Madison Heights Residents Start #oneatatime Group…

Madison Heights Residents Start #oneatatime Group to Help Those in Need

(Lara Mossa, Aug. 24, 2019)

MADISON HEIGHTS – Lily Weaver was living in her car for nearly a year when she started to reach out for help. A victim of domestic violence, she has been homeless since July of 2018.

“It’s a miserable life to be homeless,” said Weaver, the mother of a 13-year-old girl. “It’s not fun… I feel like I made the right choice by leaving and getting out of the situation I was in.”

The 42-year-old from Madison Heights has been on disability for nine years. In addition to fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, she now suffers from mini strokes due to a traumatic brain injury that occurred during a violent episode in 2017.

Weaver is the first person to be helped by a new group called #oneatatime Community Response Team. Weaver has been involved with the process to start the organization led by Kymm Clark, Nicole Mariott and Jennifer Zmarlzlik.

“We want to be the support system they might not have known existed,” said Clark who is also Chair of the Madison Heights Arts Board and a candidate for City Council. “We want to pull all of the members of the community who want to help out of the woodwork, so that they know that we’re here to support them.”

The group raised more than $1,000 in less than 18 hours through a social media campaign to provide temporary housing for Weaver.

The next goal is to raise an additional $1,200 to provide the first and last month’s rent for a mobile home. Weaver’s time at an extended stay hotel ends on Sept. 1.

“It’s unfortunate the very little things that prevent people from being able to get back on their feet,” Clark said. “One of them is getting enough money to get a down payment.”

Clark, who has been communicating with Weaver since February, held the first meeting for the group in June, where Mayor Brian Hartwell was among the inaugural attendees.

“I really like that we are reaching out in the community to embrace our under-served members,” Clark said. “Homeless members of our community are not always visible. Some people are homeless in disguise because they don’t want to be stigmatized.”

Another project is in the works – a free rummage sale will have items without cost, but with the option to donate. Clark has offered to pick up items that have not sold following the citywide garage sale on August 24. In addition, people can drop off items at Clark’s Fabrication at 1444 E Eleven Mile Rd.

Including home goods, furniture, clothes and toiletries among others, the items will be placed in a free rummage sale at Central Church in Madison Heights on August 31.

Located at 1529 Twelve Mile Road, a donation jar and the ability to take credit cards, debit cards and checks will be available, but anyone in need will be able to pick up goods free of charge at the event.

Weaver plans to continue participating in the group even after she is settled – helping catalogue resources for people in need and organizing fund-raising drives.

“They’re wonderful, and they’re very supportive,” she said of the group. “Every single one of them has a heart of gold.”

For long-term stability, the team could grow into a city commission or a nonprofit association. But for now it’s just neighbors helping each other #oneatatime.

For more information about the group, the rummage sale, or how to donate items , go message kymmclark4citycouncil@gmail.com.  Also check out the One at a Time Community Response Team Facebook Page.

Thank you to Bosco Lounge at 22930 Woodward Ave, Ferndale, MI 48220 for sponsoring our “Get Involved” series featuring local nonprofits, clubs, and groups.  Check out a city by city list here. Want to contribute a write up of a group you care about?  Message editor@oc115.com with your idea.

 

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