The MPower Initiative
Many of us take for granted the daily resources we are provided with. Items that we believe aren't important are actually vitally significant in the daily needs of those experiencing homelessness. For someone that has little to no possessions, these resources are crucial to their physical and mental health and the smallest item can make a big impact.
Michigan Is My Home has biannual distributions of 100-200 care packages consisting of food, clothes, hygiene supplies, and resource lists. MPowers are constructed into gender specific categories: male, female.
After months of research, pilot programs, feedback, and visioning, we created a list of specific items that meet the needs of our community in the most effective way possible. Every item in our packages has a purpose and was carefully chosen based on quantitive data and qualitative research.
During our MPower events, MIMH members directly interact with the community by sharing meals, stories, and laughs. These distributions transform community neighbors into lifetime friends!
What do MPowers consist of?
- Non-perishable foods that satisfy your nutritional and energy needs such as granola bars, crackers, and even chocolate; who doesn’t have a sweet tooth?
- Clothing items include gloves, hats, socks and scarves that prepare for cold Michigan Winters. These items are donated by MKnit, a student organization at U of M that uses sustainable yarn, and the Ginsberg Center.
- Hygiene supplies are daily necessities, such as toothbrushes and toothpaste, floss, combs, and deodorant-- items that seem small, but can have a huge impact on physical health and appearance.
- Laminated resource lists provide information on local shelters, hotlines, job opportunities, and MIMH information; there is always more to learn, and Ann Arbor is full of underrepresented, but high-quality agencies!
- Other miscellaneous items include reusable water bottles and first aid kits: two items that are favorites among many due to their multiple uses.