On Aug. 1, the Ann Arbor- and Jackson-based nonprofit Michigan Ability Partners
(MAP) was awarded a $175,000 grant by the KeyBank Foundation
to fund permanent supportive housing services. MAP provides services to veterans and people with disabilities in southeast Michigan.
"As a nonprofit, we’re always looking for funding to keep our core services going," says MAP CEO Jan Little, adding that the grant money will go towards "essential services" and "nothing extravagant."
MAP’s permanent supportive housing services provide subsidized rent and case management to those experiencing chronic homelessness. According to MAP, 97% of participants are still stably housed.
Little believes the KeyBank grant will allow MAP to house an additional 12 to 15 participants, who will be selected via a coordinated entry process in partnership with other Washtenaw County agencies.
But the grant will make other changes possible, as well. According to Little, "the KeyBank money is crucial because it allows us to bring on an additional staff person, do some really good in-depth training with our Public Support Housing team, and it also gives us some funding for technology."
Little says that technology — which includes basics such as cell phones and portable scanners — will "allow us to take our services out to the community, to the people that we're serving."
As for training, Little says those sessions will focus on "enhancing the skills of the case manager — things like progressive engagement and motivational interviewing and trauma-informed care," which Little refers to as "basic trainings" for working with a clientele that frequently suffers from "severe and persistent mental illness."
"Every year, our program costs more to run," Little says.
But because much of MAP’s funding remains the same year after year, the needs of the program become more difficult to meet.
"This foundation money is so important ... because it enhances our ability to keep the program going," Little says.
Natalia Holtzman is a freelance writer based in Ann Arbor. Her work has appeared in publications such as the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Literary Hub, The Millions, and others.
Photo courtesy of KeyBank.
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