2012-05-03 / Front Page

Hunger, homeless event successful

An effort to raise awareness of the homelessness problem here in Schoolcraft County was a huge success. Just over $2,000 was raised during the “Donate Your Pastor” for an evening of homelessness fund-raiser held last Friday in Manistique.

Following a ribbon-cutting ceremony and opening remarks by Schoolcraft County Board of Commissioners Chairman Al Grimm, the four-hour event got underway.

Located on the chilly, windswept lawn of the courthouse area, pastors occupied structures that were representative of those used by the homeless.

While pastors watched from inside their dwellings, street performers from Manistique, Cooks, Garden and Germfask entertained spectators as they enjoyed a hot bowl of chili, which was provided by Good Neighbor Services.

According to Nancy Demers, or- Below right: One of the homeless shelters ganizer of the event and coordinator of the Schoolcraft County Coalition for Safe and Stable Housing, the money raised Friday will be divided equally between the Christ

Fellowship Ministry Food Pantry in Germfask, St. Vincent de Paul,

Good Neighbor Services and the

Manistique Ministerial Association.

In addition to raising money for local food pantries, the event was intended to promote awareness of the homelessness problem in the community and inform those who are homeless or at risk of being homeless of the support systems that are in place to help them.

Hunger, homeless awareness event

“The event was a huge success,” Demers said. “The main mission was to create community awareness of where the program resources are. There is a population out there who know where the resources are, but we have a new population who still need to know. We collaborated with some of the churches. Now they understand what the coalition is all about and managed to raise money in the process.”


Above left: Schoolcraft County Commissioners Dan LaFoille (left) and Al Grimm (right) were on hand to cut the ribbon Friday afternoon setting the event in motion. Above right: Pastors Jim Troyer (left) and Jay Martin (right) in their roles as homeless individuals visiting on a city park bench. at the event. Above left: Schoolcraft County Commissioners Dan LaFoille (left) and Al Grimm (right) were on hand to cut the ribbon Friday afternoon setting the event in motion. Above right: Pastors Jim Troyer (left) and Jay Martin (right) in their roles as homeless individuals visiting on a city park bench. at the event. According to Demers, money donated to the food pantries can be leveraged eight times by using USDA-approved food provided through the Feeding America program.

“That is huge,” Demers said. “The way the program works is, each food pantry will receive a credit from Feeding America for the purchase of USDA-approved products. That credit will then be matched eight times.”

Area pastors participating in the event included Lon Hyder of the East Delta Parish, Jay Martin of the First Baptist Church, Jim Troyer of Cedar Grove Mennonite, and Diann Bolter of Christ Fellowship Ministry in Germfask.

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