Homeless Awareness Month (HAM) is a national effort to raise public awareness about issues relating to homelessness that takes place annually in November. The Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness (MCAH) promotes HAM throughout Michigan.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been particularly hard on families and individuals, but none more so than the homeless population. As the pandemic swept across the nation and we collectively chose to stay home to protect our families and friends, it raised the question “How do we protect those that do not have a home?”
Sensing the urgency, Michigan took action by creating The Michigan Campaign to End Homelessness (MCTEH) 3-Year Action Plan to End Homelessness.
Since 2019, there has been a 19 percent decrease in the overall homeless Michigan population, according to 2020 statistics. According to a report by the Michigan Collation Against Homelessness, this is due to emergency actions put into place during the pandemic such as the eviction moratoriums, eviction diversion plans, Stay-At-Home executive order put in place by Gov. Whitmer, and homeless individuals and families choosing not to stay at shelters for health reasons and instead choosing to stay with family or friends.
CACS strives to assist our clients by meeting them at the stage of crisis they are at. By addressing the root cause of their needs we hope to set them up for long-term success, this includes referring them to programs that can provide emergency shelter or help provide financial support to keep a roof over their heads.
There are a vast number of agencies in Ingham, Eaton, Clinton, and Shiawassee counties that CACS refers the homeless population to, depending on the situation. Each county has a Housing Assessment Resource Agency (HARA) which functions as the main point of entry for housing services.
Housing Services Mid Michigan
105 Tolles Rd
St. Johns 48879
Housing Services Mid Michigan
319 S Cochran Ave
Holy Cross Services
430 N Larch St
Capital Area Community Services
1845 Corunna Ave
(989) 723-3115 ext. 544
There are assistance options for renters and homeowners as well are at risk of being evicted or needing help keeping utilities on.
CACS Financial Literacy and Property Tax Foreclosure Assistance team can help individuals keep their homes if they are behind on property tax payments.
Learn more about homelessness in Michigan:
(Data by MCAH)
- Over 61,000 individuals experienced literal homelessness in Michigan in 2019. These included families, single parents, children, veterans, grandparents, and unaccompanied youth.
- There is a large racial disparity among Michigan homelessness due to a history of catastrophic events from slavery to legal segregation. In 2019, 54% of the homeless population was African American, but African Americans make up only 14% of Michigan’s overall population.
- 7 is the average age for a child experiencing homelessness with their family in Michigan. In 2019, there were over 15,000 children experiencing homelessness in Michigan.
- Over 34,000 Michigan public school children experienced homelessness, lived doubled up, or were at risk of losing their homes during the 2018-2019 school year. Only 58% of homeless high school students graduate in 4 years – 23% lower than the average graduation rate for Michigan.
- In Michigan, it is estimated that one quarter to one-third youth (18-24) experiencing homelessness had an experience with the foster care system. Nationally, 40% of unaccompanied minors (under 18) experiencing homelessness identify as LGBTQ+.
- Seniors aged 55+ continue to see an increase in homelessness. Over 8,000 seniors experienced homelessness in 2019 with 76% of those having a disability.
- We are in an affordable housing crisis. The average monthly income for a family with children exiting homelessness is $667, but the average Fair Market Rent (FMR) in Michigan for a two-bedroom apartment is $906 per month.
The National Collation for the Homeless hosts the Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week from Nov. 13 – 21, 2021. Learn more at https://hhweek.org/
Michigan State Housing Development Authority, https://www.michigan.gov/documents/mshda/MSHDA_HARAs_Contact_List_678040_7.pdf
“Ending Homelessness In Michigan Annual Report 2020,” Michigan Collation Against Homelessness 2020 Annual Report, https://mihomeless.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/2020_Annual-Report_9.30.2021_final.pdf
National Collation for the Homeless, https://hhweek.org/