Covenant House Michigan is the treasurer of our greatest asset--our youth. The staff tirelessly works to help raise our future up. Their mission far transcends hope. They help breathe life into young people otherwise who have been cast aside. It is important to note that this mission is a statewide initiative. I am proud to support CHM and will continue to do so.
Covenant House Michigan has a simple call: To love and care for all children and young adults unconditionally. The way they meet that call far exceeds expectations. Most people know CHM offers shelter, food, clothing, and even healthcare services on-site. Did you know it also offers a transitional living program where youths may live up to two years learning to live independently, get a job, and save money? Or that CHM runs three charter schools in Detroit in addition to GED prep classes on its campus? How about the community service centers that provide inner-city kids a safe haven to spend free time engaging in crafts, counseling, computer classes, ESL instruction and other forms of crisis intervention? These services and more are part of a comprehensive "contiuum of care" aimed at equipping all kids with physical, educational, emotional, psychological and spiritual tools and OPPORTUNITIES to succeed, beginning with simply keeping them off the streets. I find it amazing that CHM continued EXPANDING its mission even during this crippling recession. There's an inverse relationship between economic prosperity and demand for CHM's services: as the economy worsens, people donate less which cuts into CHM's budget; yet schools are closing, people are losing their homes, and more kids end up on the street without access to basic necesseties or stability in their lives. So, money goes down while demand goes up. It speaks not only to the quality of CHM staff, but also its amazing base of donors and volunteers who all feel compelled to help a little bit more in times like these.
Working as a marketing intern, I had an amazing experience at Covenant House Michigan. I wrote articles to promote the organization, interviewed kids, helped organize events, and learned as much as I could about CHM. During my time, I noticed how passionate every staff member felt about his or her job, and how they all felt passionate about helping the kids. Many would take the time to develop personal connections with the kids, and to help counsel and mentor them. From my observation, the organization ran very well. The fundraising events were very successful, and everybody was constantly thinking of creative activities (talent shows, barbecues) to try and make things more fun for the kids. I also noticed how staff members were constantly brainstorming possible improvements to an already successful program - especially improvements with regard to staff unity, job assistance, education, etc.