We are not a shelter or institution. We are a house of hospitality in the tradition of the catholic worker movement. Peace House Ypsi is a privately-owned home, and those who live here have made a commitment to welcome our friends into our home in order to provide them hospitality. Many of our friends happen to currently be experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity.
Since COVID-19, in consultation with our friends who are experiencing homelessness, we are responding to community needs while doing our best to keep people safe. This response includes offering limited overnight shelter for folks without other options, delivering meals and groceries to over 50 families a week (including our friends who are living in tents), laundry, a handwash station, supporting our friends in the criminal justice system withcalls and cards, and responding to community requests (e.g., a few people freed from jail with only the clothes on their back were given clothing and food). Our free store, which includes food, clothing, and household basics, is popular. When we get clothing donations, we always wash them, especially important with the virus.
Since we are not an institution, we rely on our community to help us and to reach out when they need help. We strive for a mutual aid model. Peer mentoring and guidance is an important part of what we do. We also share resources and wisdom with Hill House, Mercy House, the Ypsi Gathering Space, and the Daytime Warming Center.
We need help with our laundry services. Laundromats are virus high-risk locations, with many shared surfaces. Also, they’re not accessible to many of our friends due to the challenge of getting there with all one’s clothes, the cost, and physical demand of the task, even before COVID-19. Many people are recommended to not leave their homes, but how else are they supposed to clean their clothes? Demand for laundry services have greatly increased and we have been struggling to meet this community need.
Funded by Ann Arbor, MI (May 2020)