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what we do

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Locally Founded. Locally Funded. Locally Focused.

We serve those who live in one of our five surrounding counties (Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Leelanau and Kalkaska). We offer a variety of services to those in need. In one unit of our facility, we house a food pantry focused on healthy options and organized as a self-shop model to preserve our guest's dignity and simultaneously reduce waste. In addition to our clothing area, we assist guests who may need other home items such as a bed, dishes, or shelves. If a guest is struggling with eviction, keeping the heat on or medical bills, we have a financial services staff member available to listen to their circumstance and advise or assist them as we are able.

Our dedicated volunteers focus on warmly greeting our guests and calling them by their first names, letting them know we are here to listen, care and share what we have to offer.

In addition to our ongoing services we have several programs that help our neighbors that are facing challenges.

One example: Blessings in a Backpack. This program is focused on assisting one of our most invisible local needs... young children who do not have secure food every weekend. We work closely with local school administration to provide weekend food for children on governmental food programs and identified as not having access to food on weekends. Every week, thru the academic year, volunteers organize, pack and deliver small bags of nutritious, child-friendly food to the funded sponsored schools.

Another very important program is Eviction Diversion.

Imagine being evicted from your home despite working as hard as you can to make ends meet. Perhaps you work two, even three jobs.  You’re spending less quality time with your children.  Then you encounter an unexpected roadblock like an illness, car repair or unemployment, and there’s no room in your constrained budget for anything else.  The Eviction Diversion program offers a bridge to help families stay in their homes during temporary crisis.

The Eviction Diversion program is a collaboration of the 86th District Court, Dept. of Health & Human Services, Northwest Michigan Community Action Agency, The Father Fred Foundation, Salvation Army, St. Vincent de Paul, Legal Services of Northern Michigan and other community partners.

The circumstances may vary but the fact remains, it is expensive to live in Traverse City.

  • Unprecedented high housing demand is driving low-income renters to seek remote rental housing.
  • Each year, displaced renters spend a typical $16,076 to drive extra miles to work at low paying service jobs.
  • The Housing-Transportation Affordability Index suggests that households should pay no more than 45% of income on housing plus transportation. Our renters pay a crushing 73%.

With almost no vacancy and literally 2.4 low-income renters and countless competing moderate-income competing renters, eviction is tantamount to homelessness.Eviction Diversion is working.The program is a “win-win-win” for tenants, landlords, and the court system. Tenants avoid eviction and risk of homelessness, landlords are paid the rent they are owed, and the court reduces the number of evictions it carries out.

What

We strive to bring hope and enrich the lives of those who come to Father Fred seeking help, treating each person with dignity and respect.


Our guest services hours for pantry, financial assistance, and clothing and household goods are : Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 10am - 2pm and Wednesday 2pm-6pm
We are excited to offer Clothing and Household Goods beginning May 4, 2021. This service will be provided outdoors, pending weather, during our normal service hours. We will continue to offer a "personal shopper" to shop for essential items if we are unable to provider services due to inclement weather.  Please call and we will be happy to assist you.  231.947.2055

The Father Fred Foundation
826 Hastings
Traverse City, MI 49686
Ph: (231) 947-2055
Fax: (231) 947-1818