A big difference! Not only does Friends In Deed address the immediate needs of low-income families living in Washtenaw County, we help lift families out of poverty to achieve economic independence. Help us help others:
We are in the process of implementing Circles, a program that will expand Friends In Deed’s circle of friends by pairing a person in poverty with three middle or upper income partners for at least 18 months. The goal of the program is to help people get out of and stay out of poverty.
A big difference! The United Way of Washtenaw County is a good friend and partner. Not only does the United Way allow its donors to specifically designate funds to Friends In Deed, the United Way has awarded several grants in support of our projects and programs.
Kayla is a single, working mom with two children. Relying on friends for transportation to and from work, her arrangements became strained when her one-year-old son required treatment for a serious, chronic medical condition. Friends In Deed was able to help by passing on a used car donated by one our generous supporters.
Tragedy hit when Crystal’s apartment burned down. She and her four children lost everything, including identification. Friends In Deed was able to help her get a copy of her birth certificate so she and her children could get into a shelter.
When Heriberto found himself with sole custody of his 16-month-old son, he needed a bigger place to live and furniture to fill it. Because of generous furniture donations, Friends In Deed was able to help.
Sometimes it is as simple as having a healthy place to sleep, eat and go about the daily business of living. Even those folks who have a roof over their head may not have the basic furniture necessary to make an apartment or house a home. That’s where Friends In Deed comes in.
Waste Not, Want Not
Friends In Deed accepts donations of used furniture and passes it on for free to our community’s many families in need. Through the use of our 12-foot-cube truck and the help and generosity of our many volunteers, we are able to pick up furniture from donors and deliver furniture to those of our clients without transportation.
Beds & Cribs
The need for beds is a particularly crucial need in our community. Not only do we have many families with children who come to us for help after coming out of a shelter or experiencing fires, floods or bedbug infestations, we also have clients who were victims of domestic abuse and have to relocate with their children. When a family is recovering from a disaster and/or living paycheck to paycheck, there is no extra money for the purchase of beds or cribs; and Friends In Deed is the only agency in Washtenaw County that provides them for free. Unfortunately, the number of beds donated each year consistently fails to meet the need in the community for a healthy sleep environment. That’s why we created our annual Holiday Bed & Crib Drive that allows donors to give monetary donations for the purchase of new beds. Since the bed drive’s inception, we have helped over 1400 individuals and children get up off the floor, get into a bed or crib and get a good night sleep.
We try to fill in the gaps of assistance offered by other agencies and organizations in Washtenaw County, which means we may answer a request for assistance by providing information about or making a referral to another organization that has a program of services that better fits a client’s needs. We also work to keep track of resources available in the community and pass on the information through:
- A How-to-Help Seminar each October that gives folks at congregations and human-service organizations a chance to ask questions
- Two bi-annual Resource Guides that lists community services, including shelters, food banks, and places to get free or low-cost clothing
We Pass on Used Cars for Free
We also accept car donations so that we can pass on reliable transportation to an individual or family in need. Again, the car must be used to get to work or medical treatment.
Friends In Deed has provided utility assistance to residents of Washtenaw County for over three decades. The need has only increased since we first started the program, especially since Michigan’s Department of Human Services changed its policy in 2013: DHS now provides utility assistance only during the crisis season, defined as November 1st to May 31st.
We Help Prevent Utility Shut Off
Friends In Deed works with other social service agencies in the community to prevent utility shut off. Not only are families able to keep their water running, lights on and rooms warmed (or cooled depending on the season), they are often able to qualify for a payment plan that allows them to retain a bigger part of their budget for other necessities: food, medical care, clothing, etc.
Client Instructions and Initial Information
While we will consider requests on a case-by-case basis, our main programs are each outlined below. The information below should help you determine if you qualify for assistance and what will be required from you if you choose to apply. If your request does not fall into one of the categories, please give our Help Line (734-484-4357) a call from 9:30 AM to noon, Monday through Friday.
No matter what type of assistance you are seeking, you must be a resident of Washtenaw County and you must provide some documentation for our files.
- Furniture: If you are calling to obtain beds, cribs, couches, kitchen tables, etc., please call our Furniture Line at (734) 484-7607 from 9:30 AM to Noon, Tuesday through Friday.
- Transportation: We recognize at Friends In Deed that a car is often a basic necessity, especially in Washtenaw County. If you are calling about getting assistance with transportation, please call our Help Line at (734) 484-4357 from 9:30 AM to Noon, Monday through Friday.
- Prevention of Utility Shut Off: If you are calling for help with a utility bill, you will need to send us several documents. Please call our Help Line at (734) 484-4357 for more information from 9:30 AM to Noon, Monday through Friday.
News & Notes
Paula and her 12-year-old daughter, Fayth, had a hard time of it over the last year as their small family struggled with Paula's breast cancer diagnosis. Treatment involved removing Paul's breast. While the good news is that Paula survived the scare, she still has...read more
Friends In Deed is hosting its annual How-to-Help Seminar on Monday, October 23rd from 7pm to 9pm. It will be held at First Baptist Church of Ypsilanti, 1110 W. Cross Street in Ypsilanti. You can register by email to Office@FriendsindeedMI.org or phone at...read more
We lost a very good friend this week: Kathy Wilde, who passed away at home in Ypsilanti. Kathy came to Friends in Deed nine years ago at the request of a friend, and she has been volunteering for us in several roles ever since. Most recently, she worked on the...read more
What you have to understand is how great it is for a kid to get his or her own bed when they've been doing without. Thanks to the folks from the Rotary Club of Ann Arbor, two low-income families in Washtenaw County recently received this gift of sleep. Beds for Kids...read more
Meet Crystal, a home health care worker for six years with a Certified Nursing Assistant diploma. Crystal, twenty-seven, is mom to six-year old Isaiah, who will be entering first grade this fall. Crystal heard about Friends In Deed (FID) from a friend who referred...read more
Terrie Upham, a student in Eastern Michigan University’s School of Social Work, is finishing up her internship with Friends In Deed next week. While normally we’d be wishing her luck and saying goodbye, Terrie will continue on with us on our Furniture Line as she did...read more
Bill Holmes graciously agreed to host another tour of Detroit Metro Airport as a live-auction item at the 2017 Annual Dinner. The tour gave the winners (Pat & Jim Robertson) the chance to take their family for a look behind the scenes at the airport. A good time was...read more
Lisa, an amputee, is a single mom with kids, and she's been looking for a place to live for a long time. Now that she has one, she realized it would take her almost a year to fill it with basic-needs furniture without the help of Friends In Deed. "I really appreciate...read more
Jessica is a security officer with two kids, ages 3 and 11. When her rent went up unexpectedly from $192 to $600, her budget took a hit. Things were made worse by the timing because her rent went up after she got paid. When most of her paycheck went to the rent...read more