Ann Arbor-based nonprofit Avalon Housing
will celebrate 30 years of service to Washtenaw County on Sept. 22 with its "Home for Good" fundraiser at The Circ Bar, 210 S. First St. in Ann Arbor. The upcoming fundraiser will be Avalon's first in-person version of its annual "Home for Good" event since the COVID-19 pandemic.
Avalon is Washtenaw County’s leading provider of affordable supportive housing, with a specific vision to eliminate homelessness in Washtenaw County by centering efforts on “community, care, and support,” according to the organization’s website.
“What we know is that the lack of affordable housing is the leading cause of homelessness, and Washtenaw [County] is one of the most expensive housing markets in Michigan," says Avalon Executive Director Aubrey Patiño. "We go out of our way to engage and build rapport with people. We’re really proud to be part of something that is aligned with best practices, innovative, and centers the whole person or family.”
Avalon not only provides high-quality affordable housing to those experiencing chronic homelessness, but also assists those in Avalon housing with other basic needs that residents can focus on more once their housing needs have been met.
“Safety, belonging, and dignity are threatened when you experience homelessness,” Patiño says. “We want to help people build trust and transition out of survival mode. We have multiple community centers that provide resources like workshops and computers, we have six different on-site food pantries thanks to our partnership with Food Gatherers
, and we’re committed to providing support for as long as people need it.”
Patiño, who has been Avalon's executive director for the past five years, following 18 years in other roles with the organization, says Avalon has numerous initiatives in the works now. The nonprofit currently has four new developments in its pipeline, which would create a total 150 new homes in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti.
For more information on the "Home for Good" fundraiser or to purchase tickets, click here
Rylee Barnsdale is a Michigan native and longtime Washtenaw County resident. She wants to use her journalistic experience from her time at Eastern Michigan University writing for the Eastern Echo to tell the stories of Washtenaw County residents that need to be heard.
Rendering courtesy of Avalon Housing.