This summer, I am interning with Neighborhood Service Organization (NSO) with Abby. The mission of NSO is to deliver holistic care and wrap-around services to address social determinants impacting health, education and economic stability of vulnerable populations in Detroit. They have a multitude of programs designed for whole person care including, but not limited to, permanent housing solutions, case management, and support for mental and physical illness.
For our project, Abby and I are working together to address food insecurity in the population that NSO serves. In order to do this, we are researching what other nonprofit organizations are doing around Detroit, Michigan, and the country as a whole, to provide nutritious meals to homeless individuals. This project is multifaceted, as NSO will be moving to a new location in the next 1-2 years. In the short term, we are identifying how to ensure food donations are healthy and consistent. In the long term, we are looking into how NSO will be able to utilize the commercial kitchen at their new location to not only provide food, but also to provide job opportunities for the community. This work will also include looking into grants and other funding opportunities for NSO to pursue.
So far, I already feel that I have learned so much about the homeless community and about nonprofit work in general. I have really enjoyed working with Abby on our project together, and hearing about what other fellows are doing within their organizations has been extremely insightful. My learning group is focused on environmental justice, and though we are not 100% sure what we will be exploring yet, we have talked about watching a documentary virtually together and learning about the topic that way. I am incredibly excited to continue getting to know everyone and to become more engaged with social justice!