Mentioned in the United States of America Congressional Record for
our humanitarian cause; we have grown from providing 3,500 shelter
nights in 1999 to over 19,000 shelter nights in 2008. The need has
grown and we need to continue growing with the need. We celebrated
20th anniversary in 2008.
Programs Congregational Membership
In early 1988 nine founding members came together at Trinity
Lutheran in Clinton Township with the idea of a homeless day
camp. Out of that meeting, what is known today as MCREST
(Macomb County Rotating Emergency Shelter Team) was
From day camp to overnight emergency shelter, MCREST grew
rapidly from the twelve original congregations to 21
congregations in 1989 to almost 90 congregations providing
over 19,000 nights of emergency shelter in 2011.
MCREST was granted its 501 © 3 in 1989. The first board
president was elected in May that same year. The newly
formed board developed the guidelines, organized volunteers
and planned for their first full year of services that began
in late 1989. Today these congregations represent many
denominations across Macomb County providing meals, shelter
and transportation to 60 men, women and children every
night. MCREST provides case management, facilitates dental
and medical care, counseling, life-skills training, and
housing assistance to our guests 365 days a year.
After nearly 24 years of continuous service as an emergency
shelter in Macomb County for homeless and displaced
individuals, we are proud to be the place Where Transition
Board of Directors
MCREST’s Board of Directors is considered to be a working
board consisting of up to fifteen volunteer members from the
community such as business owners, ministers, city council
members and many other leaders. Elected at the annual
meeting by representatives of participating congregations,
the community and the homeless, the Board of Directors serve
for a three year term and elect the Executive Board annually
at the June meeting. The primary role of the Board of
Directors is to set the policies that are carried out by the
Executive Director and staff and to ensure the fiscal
well-being of the MCREST organization.
In 1997, MCREST had its first annual audit and has received
an unqualified opinion from 1996 through 2010.
The Board of Directors and staff are committed to the
mission of MCREST and are available to work with
congregations who volunteer and host guests in their place
What are today’s challenges?
• Educating the community about the invisible faces most
affected by homelessness today
• Creating housing and stabilization resources in an
economic environment that has left thousands of single women
and children without a home of their own.
• Creating affordable housing options to address the growing
• Continue to raise the standard of care and navigating the
stages of change for homeless men, women and children in the
great State of Michigan
To provide homeless and displaced individuals the
opportunity for successful transition to independence!
Vision as a Community: a place where men, women and
children experiencing the trauma of homelessness find
emergency solutions and housing resources.
Agency: the premier advocate for homeless and at-risk
individuals where the point of entry as well as the road to
transition is accessible.
Core Values –
COMPASSION: We will uphold the dignity, honor the diversity
and respect the life of every individual.
INTEGRITY: We will say what we do and do what we say at all
LEADERSHIP: With creativity, foresight and fortitude we will
open doors and create new opportunities for those we serve.
COLLABORTAION: Through proactive teamwork we will forge
partnerships and streamline resources to maximize our
COMMUNICATION: With clearly defined expectations and common
understanding we will utilize every available tool to
advocate for the homeless population and educate the
ACCOUNTABILITY: We will efficiently manage and maintain all
of the assets including financial, physical and humanitarian
that have been entrusted to our care.
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In 2011, approximately 90 congregations
partnered with MCREST to provide over 19,500 shelter nights, 60,000
plus meals, personal hygiene facilities, transportation to school,
work, medical appointments and multiple other donated services such
as haircuts and laundry to help cope with homelessness.
MCREST fully recognizes its responsibility as a safe haven in Macomb
County but is equally committed to the safety of our staff,
volunteers and the men, women and children we serve daily.
On any given night, our maximum bed capacity is limited to 60 beds
for men, women and children but no individual seeking assistance or
shelter is sent away without viable alternatives. Although drug or
alcohol screens and police clearances are not criteria for admission
into our 90 day program, self-declared substance abusers are offered
assistance in resolving their issues and alternative shelter will be
provided in a safe environment as needed.
Case Management is an integral component of the emergency shelter
services provided by the MCREST staff. A designated staff liaison
works closely with the congregations coordinators and volunteers to
advise, support and assure a successful transition back to self-
sufficiency for our clients.
The program also provides, in collaboration with Downriver Community
Services, medical care, mental health and substance abuse counseling
to shelter guests. In a joint effort with the Macomb Intermediate
School District Homeless Education Project, MCREST works with the
MISD to provide consistent schooling for the children of homeless
families sheltered in the program.
The Salvation Army is our main fiduciary for funds from the State of
Michigan which contracts with MCREST to reimburse us for some of the
direct expenses of the program and MCREST also receives funding
support from various communities and corporations, most recently the
Metro Health Foundation, Art Van Community Challenge Grant, Charter
One Foundation, and the UWSEM (United Way of Southeast Michigan).
MCREST has also had support throughout the county through the
Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG), the Detroit Lions,
Four County Foundation, Community Foundation for SE Michigan,
Chrysler Sterling Heights Plant, General Motors and support from the
Macomb Homeless Coalition.
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MCREST has grown humbly from its
initial 12 congregations to almost 90 today, without the
congregations and their volunteers; the program would not be the
success that we have been for almost 24 years.
A designated staff person, the program information specialist,
serves as the liaison to the congregations providing support,
training, advising, and the confidence to open their doors to
the homeless in Macomb County.
Each week, our congregations provide seven consecutive nights of
overnight shelter for 30 to 60 men women and children, meals,
transportation, shower facilities (on or off site) and laundry
services in a warm, safe environment. In 2011 the average number
of volunteers ranged from 50 to over 300 each week giving more
than 75,000 hours of their own time. Many of these congregations
do not have budgeted dollars to host MCREST, but through
monetary and service donations and fundraising our guests are
blessed each week with shelter, meals and compassion.
Our congregations are also provided with a detailed Planning and
Resource Guide with the policies, procedures and best practices
for their host week. Telephone consultation is available and
encouraged. On site visits to the host congregations are
provided by the Program Information Specialist when requested.
The Program Information Specialist is actively engaged in the
recruitment and education of our volunteers and annual
information meetings (formerly known as Certification Meetings)
are held quarterly to keep them current with the MCREST program.
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