Neighborhood Service Organization’s mission is to change lives by providing outreach and holistic services to vulnerable populations. The name of their organization is representative of the work they do from providing meals and a place to stay for those experiencing homelessness to offering physical and mental healthcare and case management. They truly are good neighbors to the city of Detroit as well as the surrounding areas. I admire how much they value not only the people they serve, but also every single staff member. I’ve witnessed this firsthand, being welcomed personally by the CEO on the very first day and getting to meet almost all members of the executive board within the first week even as a student intern.
Kirsten Birman and I have the opportunity to work with the Homeless Recovery Services Department. This past week, we have started to research grant and food donation opportunities. Another aspect of our project is to contact other shelters to see how they run their food and meal distribution programs. We are in close communication with our supervisor Katrina McCree, NSO’s Chief Community Impact Officer, and our goal for the summer to apply for a grant(s) and develop a resource of funding opportunities and best practices involving meal service and addressing food insecurity.
I’m super grateful that I get to work with Kirsten on this project, and it’s been really neat to see how we can use our different interests to work together and address the same issue of food insecurity. I’ve also really enjoyed the DCERP meetings with the whole group and my learning group. My group’s topic is anti-racism and it’s been interesting to hear other fellows’ personal experiences as well as what drives them to make a change in our society. In light of this past year, with racism in this country receiving greater attention, I think our discussions will be deeply insightful for exploring how we can combat racism and provoke change. Even though we haven’t had the chance to meet in person yet, I know this is a special group of people who care deeply about serving others and social justice, and I’m so glad I get to be a part of it!