This past weekend, we had a very successful barbecue and block party that brought together friends, family and supporters, as well as folks representing their own organizations that are doing amazing work around the city. I believe that it was a beautiful kickoff to a summer of opportunities at Auntie Na’s House.
This summer, starting June 1st, Auntie Na’s House will be opening up and will be maintaining a regular schedule of programs all summer long. This is so exciting because it signals the end of construction, repairs, and remodeling that has been done to revitalize Auntie Na’s House over the past year and half. We’ve worked hard to make the community center functional, beautiful and vibrant, and now we want to open it up as a resource that organizations and community members can use for projects, programming and events.
Currently, Auntie Na and a crew of regular volunteers are running several community outreach programs. These include Weekly Food Distributions, where food is picked up from various pantries around the city, reorganized and delivered to families in need. There are also Clothing, Toys and School Supply Distributions organized regularly with support and donations from The Godmothers. Every couple of weeks or so, Auntie Na’s House hosts Community Meals, or barbecue cookouts if weather permits, bringing families, volunteers, and outside supporters together as a community to celebrate our work, plan for the future, and enjoy each other’s company. Lastly, Auntie Na’s House offers Emergency Temporary Housing for those who are houseless, whether it is due to eviction, foreclosure, a dangerous situation at home, or chronic houselessness among Detroit’s destitute population.
With the completion of the new renovations of Auntie Na’s House, we are proud to say that we are going to be hosting new programs at Auntie Na’s House. After recently remodeling the second floor and transforming it into a Reading Room, this summer we plan be hosting a Youth Literacy Program under the mentorship of Shanel Adams, a Detroit-native writer and the creator of the Progressionista program. This program is open to girls age 8-12 who would like to read, write and discuss literature once a week, to develop their English language literacy skills. At Auntie Na’s House, we hope to cultivate a passion for reading, writing and creative arts that kids can carry with them for the rest of their lives. This summer, we will also be hosting a Housing Assistance Program once a week with Laquinda from Creative Housing Solutions. This program is geared towards preparing and educating young people about how to get good deals on apartments and houses, how to recognize a good lease from a bad one, how to deal with landlords, and generally how to budget funds and keep up with payments. Lastly, we just put in work on constructing and planting our community garden in the backyard of Auntie Na’s House. We hope to grow and expand our Gardening Program so that Auntie Na’s House can continue to be supplied with fresh vegetables and so children and adults alike can acquire new skills around working with the land, and learning about urban agriculture.
Be sure to contact us if you would like to be involved as a volunteer or participant in any of these programs. I will post new updates as these programs progress and evolve.