On November 6, 2014 the International UAW and UAW members from different locals, gathered together at the United Methodist Church in Detroit, MI to make and provide a meal for the N.O.A.H. (Networking, Organizing, Advocating for the Homeless) Project to feed the homeless. They served over 300 people that day with a meal that consisted of BBQ chicken, dressing, mashed potatoes, swedish meatballs, mac & cheese, green beans, and corn, with plenty to go around for seconds.
The mission of the NOAH Project is to end homelessness in Detroit and Southeastern Michigan. They are committed to developing relationships that promote healthy change in the lives of individuals who are homeless, especially those for whom it is a chronic struggle. NOAH strives to be a safe haven between the streets and the larger community by addressing critical needs and practicing acceptance of each participant as a person worthy of respect and compassion despite survival values and behaviors. They believe that participants can learn to establish relationships based on trust and can be empowered to create positive life changes.
The NOAH Project begins this process with their signature offering–the Bag Lunch Program. Offered during our Community Center hours, Monday through Thursday 10:30am-2:00pm, this is for many people, their first interaction with NOAH. It is here that staff begins to get to know people and build trust. Their dedicated group of Peer Support Volunteers help this process by serving as ambassadors to people who are often resistant to trust. As the volunteers continue to gain trust, the participants come during Social Service hours or to see one of the nurses in the Wellness Center. Here, staff is able to dive deeper and begin to address the issues that have prevented them from maintaining stability–not with a desire to fix the person, but to meet them where they are accompany them on the journey, assisting and encouraging along the way.
The assistance offered during social services and Bag Lunch days are the enticement to get people through NOAH’s door and keep them coming back. The goal at NOAH is to provide a sense of family, belonging and self-worth to those who are so often without it. This sense of family is only possible when trusting relationships are developed and it is only when an individual has built up their own sense of self-value that they feel empowered to create change within their own lives.