Sam and Dan had the honor of sitting down with Bonnie Billups, Jr. Executive of the Peace Neighborhood Center in Ann Arbor.
Peace, as they refer to themselves, offers a wide variety of youth and adult services. Their after-school enrichment programs provide meals and tutoring for 80-120 students per day. Adult services are geared to help adults gain knowledge and skills that will improve their confidence and ability to manage the day-to-day struggles of family life.
Sam and Dan were especially interested to know how we, at Spotlight Houses, could partner with this wonderful charity especially when it comes to housing needs.
The soaring home prices in Ann Arbor and surrounding areas have taken a toll on many low-income families in the area. Peace offers foreclosure prevention, bill payment assistance and a transitional housing program that has recently helped a family of 5 that was living in local hotels. But the needs continue to grow as rent increases, wages stay flat and property values go up.
Billups opened our eyes to hardships local families face when housing prices continue to climb:
Waiting lists of 2-3 years for established low-income housing
Families forced to move from Ann Arbor and take their children out of local schools
Longer commutes to work from cities with affordable housing
Local complexes that are reducing their low-income housing units as they pay back Federal grants that required them
High costs of utilities-especially water
Many people have never considered home ownership an option and do not set themselves up financially to achieve this. They struggle with medical collections, establishing credit and even opening-up checking accounts. These are all things that Peace also assists with.
At Spotlight Houses we believe in homeownership and the confidence, stability, and financial independence it brings. We are trying to do our part in educating the community on grants and down payment assistance available for those that dream of one day owning their own home. We are excited to support Peace and other local charities through our sponsorships and educational courses provided throughout the year.
If your organization would like to have us, we would be honored. If you or your family would like to know more about available programs, please do not hesitate to call or email us.