SOS Community Services Empowers Families To Begin Their Path to Stable Housing

Right here in Washtenaw County, children are growing up in places that are cold, dark, and unsafe.

According to the Washtenaw Housing Alliance, 8 to 10 families with children become homeless in our county every week. Homeless children are more likely to be hungry, sick, and worried where their next meal and bed will come from. They wonder if they will have a roof over their heads at night and what will happen to their families.

In Washtenaw County, a renter must earn $26.62 per hour (or over $55,000 per year), working full time, in order to afford a two-bedroom apartment, but the mean wage for renters county-wide is just $19.26. That means hard-working families are facing a crisis of resources; they’re just one paycheck or injury or life event away from homelessness.

That’s why we help families with children through programs that prevent and end homelessness in Washtenaw County.

In addition to the lack of local affordable housing, our requests for emergency food have risen more than 30% since the pandemic started in 2020 and high inflation in 2022/23. Because housing and food cost more than many people earn here in Washtenaw County, thousands of people turn to SOS for help with basic needs every year.

Each year, we help more than 7,000 people.

We help homeless families find permanent homes through shelter and Rapid Re-Housing. For families living paycheck to paycheck, we offer food, utility assistance, bus tokens, and other resources to overcome financial emergencies without becoming homeless. We help families avoid eviction and homelessness. And for children, who are the most vulnerable and least visible victims of homelessness, SOS offers parenting support and early childhood intervention through a nationally recognized home visiting program.

Now that I am in the programs at SOS, I am able to catch up on past bills, finish my college degree, and help my children with their homework. SOS is not just about housing. It is about taking your life back. It is about establishing a stable foundation for your family.”

~ “Kim”, SOS Housing Program Client