It’s truly amazing to see how much NSO does. From the meetings I’ve had the opportunity to sit in on, I’ve learned about the transition they’ve been making to a more integrated and holistic healthcare model. Last week was the launch date for the new model, and I’ve loved learning about what it means for the organization and the people they serve. It means that someone who walks into the NSO homeless shelter has access to so much more than a place to stay and something to eat – they have access to mental healthcare, primary healthcare, and case management. It means that the social determinants of health (the root causes of public health issues) are being addressed rather than just treating the “symptoms.”
On Monday, Kirsten, our supervisor, and I met with the Executive Director at Make Food Not Waste to discuss the possibility of Make Food Not Waste providing free meals to the NSO Homeless Shelter once a week. We’ve been researching grants and donation opportunities, and this is how we came across Make Food Not Waste. Currently, we’re working on applying to a grant from Kroger. I’ve also been contacting other homeless shelters in Michigan and around the country to learn and document about their food and meal service models and see how NSO might be able to improve theirs. There are some days where it’s easy to wonder what I’m contributing to the organization, but I feel like this week, I wondered a little less, which has been a cool experience. But everyday, I’m learning – about NSO, about food insecurity, about homelessness, about grant applications, non-profits…and for that, I’m super grateful.