Washtenaw United: Michigan Ability Partners Adapts During Pandemic To Continue Serving Veterans
Michigan Ability Partners (MAP) has an ongoing mission to find work, housing, and other esssentials for military veterans and those with disabilities. The COVID-19 public health crisis created new and different challenges. MAP's chief executive officer, Jan Little, joined WEMU's David Fair to look at the immediate past, the present, and the future.
WEMU has partnered with the United Way of Washtenaw County to explore the people, organizations, and institutions creating opportunity and equity in our area. And, as part of this ongoing series, you’ll also hear from the people benefiting and growing from the investments being made in the areas of our community where there are gaps in available services. It is a community voice. It is 'Washtenaw United.'
ABOUT JAN LITTLE:
Jan Little is the CEO of Michigan Ability Partners.
MAP partners with Veterans and people who have disabilities in support of their self-directed transformation to self-sufficiency. They aim to assist those who are homeless, have limited incomes, and are otherwise marginalized due to race, health concerns, education, and limited job opportunities to improve their quality of life.
100% of MAP's client-base are considered marginalized, due to having a disability, including, but not limited to: individuals and families experiencing homelessness, Veterans at risk, Veterans' families, individuals and families that are extremely low income (under $19,500 income per year, but generally less than $10,000 per year), students with disabilities (aged 14-26), and individuals with physical, mental, and/or addiction disabilities. Approximately 70% of MAP's clients live in the 48197/98 area codes due to the lack of affordable housing elsewhere in Washtenaw County. Over 40% of MAP's client-base identifies as being a person of color.
MAP offers a variety of services to advance its mission: 1. Permanent Supported Housing-- MAP owns and operates 44 units of affordable housing at seven sites in Washtenaw County and 2. Delivering Supportive Services including case management, Rapid Re-Housing, Employment Training, Job Placement Services and Representative Payee services.
UWWC has partnered with MAP since 2014, investing nearly $300,000 over the last seven years. Most recently, UWWC invested $15,000 in MAP’s COVID-Relief efforts through the COVID-19 Community Relief Fund in 2020. Throughout the pandemic, MAP has, in addition to continuing to deliver its core programs, provided PPE and boxed food supplies to their clients. They have been able to support their staff through provision of hazard pay to keep everyone safe throughout the pandemic.
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