We have an exciting development here at N.O.A H. We are proud to introduce the newest addition to the N.O.A.H. family: “Friends of N.O.A.H.” t-shirts!
These shirts were debuted just in time for the opening of the Unity Mural on September 27th. This project, spearheaded by our hardworking group of Peer Support Volunteers, has the goal of improving N.O.A.H. for all of our clients. All proceeds from the sale of the shirts will go towards replacing the well-used tables and chairs in the Fellowship Hall where we serve Bag Lunch.
The shirts are currently sold at a price of $10 and come in all sizes. A wonderful way to show your support of this organization, these one of a kind items are both stylish and benefit a great cause. With the holiday season approaching, what better gift for the entire family than a “Friends of N.O.A.H.” shirt?
If you are interested in supporting N.O.A.H.’s goal of replacing tables and chairs for our clients by purchasing a shirt, please contact Matt, our new Jesuit Volunteer, at [email protected]
to the NOAH Unity Mural showcase
We would like to invite you to the presentation and opening of the N.O.A.H. Unity Mural. The N.O.A.H. family has been hard at work trying our hand at some creativity. We have brought in a good friend of N.O.A.H., Eva Leventer, to help us assemble a 10 foot long, 4 foot high mural to help tell the N.O.A.H. story. Join us in showcasing the mural that has been worked on over the last few months. It is sure to be a joyful celebration, and we want all members of the N.O.A.H. family to be there.
Please come join us!
Well once again I find myself sharing a piece of who I am and my vision for N.O.A.H. First, let me say it is wonderful to be back after a splendid, and life changing sabbatical. Being the recipient of such an honour as a sabbatical is entirely beyond description, yet it was also an opportunity for me to feel the alienating effects of privilege.
To suggest that my sabbatical came off according to plan would be to deny the spontaneous nature of transformation and unexpected growth. Three aspects of my original plan remained consistent through to the end of this life changing experience. First, my attempt to develop a Treatment Plan for myself similar to ones that I would have used with any N.O.A.H. Project participant remained intact and functional throughout the sabbatical and into the future. Second, the team of three women who were selected to oversee my personal transition remained strong and inspirational and likewise continues to work with me into the future. And third, I acquired the MSW degree as planned. Otherwise, everything else ran afoul of the unpredictable path of my transformation. I do not write this piece, however, to speak of my sabbatical but rather to address the needs of the Project.
Before I begin examining the future of N.O.A.H. I must first, convey kudos to those who proved that the N.O.A.H. Project could, not only survive, but prosper during my absence. Without doubt this could not have happened without Amy Brown “stepping up to the plate” in a big way and taking the reins of the organization. Amy, however, could not have been successful without the continued support and expertise of the team. This recognition of achievement is extended to the entire team.
My absence from the Project for over a year allowed me to see the importance of our building community. Without a strong community to support these individuals who are earnestly seeking to sustain change in their habits, lifestyle and attitudes, their efforts will fall short of their desired goals. If those we help fall short of their mark so do we. Without the likelihood of securing employment that would ensure self-sufficiency community support becomes vital. It is with this focus in mind that I write to alert you the reader to expect to hear in the coming months how the N.O.A.H. Project is looking beyond the individuals whom we serve to the neighbourhood in which they live, and toward building upon what is already in place.
- John Barnett, Director of Clinical Services and Evaluation
On a rainy day in June, we had our annual volunteer & staff picnic on Belle Isle! We played charades, chess, dominoes, and card games despite the downpour! Our very own chefs Brandon and Amy found a creative solution to keep grilling so we would have scrumptious hot dogs, hamburgers, and even black bean burgers!
As our mural project nears it’s completion, all of us here at the N.O.A.H. Project are filled with a mixture of excitement and sadness. We have spent the last few months working on this project. As a team, we came up with the design, prepped the boards, and then finally began painting our ideas into existence. It has been a wonderful journey full of creativity, laughter, and a little frustration. We may not all be bonafide artists, but we have given it our best shot and the results so far are incredible. While we will be sad to see the project come to end, we are filled with joy at the idea of sharing this beautiful artwork, and the stories that come with it, with you all. Please contact us if you are interested in having us share our story with your group or congregation.
We are excited to announce a new partnership with StreeThreads through Birmingham First United Methodist Church. They will be coming to our bag lunch program twice a month with donations of clothing, socks, and underwear to distribute to our participants. We look forward to this partnership and our growing relationship with Birmingham First UMC.
Paints, pencils and poems everywhere! The N.O.A.H. family has been hard at work trying our hand at some artwork. We have brought in a good friend of N.O.A.H., Eva Leventer, to help us assemble a 10 foot long, 4 foot high mural to help tell the N.O.A.H. story. Our Peer Support Volunteers and staff are in on the project, contributing to the planning and creating, whether through Picasso-worthy paint skills, picture perfect drawings or poetry written from the heart. The mural will be completed on wood panels that will be able to travel to various venues for events and speaking engagements. Perhaps coming to a dining hall or event near you, so be sure to check it out! We will be sure to post pictures of the project as it continues on Facebook and in the next newsletter, so stay tuned!
We have had a few more opportunities to share some of the happenings, stories and exciting work of N.O.A.H. with different churches and organizations. As we complete our mural we will be all the more eager to show it off, so if you would like to schedule us to come out and present to your church or community organization please let us know. Whether it’s a 10 minute conversation or in place of a message at church, we are happy to share the story of how N.O.A.H. is working with and for the people of Detroit.
Lace up the goofy shoes, grab some pizza and watch those pins fly, the N.O.A.H. staff and volunteers went bowling to celebrate the holiday season!
On December 19th the Garden Bowl bowling alley saw some of the greatest pin action those lanes had seen in years! Whether it was James’ method using all muscle, Angie’s stylish “granny shot” or Ron’s flawless finesse shot, we had some good laughs bowling and enjoying the afternoon together. Of course the day wouldn’t be complete without a little trash talk between Brandon and Ronnie. A shout out to Garden Bowl for hosting us and the mastermind of it all, Amy!
The Concert of Thanksgiving is a fundraiser that takes place annually to benefit us here at the N.O.A.H. Project. Singers, performers, and incredible poets perform, while delicious, home-made food is donated and available for all to enjoy. Together this year, we raised nearly $10,000! We are beginning to plan for the 2013 Concert of Thanksgiving to be held on November 24, and hope you can join us!
One of the philosophies of the N.O.A.H. Project is to cultivate growth in our clients through being nurtured and cared for by others. N.O.A.H. is more than a place for individuals to come and receive basic needs such as food, transportation, hygiene items, and support services. We strive to be a place that encourages growth, not only in our clients and volunteers, but also in our staff.
Real growth often occurs through a change of perspective. For instance, being from Alabama, I never fully appreciated spring until I moved to Detroit almost nine years ago. You see, in Alabama we don’t really have winter. It gets cold, but only down to 30 degrees, and is never as grey or bare as Michigan in winter. Now that I have survived quite a few Michigan winters, I can say I love spring here, and have noticed flowers that I never noticed in Alabama – forsythia, for example. Forsythia is all over Alabama, but I never noticed it because it had always been there. Once I changed my setting and allowed for growth in my life, I was able to see the forsythia in a new light.
But one doesn’t have to travel from Alabama to Michigan to get a change in perspective. For many of our clients, N.O.A.H. is the new setting. When an individual comes in to meet with a N.O.A.H. caseworker, they have likely received social services from other agencies. Often these services were done in the manner of a hand out rather than a hand up. N.O.A.H. works on a different model. We start by creating a trusting relationship. This trusting relationship is the foundation for cultivating growth in our clients. Many times this growth takes years to happen. The individuals who come through the doors of the N.O.A.H. Project did not end up homeless due to one thing – one job loss, one housing crisis, one mental health incident or addiction. Most often, it is a combination of events. We must work to provide a safe, nurturing and caring space for growth to occur and allow for people to address the complex mix of things that led to their homelessness — in their own time.
We are happy to be a place that encourages this growth in individuals, and we appreciate all the support we receive to do this work – whether it is through donating bag lunches, collecting hygiene items or kits, buying socks or underwear or winter items or giving financially. We would not be able to do what we do without you. Thank you for being part of the N.O.A.H. family.
In Service to Others,