renewed sense of purpose. Ryan strives to build meaningful relationships with those eager to help realize his vision for all people throughout Metro Detroit to have a place to call home within a mutually supportive and caring community. Ryan also serves as President of Spero Housing Group, a subsidiary of SOS focused on development of affordable housing. He serves as Board President of the Alliance for Housing, the Lathrup Village DDA, and Chabad of Greater Downtown Detroit, and is a board member for B’nai Brith Youth Organization. He loves making music, traveling, and learning Chassidus.

Frankie Piccirilli, Chief Development Officer, Coalition on Temporary Shelter works with COTS to help disadvantaged individuals and families end the multigenerational cycle of poverty and find stable housing through an array of services that empower people to achieve self-sufficiency and quality affordable housing, establishing a continuum of care that advocates for long-term solutions to the problems of homelessness. Piccirilli leads COTS’ philanthropic outreach by cultivating and strengthening relationships, creating awareness, and developing strategies and innovations to further engage new and existing partners.

On any given night, more than 14,000 Detroiters are in need of a safe place to sleep. COTS addresses this immediate need, providing shelter to families, while also focusing on the causes of homelessness, engaging clients in programs designed to end a multigenerational cycle of poverty. Programs include child care, educational referrals, employment services, substance abuse relapse prevention programs, transitional services for victims of domestic violence, health and mental health care, and financial literacy training. The COTS family-only Emergency Shelter operates at or near capacity consistently year-round, providing more than 40,000 shelter nights every year.

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The issue of homelessness is broad and complex, affecting too many of our neighbors and community. Oftentimes, homelessness revolves around mental health, law, government, and the understanding of both neighbors and service providers. One of the biggest problems with homelessness is misunderstanding who are the homeless. Stereotypes and stigmatization make it hard for us to help others. According to Michigan’s Campaign to End Homelessness, there are approximately 86,189 homeless people in Michigan. Rough 60& of the homeless population are families with children. The Detroit Metro area (Wayne, Oakland, Macomb and Monroe counties) has 34,642 homeless people, including 5,536 children. This area has the highest homeless population.

This is precisely why a panel discussion will be hosted on September 14th at 11:30 a.m., located at the Law Offices of Alisa Peskin-Shepherd. The panel discussion will include a dialogue about the challenges of homelessness, what is currently being done within our community, and how each member can become proactive in the fight against homelessness.