The director’s perspective

A personal message from the founder

John Shafer a director’s perspective:

Why are we called Michiana Five for the homeless?

February 6. 2015

The name was founded on a simple principle that in a city like Chicago with almost 3 million people if every person could somehow give just $5 it could go a long ways to helping end the homelessness in that city! And it’s true for any city, but it will take an entire community’s effort to end homelessness, but together could it be done so simply as just $5 from each person?

Originally it was called Chicago Five for the Homeless. But after a few months we decided to bring our efforts back to our home of Michiana and focus on the street homeless locally. What we had begun in downtown Chicago has become an occasional outreach when supplies permit and doesn’t hinder the need back here at home.

We officially changed our name and began our pursuit to help all the local shelters, and later soup kitchens, clothing pantries, food pantries, families in emergency need of food, and other agencies that help the homeless.

We have been featured in over 165 newspaper stories and television news stories and on the radio multiple times in just our first 5 years. We have estimated helping over 2400 street homeless in Chicago, and untold number of homeless here in Michiana by supporting local shelters with large clothing donations, blankets, food, and more.

Southwest Airlines in Chicago conducted 2 clothing drives among their employees on our behalf and everything collected remained mostly in the Chicago area to aid it’s large numbers of homeless.

We took out 2 outdoor billboard advertising in 2014 and focused on making our presence in Michiana even more widely known.

During our first 2 years we had taken during every Winter month two trips to Chicago to distribute items of need to the street homeless we could find there.

We are committed to helping the homeless so much we took a small Face Book effort in October 2012 to a non-profit organizational status by the Summer of 2014.

In late October of 2014 to early December 2014 we were challenged and conducted a successful blanket drive collecting over 750 blankets! In January of 2015 we opened our official web site.

We know it is vital to reach as many homeless that we can with life’s necessities and life saving protection from the bitter cold Winter weather for especially those who must live on the streets each night.

We need friends, partners, and businesses to support us and help supply the items we hand out to men, women and even children living on the streets. For me personally it is what I eat, sleep and breathe daily. My personal mission is to educate, inform and involve all who will catch this vision with me.

The fact is just one blanket could help save a life and keep someone from getting frostbite, or hypothermia and possibly dying from the harsh extreme cold nights and so we desperately seek help and donations to supply the homeless we meet.

We get only periodic random financial support from any business, church or corporation and solely do much of what it takes financially to continue this work from small occasional donations from a few good friends.

Because 40% of all homeless youth are LGBT we with pride serve them and all homeless!

If after finding Us and reading this, you would like to give, volunteer or spread our link to family and friends it would help Us greatly!

 

Thank You!

John Shafer

Director and Founder