top of page
mcrest design 14.jpg

MCREST Monthly

March 2024

Spring brings new things. This newsletter brings us 2,000 new readers!

Welcome to our new friends! MCREST Monthly hits your inbox once every four weeks to give you an inside look to the struggles and triumphs of a nonprofit organization working to help those experiencing homelessness right here in Macomb County.

You'll get an inside look at our staff, our partners and our volunteers dedcicating themselves to solving complex problems. You'll get a proper sense of what homelessness is like from guests inspired to share their story with you. And you'll learn the best way to help with our mission from month and month and assist with both immediate and long-term needs.

And today's inside look starts with a wide scope. We recently poured through our data from 2023 and will introduce you further to all the different experiences and identities contained within homelessness.

easter baskets.jpg

Impact Stat


total persons served by MCREST in 2023

This number is the result of countless hours clocked, paperwork filed, phone calls made, red tape cleared, beads of sweat and tears of joy when success is achieved. It's also the direct result of each dollar contributed to the care of fellow human beings by you, our MCREST supporters. We continue to be a beacon of hope for those experiencing homelessness in Macomb County -- a beacon that has been shining since 1985.

Face of Homelessness

625 total guests were served by MCREST in 2023. Each and every one of those integers represents a unique individual with a unique story. One of our superpowers here is relating to each person on their level, learning their story, preferences, goals. We get to know them so we can help them.

So as we look at these demographic statistics to see who walked through our door in 2023 and what led to them arriving here, remember that though each statistic is a valuable entryway to understanding the myriad amount of challenges presented by homelessness -- they also invite further empathy to learn the story behind the numbers. And they help us locate the unique key needed to unlock every individual's potential as they get back on their feet.

Adults (18+)
Increased 2% from 2022

Children (under 18)

Increased 6% from 2022


Between the ages of 25-64

Black/African American
Increased 11%


American Indian/Asian/Hispanic/Did Not Answer

The following percentages are now taken out of ONLY adults served by MCREST in 2023 (484)

Mental Health Disorder
Increased 5% from 2022

Chronic Health Condition
Increased 3% from 2022

Developmental Disability

Physical Disability
Increased 7% from 2022

History of Domestic Violence or Sexual Assault
Increased 9% from 2022

Came to MCREST from an Uninhabitable Environment

Came to MCREST from Hotel or Motel (paid by a voucher)

Came to MCREST after Staying with Friends or Family

No Income
Increased 5% from 2022

Earn Some Income

SNAP (Food Stamps) Recipients
Increased 18% from 2022

MEDICAID Recipients

No Health Insurance

Left MCREST Program within 1 Week

Left MCREST Program within 1 Month
Decreased 2% from 2022

Staff Spotlight

March is National Social Work Month. Remember learning the term "essential workers"? Well, these workers are essential. Our workers are essential. The heavy lifting they do -- and the personal toll it can take -- cannot be overstated.

MCREST Case Manager Danielle Workman answered some questions about a life in social work and how her inspiring personal story makes the difference with her clients.


How long have you worked for MCREST and how did you find your way here?

I have only worked at MCREST since late July of 23, but have been working in the Human Services/Social Work field for about 30 years. I was intrigued by MCREST and what they do for the community. I have always been very dedicated to helping people better their lives, and this is one way I can. Also, I love that every day is a different experience here. It is never a boring day at MCREST!

What compelled you towards a job where you help people?

It is who I was raised to be, in that, my parents always made it clear that helping when you can is a privilege that should be celebrated by people who are able. I have been in the same situations our clients are experiencing; addiction, single parent households, and overwhelmed by the economy. Luckily, I had a strong family who supported and believed in me while I was struggling. I cannot imagine overcoming these obstacles alone, and for that I am ever grateful. I raised 2 children in a single parent household, and have been in recovery for 21 years. The empathy I have for our clients is real, and they know it.

When you first meet a new client, what is your approach?

I like to get a bit of a backstory, find out what led them to MCREST. Then I take what they tell me and turn to the resources I have in order to help them break down the barriers they are experiencing so they can move forward. Whatever that looks like; NA/AA meeting lists, Resume assistance, job search and/or school opportunities from LRC, School needs from Macomb Charitable Foundation for children in the MC schools, medical needs from Community First Health Center mobile unit, or maybe just a conversation and suggestion to Community Mental Health for Mental Health needs.

What element of social work is misunderstood?

The element that is most understood in social work is boundaries/emotions. This is not a 9-5 job that you leave in the office. It is an ongoing set of relationships that are ever changing, for the good (and bad sometimes). We go through every trial and triumph with our clients and, often, have sleepless nights worrying about them. We are not in this field for anything but to impact lives. A lot of emotions are experienced when helping people. I can be happy and sad and frustrated all in the same day, but need to remind myself that all I can do is give a client the tools to create the framework. It is up to them whether they build a beautiful life, or settle for whatever they have. They are the architects of their lives, I just assist with the blueprints…if that makes sense.

If a MCREST supporter should know three things about the experiences, in general, of the people you work with, what would those three things be?

1. Homelessness does not discriminate, it could be you next.

2. We make mistakes, the homeless population has a much higher number of addicts in active addiction than those who have stable homes.

3. We can bounce back from anything. I am living proof. I WAS a junkie on the street who’s parents took her children, and who was staying in trap houses. I AM a mother of 2 with a Masters Degree in Social Work who has a home, car, bank account, and the respect of her family and friends.

Volunteer Spotlight

One of the purposes of this newsletter is to properly showcase the people, nonprofits and organizations that have lifted us up for years. This month, we have the pleasure of introducing you to God's Girlz -- a true example of a collective of individuals making a decision to create meaningful community impact. With committed and inspiring leadership from Debbie DeCook and Lori Gianotti, God's Girlz is a go-to call for our case managers and housing team.

Founded over 20 years ago, God's Girlz is a dedicated group of twelve individuals driven by a shared commitment to supporting homeless individuals and families in their transition to stable housing. Their mission is simple yet profound: to provide essential household items to those moving from homelessness to housing through MCREST's Supportive Housing program.

The group's journey began during a routine Bible study meeting when members, from various walks of life and backgrounds, felt compelled to extend their support beyond the confines of their study group. Recognizing the need within their community, they forged a partnership with MCREST to make a tangible impact in the lives of homeless individuals and families.

While MCREST's Supportive Housing program offers vital assistance, God's Girlz identified a critical gap: the lack of essential household items to furnish new homes. To address this need, they mobilized their resources and networks to collect gently used household items, ranging from kitchenware to bedding, to ensure that transitioning families have the essentials needed for a fresh start.

The impact of God's Girlz extends beyond the material donations they provide. By furnishing homes with warmth and comfort, they offer more than just items; they offer hope and dignity to those embarking on a new chapter in their lives. Their efforts not only transform empty houses into welcoming homes but also provide a sense of stability and security to families in need.

Join the Cause!

God's Girlz understands that their mission requires more than just their core group of volunteers. They rely on the support of the community to continue their vital work. Whether through donations of household items, volunteering time for drop-offs and deliveries, or spreading awareness, every contribution plays a crucial role in their mission to support homeless individuals and families in their journey towards stability and self-sufficiency.

Give Time! Be part of the crew that helps set up the new homes of those stepping into stable housing.

Lend Your Truck! We have a lot of stuff to move. If you have a flatbed, an SUV, or anything with space -- we would love to recruit you!


Partner Spotlight


Above in this newsletter we got into the details of our 2023 demographic information. This data is crucial to understanding who walks through our door and how to best offer the help they need.

On this trend of data management, we want to introduce you to an essential part of our success plan. HMIS (Homelessness Management Information System) is a database through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that enables local nonprofits to keep consistent care of individuals across organizations and work to strengthen the network of resources by sharing information and collaborating on best practices.

Our HMIS representative is Staff Member, Judy Dudek, who regularly participates in active Zoom calls between partner agencies throughout Michigan, extending into other Midwestern states such as Indiana and Ohio.

At its core, HMIS serves as a centralized platform for homelessness service providers to input, track, and analyze client information. This system captures a wide array of data points, including demographic information, housing history, service utilization, and outcomes. By aggregating this data, HMIS enables organizations to gain valuable insights into homelessness trends, service gaps, and the effectiveness of interventions.

Host Churches

A thank you to our partner churches.

For every tray of food. For every cot unfolded. For every pillow fluffed and sheet pressed. For every coat donated. For every doorknob wiped and counter sprayed. For every washer and dryer cycle. For every bottle of water or bottle of shampoo. For every toy at Christmastime. For every smile unearthed after weeks or months of hardship.

For the kindness. For the stewardship. For the gentleness. For the patience. For the graciousness. For the sweat, the hours, the plans made and remade, the quick fixes and the open arms.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

March 1 - March 21


New Apostolic Church, Sterling Heights
St. Louis Catholic Parish, Clinton Township
Triumphant Cross Lutheran Church, St. Clair Shores

New Apostolic Church.jpg
MCREST Bottled Water Drive Flyer.png

Guest Success Story


We are doing a bottled water drive to keep our guests hydrated!


The item we give out most frequently is bottled water. After making our way through our stock, we are in urgent need of H2O for those experiencing homelessness in Macomb County.

If you can spare $5 --$50 -- $500 -- anything will help! We are accepting financial donation through PayPal. We will also be happy to accept cases in person during business hours. We have been collecting for the last two weeks but still need to acquire more stock.

#THANKYOU to our incredible community which supports those we support!

bottom of page