Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Shelter By the Numbers

It's that time again, or, to be more technical, it's "stats" time again. Math is definitely not my first language, and while the moving "voice" of our guests gives life to the services we provide, I am still somewhat in awe of the sheer amount of those services. With May numbers coming in, we see the trend for an increase in needs, especially for shelter, only continuing.
An overview of the past few years reveals that:
  • In 2010 (before renovations were completed on our expanded women and children's shelter), we provided 33,375 nights of shelter (20,427 to men, 12,948 to women and children);
  • In 2011 (with renovations completed in the Spring), we provided 48,705 nights of shelter (20,958 to men, 27,747 to women and children). That equaled out to an increase of 42 people every night;
  • In 2012, increases continued, with shelter surpassing the 50,000 mark at 51,891 nights of shelter. That nightly average was less dramatic but still came to 9 people every night;
  • In 2013, if the current trend shown for the first five months of this year continues, we will repeat 2012 with an additional 9 people every night, to bring our nightly total to 151 people and over 55,000 nights of shelter.
A lot of numbers and words to mean that in three years (2011-2013) we will have increased capacity to shelter 60 more people every night than we did in 2010. "Increased capacity" is a generous term that includes so much more than finding space in which to put a bed. Each person requiring shelter also requires food, hygiene items, electricity, water, support staff (for intake, kitchens, maintenance, etc.), and more. These increased needs were met without any real change to the overall budget since 2011.
In the June 2013 newsletter, we reported that services are "up" while giving is "down." We are so grateful to those "fellow Rescuers" who continue to give faithfully, whether monetarily or from our needs list, even during difficult times. Thank you to volunteers, whose thousands of volunteer hours provide much needed support to staff. And thank you to our prayer warriors, who pray for the Mission, its needs, and our guests. Truly, you are making a difference in Michigan's capital area by helping us help others!

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