Resources for the Struggling in Ferndale
(Crystal A. Proxmire)
Ferndale is a town well-known for its numerous community groups and nonprofits. But for those who are struggling to make ends meet in this tough economy, it can be hard to know where to turn for help. Here are some of the resources available in the city for those in need. If you know of more we can add to the list, please e mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oakland Livingston Human Service Agency (OLHSA) is a Community Action Agency that provides many resources to help end poverty. Their office, located at 345 E. 9 Mile, provides AIDS Services, Asset Building, Community Services, Early Childhood Services, Family Support Services, Food Programs, Housing & Energy Assistance, HR Services, Maternal Child Health Services, Older Adult Services, Prisoner Re-Entry Services, South Oakland County Services. Their food programs provide Oakland County residents with free food on a walk-in basis. Those wishing to pick up food must bring in a valid Driver’s License and Social Security Card for each member of their household who wishes to receive food. Their Housing and Energy Assistance programs can provide residents with repairs and upgrades to help them cut down on their energy bills.
Zion Lutheran Church, in partnership with Gleaners, offers a food bank once a month at their 143 Albany location. To find out the latest registration date, check out their website at http://www.fernzion.org/default.asp?page=FoodPantry.
This low-cost food program provides food for a family of four for a month for just over $30. The church is located at 1440 W 9 Mile Rd, and more information about the program can be found at http://www.angelfoodministries.com/host.asp?id=4800.
FernCare is a free health clinic that serves adults age 18-65 who do not have insurance. The clinic has a temporary location at the Kulick Community Center, 1201 Livernois, with patients being seen on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month. There is currently a two month wait for appointments, but the organization hopes to open up a permanent location with more hours once funding is secured. For more information go to www.ferncare.org, or call their appointment hotline at 248-677-2273.
Community Health Acupuncture Center, located at 801 Livernois, offers new patients a free visit on the first Friday of each month. These Free First Fridays sessions give people the opportunity to experience the holistic healing of acupuncture without a fee. Treatments after that are based on a sliding-scale fee, with the emphasis on keep the cost low and the good karma flowing with a group-setting. Patients relax in comfy recliners placed around the room, in an atmosphere of loving and healing. For more information see their website at http://www.communityacucenter.com.
Affirmations LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) Community Center offers many programs and services to the entire community, including a 24-hour helpline for counseling and resource referral, support groups, social groups, a library, youth recreation space, an art gallery, and health services such as HIV testing, health fairs, access to free condoms, and smoking-cessation assistance. They also offer a youth clothes closet for those who cannot afford clothes, and special events like their annual Health Fair and Motor City Pride, where freebies flow abundantly. Their website, www.goaffirmations.org has a wealth of information about how they help the public, as well as other resources.
The Ferndale Career Center is a part of the Ferndale Schools, and is a Michigan Works! Agency. At their office at 713 E. 9 Mile, people can find all kinds of resources to help them find work and deal with being unemployed. There are computers available for job searches, workshops and seminars about employment-related skills, and there are counselors and career coaches to help people deal with the stresses of this economy. Nearly every day there are classes to teach people the skills they need to succeed. One way to keep up with the latest classes and resources is to follow them on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ferndalecareercenter.
One innovative way that Ferndalians have found to help each other is through the formation of a Ferndale TimeBank, which is an online database which connects users to swap service. Only instead of direct service-swapping, members give their time in one-hour increments, and also cash in by requesting that other members take time to help them with needed services. For example, Steve may bank two hours shoveling snow for Carla, but then spend his two hours by getting Dan to change his oil. There are already over 30 people in the city using TimeBank, so chances are good that you can find someone willing to help with a project, or who can use your help. Find out more at www.ferndaletimebank.org.
Know When the Deals Are
Stay informed about your community and pay attention to days local restaurants offer deals. Rosie O’Grady’s at 279 W. 9 Mile has free meals for kids on Wednesdays, and The WAB at 22646 Woodward has half off after 4pm on Monday’s. Strawberry Moon at 301 W. 9 Mile has 99cent slices of pizza every Friday nights. Knowing the deals can help you eat out on a budget. Please check with these establishments to make sure the deals are still on first!
Another great way to get free stuff is to be involved in the community and attend events and meetings. The Downtown Development Authority and The Ferndale Area Chamber of Commerce are good places to turn for new business openings, art shows, networking meetings, community information sessions and special events. Often there are refreshments provided, freebies from businesses, and other benefits to taking part. Plus being poor is a little more tolerable if you’re surrounded with supportive Ferndale friends who are all in the same boat.
NOTE: A big thank you to all of our annual sponsors for your support and for your patience with this project. We are still officially out of business, this is just here for public information. Thank you again to: (Lenny’s Copy Center) (Paper Street Motors) (Galloway & Collens) (Just 4 Us)(Western Market) (Community Health Acupuncture) (Chazzano Coffee) and everyone else who has given their support.