89.1 WEMU


YCS Opens New Center To Help Families During COVID-19

Dec 17, 2020

Ypsilanti Community Schools has opened a new Resiliency Center that is providing basic necessities to families in need during the pandemic.  

Shelter Association of Washtenaw County

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, Washtenaw County opened its winter warming shelters at area churches early this year.  

Shelter Association of Washtenaw County

After serving as a homeless shelter for over six months during the pandemic, the Red Roof Inn on Plymouth Road in Ann Arbor will close permanently.  


The Washtenaw General Defense Committee held a protest on Wednesday in Ypsilanti Township in an effort to try to stop evictions during COVID-19.  

Washtenaw County

The Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners says state and federal aid will be essential to continue offering COVID-19 response services.  

Washtenaw County / washtenaw.org

The Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners continues to consider options to house the homeless during the coronavirus pandemic.  

Washtenaw County Board Approves Relief Funds

Apr 9, 2020
Washtenaw County / washtenaw.org

The Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners has approved $3.2 million in COVID-19 relief.  

Washtenaw County Homeless Getting Extended Aid

Apr 2, 2020

This week usually marks the seasonal end of the warming centers and rotating shelters in Washtenaw County, but, as a result of the coronavirus crisis, Washtenaw County has increased resources for the homeless community.

Jorge Avellan / WEMU

The Shelter Association of Washtenaw County helps over 1,100 homeless people a year.  That help usually comes in the form of shelter, food and some medical assistance.  But as 89.1 WEMU's Jorge Avellan tells us, they recently launched a new pilot program that provides a safe and comfortable environment for the homeless to recover after being discharged from the hospital. 

Yen Azzaro

Ypsilanti artist Yen Azzaro has participated in a number of different local art projects and has done graphic artistry for the Ford Motor Company, The Kresge Foundation, and Eastern Michigan University among others.  She used her skills to create special signs for several area homeless people to provide them with a human connection and hope for a better future.

She shares more about the project she refers to as "homeless and hopeful" with 89.1 WEMU's Lisa Barry.

#OTGYpsi: Providing Warm Clothes For Residents In Need This Holiday Season

Nov 28, 2018
Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

There are many people in this community who are less fortunate than others, especially when it comes to having warm clothes for the winter.  But there are organizations, such as the Emmanuel Lutheran Church of Ypsilanti, that regularly hold clothing drives to provide needed aid.  In this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi," WEMU's Patrick Campion and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg talk about the church's ongoing drive to help homeless people with its coordinator, Linda King.

Addressing The Homeless Issue In Washtenaw County

Mar 30, 2016
Washtenaw County

A county campaign called Washtenaw Zero: 2016 exceeded its goal on providing housing for the homeless.

Vlastula / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Frigid temperatures during the last week caused more homeless people to use shelters in Washtenaw County.

Vlastula / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

As it continues to stay cold, more and more homeless people are using shelters in Washtenaw County.

Ramone Williams
Jorge Avellan / 89.1 WEMU

Most colleges the area shutdown for the holiday break, that complicates things for students who don't go back home.  But, that makes it even worse for homeless students. 

Stephen Kunselman
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Council member says recall isn't about what he's done, but rather a push for homeless encampments.

Stephen Kunselman
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Update to the story that ran Tuesday, January 6, 2015.

Brock9999 / Wikimedia

The holidays are tough, but donations are needed to fund programs all year.

Camp Serenity
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Ann Arbor officials have been notified of another tent community for homeless people in the city. Complaints by neighbors may lead to the eviction of the camp on Burton Road near Packard and U-S 23. The handful of tent community residents face a challenge if they need to find a new place to call home. 

Washtenaw County
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Communities across Michigan struggle with homeless individuals, but Washtenaw County officials are dealing with an extra problem.

Washtenaw Housing Alliance

It's still summer but some in Washtenaw County are already looking ahead to the challenges winter poses for the homeless community.  The Washtenaw Housing Alliance and the county's Office of Community and Economic Development are trying to find a location suitable to serve as a warming center for homeless people.

Washtenaw County
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Many area residents live their lives without being able to prove who they are. A proposal to help these people will be discussed at tonight's Washtenaw County Commissioners work session.

Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

An Ann Arbor home that serves as a beacon of hope is getting a makeover this week.  Washtenaw County Presbyterian Churches are making a difference at a house that serves as a place for food, laundry and friendship for the homeless community.  


Washtenaw County Logo
Washtenaw County

A private endowment could one day fund important support services needed as homeless individuals transition into permanent housing.  In 2008 a Washtenaw County task force recommended a millage to pay for this work until the endowment was funded.  The economic downturn killed the tax idea, but the task force has continued to meet.  


The Ann Arbor area's homeless community is getting some help next week from local Presbyterian churches. About 300 volunteers will spend time working on MISSION's home on Stone School Road.  

Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Downtown Ann Arbor is now basked in sunshine, and the sidewalks are cleared, but that doesn’t mean people are venturing out just yet.  Main Street remains a little quieter than normal Wednesday afternoon, following another snowstorm.

Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

This has been a harsh winter for area homeless people and pushed shelters to capacity and beyond. 


The city of Ann Arbor is now working with local non-profit organization MISSION as well as Washtenaw County's Project Outreach Team to assist a group of homeless individuals living in tents along the Huron River and under the Maiden Lane bridge. 

Ann Arbor Police had previously visited the site and posted notices on two tents, warning their owners they had 48 hours to vacate the area. MISSION's Vice President, Greg Pratt says public outcry helped reverse the decision.  Pratt adds they are assisting the homeless living in the camp with trash removal, and are also providing them with necessary supplies such as propane, batteries and foodstuffs.

19 warming centers have been established throughout Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti to provide assistance to those that need it, including a newly opened warming center hosted by St. Mary's Student Parish on Williams Street in Ann Arbor.

Pratt says some individuals are unable or unwilling  to go to such places either due to mental illness or the desire to remain autonomous.

Shelter Association of Washtenaw County

18 warming centers have been established throughout Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti to give the homeless a place to come in out of the cold.


Executive Director of the Shelter Association of Washtenaw County, Ellen Schulmeister says shelter is available to anyone who needs it, and the Delonis Center is operating under relaxed amnesty standards through Wednesday.


Those in need of shelter can also stay during the day if needed.


Shelters will remain open to the public through Wednesday, although specific hours of operation vary from one location to another.


If you need housing or shelter call 734.961.1999



— Bob Eccles is a reporter and the host of 89.1 WEMU's All Things Considered. Contact him at 734.487.3363, email him reccles@emich.edu, or follow him on Twitter @BobEcclesWEMU