Michiana Five' seeks Foundation Grant


Street Address: 402 bison ridge Nappanee In 46550.

Letter to the Editor.I operate a very successful charity organization Michiana Five for the Homeless Inc that has helped thousands in Chicago who are homeless and locally many more over our short four years. We have helped bring to Elkhart County through community meetings and awareness Elkhart County's first emergency youth shelter thanks to Bashor Children's Home who saw the need we presented to the community and made it their vision too! Now daily the youth shelter is full.We brought to Nappanee the vision for it's first soup kitchen now a reality at the Nappanee church of the brethren with food being supplied twice a week by Faith Mission of Elkhart. Now going into it's 3rd year of serving meals twice a weekWe have appeared in more than 80 newspaper and tv news stories combined in under 4 years of service and likely the most promoted charity helping the homeless with this much favor from the local media to show our efforts. We have approached the Elkhart Community Foundation twice to apply for funding but turned down because we cannot raise 50% of the requested amount.We are a small organization helping the homeless but also giving to the community and other organizations that help the homeless or the needy in the community.We do not receive any church support, business support or private support on a regular basis. Most everything we have done has been on a few small donations or self funded.It is a shame the Foundation in Elkhart has no help for any charity that is a certified 501 c3 organization doing great things in the community but has to raise half of their requested grant on their own just because we are told we are still new.We have scheduled a open community meeting on July 20th at the Salvation Army office 300 n main street in downtown Elkhart to bring together leaders of any organization helping the homeless, churches, non-profits, concerned citizens, and city officials to discuss the growing homeless problem in Elkhart county and seek solutions, housing opportunities, resources available to the homeless, and bring everyone into a more cooperative referral network of the homeless seeking assistance. The growing problem of homelessness includes families, single women, women with children, single men, men with criminal background, men released from jail or prison, and married couples without children, homeless with addictions, and gay youth. We receive daily calls from desperate agency workers seeking shelter for clients or from the homeless themselves with little opportunities to refer them anywhere for shelter. Local shelters are full on a daily basis or some do not meet the requirements at the shelter and forcing them to live in tent city or outdoors in parks, behind buildings and in abandoned buildings or homes.We feel too many organizations lack the listing of what services and assistance is available within the county to truly aid the homeless seeking help and that there is a lack of working together to meet their total needs.This charity has proven in a short time it's value to the community and is deserving of a financial grant from the Elkhart Community Foundation but we never may be large enough to meet their criteria of raising half of our needed funding. If we had even half of what we need we would have half more than what we have now. Yet we have done a lot with little funding help.We welcome any help and hope in time the Foundation will see our charity as a valued asset to the community and support us with a grant. We welcome anyone to attend the open community meeting on homelessness on July 20th at 2pm-3:30pm at the Salvation Army office on main street.You can find us on facebook or at Michianafiveforthehomeless.org or call 574.383.8428 John ShaferDirectorMichiana Five for the Homeless.

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