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Posted on Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 9:30 a.m.

Ann Arbor doles out additional human services funding to prevent evictions, fight hunger

By Ryan J. Stanton

Several nonprofit human services agencies are getting a boost in funding after the Ann Arbor City Council took action Tuesday night to revise its 2011-12 allocation plan.

The $85,600 increase in payments actually represents a previously decided restoration of human services funding that was to be eliminated in the last round of city budget talks.

The council took action in May to dig into the city's reserves to stave off deeper cuts, and it finally voted 10-0 Tuesday night on a plan for how to allocate those dollars.


Avalon Housing's Michael Appel and other supporters appeared before the City Council in May to lobby for restored human services funding. Their efforts were successful and the council has now doled out an extra $85,600.

Ryan J. Stanton |

Food Gatherers will get an additional $17,191 for hunger relief this year, bringing its total allocation from the city up to $95,955.

Meanwhile, Legal Services of South Central Michigan is getting a $55,816 boost in funding to prevent evictions, bringing total city funding for that program up to $157,055.

Additionally, the city is kicking in $455 extra for legal services for seniors provided through the same agency, bringing city funding for that program up to $21,455.

Avalon Housing Inc. will get an additional $3,054 for supportive housing services, bringing its city funding up to $144,028.

Catholic Social Services of Washtenaw also will get an additional $2,169 for supportive housing services, bringing its city funding up to $102,294.

The Community Action Network will get an additional $1,971 for programs including youth enrichment, bringing its city funding up to $92,974.

The Shelter Association of Washtenaw County, which runs the Delonis Center homeless shelter in Ann Arbor, is getting a $4,402 boost in city funding — up to $207,551.

Meanwhile, Home of New Vision is getting a $542 boost for its transitional housing program — up to $25,542.

Altogether, the city is doling out $1.24 million from its general fund for human services programs this year. With another $1 million from Washtenaw County, $348,460 in block grants channeled through the Urban County, and $1.68 million from the United Way, a total of $4.29 million is being awarded to 40 agencies for the delivery of 65 human services programs.

The council voted 6-5 in May in favor of a one-time use of fund balance to restore the $85,600 it has now allocated. Council members who supported the measure then included Sabra Briere, Marcia Higgins, Margie Teall, Stephen Kunselman, Mike Anglin and Mayor John Hieftje.

Anglin, D-5th Ward, was absent from Tuesday's meeting when the rest of the council voted unanimously on the new allocation plan.

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's e-mail newsletters.



Thu, Sep 8, 2011 : 4:06 a.m.

why is the city funding any of these? shouldn't these non profits go after PRIVATE fund donations? and not PUBLIC funds?


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 4:48 p.m.

We must all remember that O'Bama is going to fix this issue of high unemployment and minimal job growth with his proposal tomorrow night. Please tune in to see this historical event in the making. I am looking forward to a collective, sound solution from our elected government officials and our leader, O'Bama.


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 8:37 p.m.

Captain Hope 'n' Change fixing the economy, or a magic unicorn leaving a pot of gold at my doorstep. I have equal amounts of faith in both.

Hot Sam

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 7:41 p.m.

Goober...I am so relieved...

Robot Charles

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 3:18 p.m.

What criteria was used to determine the effectiveness of each organization? What are the salaries and administrative costs? What are the time limits for people receiving aid? I'm not necessarily against any of these but city council needs to convince Ann Arborites of the value of supporting "social programs."

Milton Shift

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 3:18 p.m.

Wealth is finite at any given point in time. Think - calculus. What you said makes very little sense. The poor can't just go out and "create wealth for themselves" when the rich have ownership of all the means of production (stores, factories), homes, investments, natural resources, etc. Like I said, this isn't the Wild West anymore.


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 10:04 p.m.

Milton -- You must remember that many of the posters here are living in an alternate universe that has no connection with reality. Denial and discredited canards are their stock in trade. ("It's bad for the government to help out those in need because they'll be kept in a state of permanent dependency." Total BS!) Your efforts to set people straight are indeed commendable and appreciated, but many people don't want to be set straight. They'd rather get their "facts" from Rush Windbag and Faux News.


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 3:06 p.m.

@Milton - There isn't much to explain with your posts, there is income inequality, it does exist. However, your stance assumes a couple things: 1). Wealth is finite. It isn't. Wealth and value can be created and destroyed. There is not 1 billion dollars out there to split up and the rich have 900 million of it. There is an infinite amount of wealth to be created, and of the current wealth in the world, the rich have most of it. However, that doesn't stop someone that is poor from going out and making a good living on their own (or even becoming extremely wealthy). Easy? Absolutely not. Possible? Absolutely. 2). That the wealth distribution has anything to do with AA's decision to increase human service aid. The fact is, most of those extremely rich people don't live in Ann Arbor, they don't pay taxes in Ann Arbor, and their money isn't involved here. Instead, this is the tax money of lots of middle class and upper middle class individuals in Ann Arbor. The median income here is above average, but there are only a few extremely high outliers that live in A2...most of these wealthy individuals live elsewhere in the country. This is a local issue, where the burden is shared much more evenly between the population.

Not from around here

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 4:15 p.m.

were have I heard this before...1917?

Milton Shift

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 3:17 p.m.

Wealth is finite at any given point in time. Think - calculus. What you said makes very little sense. The poor can't just go out and "create wealth for themselves" when the rich have ownership of all the means of production (stores, factories), homes, investments, natural resources, etc. Like I said, this isn't the Wild West anymore.


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 2:52 p.m.

Cinnibar, Demanding "they" help themselves is not quite the same as encouraging those who can to help themselves as best they are capable, and offering a helping hand to those who are beyond their means. Analogy Man says: If little Joey is learning to ride a bike and falls off, it may be best to tell him to get up and try it again. If little Joey falls off and is laying immobile with blood pooling around his head, or is screaming with a broken leg, or if grandma trips down the stairs and breaks her hip, simply "demanding they help themselves" may not always be appropriate. There's a time and a place for everything, and a lot of different circumstances people can fall in to. Whether falling was directly Joey's or grandma's fault or not, there are times when saying "I shouldn't have to help them" is simply inhuman. Yes, programs which lead to complacency and dependency can indeed be detrimental, and should be reworked to encourage self-reliance and help those in need to eventually lead independent lives with pride. Letting those truly in need go hungry or without shelter and care out of spite for a few others who may abuse the system however, is a line I hope we are not ready to cross.

Milton Shift

Sun, Sep 11, 2011 : 1:08 a.m.

How do you know they got those tattoos while on welfare? Last time I checked, they lasted a lifetime. People's financial situations change.


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 9:36 p.m.

Milton You are so good with figures tell me this. What percentage of those on welfare find a way to pay for multiple tattoos? WHY do so many of those that are on welfare seem to be able to afford multiple tattoos?

Milton Shift

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 8:16 p.m.

I'm not talking about demeaning work. I'm talking about pay so low you can't feed your kids, pay rent, or see a doctor (this last one is the case with just about every job you can get these days in Michigan). Whenever someone becomes desperate enough to take a job that pays peanuts, it becomes the new wage for that profession. Eventually, with no checks on the progression, wages will fall till people are literally paid a couple cups of flour for a days hard labor. This happened during the Great Depression and we sure are headed down that road again (GOP nutcases calling for the repeal of minimum wage legislation...).


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 8:11 p.m.

" good jobs" Milton could you define: "Good jobs" Does this mean you're not willing to clean toilets, or work at McDonalds? Milton I had the pleasure of hiring people for a company I worked for many years ago and the top thing I looked at were. Is the person employed now, and how long did they stay at each job they held before coming to me. If you looked employable to me and had stayed at prior jobs for more then a year I would have no problem hiring you with no job stills. If you were the type that only worked at a job for a couple of months, your app went right in the trash no matter how advanced your skills were.

Milton Shift

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 7:43 p.m.

There need to be good jobs before we dump people off welfare. Period. No matter how much someone wants to work, no matter how hard they work, their standard of living will not be affected unless there are good jobs offering good pay available to them. People in, say, Peru work pretty hard in those mines of theirs, harder than I reckon any of you have worked in your entire lives, and they don't enjoy a tenth the standard of living you do. The wealth in this world is held by those at the top, and doled out as they so choose. And now they've chosen to let kids go homeless.


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 4:25 p.m.

@Miltion - Well of course motivation doesn't create jobs (unless the people go out and create them themselves, which you'll argue is impossible and I'll disagree but I'll just leave that point mute). But how do you motivate someone to work when you are taking care of them? What's the incentive to actually do labor (physical, mental, whatever) when your basic needs are taken care of even if you do not labor? Then they will never be dumped off the welfare rolls because people won't want to leave them and you can't FORCE someone to work.


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 4:10 p.m.

amlive I'm talking about abled bodied people, you know the ones who are able to work but sit around complaining how unfair things are instead of getting off their bottoms and getting a job. Unless your handicaped I expect you to get a job and help out, and I also expect the handicaped who are able to help do so. Keeping people in chains is not good for anyone.


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 3:53 p.m.

"Otherwise it is simply throwing hungry children into the streets (this decision will mostly affect children) while businessmen get a fat tax cut. Children will go hungry and homeless so some rich guy can buy more cars and go on more vacations. Literally." Its always about the children, the fact is the ones hurting the children the most are lazy parents who dont demand their children prepare themselves for life by getting a good education, or getting other job skills required for for a productive life. Giving people what they need only keeps them in chains!

Milton Shift

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 3:13 p.m.

No amount of motivation on the part of workers creates good jobs. It actually only drives down wages when there's hordes of desperate workers. Supply and demand...


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 3:09 p.m.

How do you motivate people to find those good jobs when you are giving them enough to live on without working? Many people are not self motivated. They'll have excuses..."too hard of work" "can't do that sort of work" etc... Would you force them to work those jobs? That sounds like borderline me.

Milton Shift

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 2:55 p.m.

Yes... the only way people can humanely be dumped off the welfare rolls is if there are good, stable jobs waiting for them. Otherwise it is simply throwing hungry children into the streets (this decision will mostly affect children) while businessmen get a fat tax cut. Children will go hungry and homeless so some rich guy can buy more cars and go on more vacations. Literally.

Milton Shift

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 2:40 p.m.

This isn't the Wild West anymore. There's no open land to settle. You can't just go somewhere, get to work, and &quot;help yourself.&quot; You can only &quot;help yourself&quot; by groveling before some corporate bureaucrat, begging for a job, hoping the pay is sufficient to feed and clothe your family, and send them to the doctor when needed - which, in Michigan, is nearly impossible. Good job Ann Arbor City Council! In case anyone doubts whether the rich are why we are so poor, take a look at this data: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Where did all the money go in 2008? <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Don't criticize what I have said until you can explain the above.

Stuart Brown

Thu, Sep 8, 2011 : 9:57 a.m.

Mike said, &quot;The government only takes money, it creates NOTHING. &quot; Not true! The government provides all kinds of useful value added services like public roads and libraries. Social Security is one of the most cost effective retirement and disability insurance programs in existence. Who would pay for basic scientific research which is the foundation of all subsequent technological innovation if not the government? Countries which have single payer health insurance have much more efficient health care systems with better outcomes than what the US system provides. If you want an efficient economy, you need low cost inputs that can be realized with intelligent regulation of markets. Gas costs too much, let the government not only drill for oil on government land, but let them operate refineries to ensure sufficient supply. Use the strategic petroleum reserve to arbitrage oil and gas markets to keep gas costs down.

Milton Shift

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 7:40 p.m.

If you actually looked at the images you'd see the source of the data. Mother Jones simply punched the data into Excel and made some pretty charts. Edward Wolff, Bard college; Federal Reserve Michael I. Northon, Harvard Business School; Dan Ariely, Duke University Congressional Budget Office New York State Comptroller, Federal Reserve, Bureau of Labor Statistics Economic Policy Institute

Milton Shift

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 7:40 p.m.

Mike: There is nothing communist about China, I'm not even going to read your post if you get something that significant wrong...

Not from around here

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 4:12 p.m.

Also, I would equate the relaibility of the same as the national enquirer.


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 3:20 p.m.

No need to explain anything, those are jsut facts of life. In communist China where everyone is &quot;equal&quot; the distribution of wealth is even more pronounced at the top. There is no middle. By insisting on &quot;fair and equal&quot; distribution of the wealth you destroy the middle, the otp always remains in any system. The only difference in how you would like it is that the top gets to decide what all of us get (their crumbs) and there is no possibility of upward mobility unless you are born into or marry into the ruling class. I'll pass and work hard and take my chances while you whine and complain. What really puzzles me is when an african-american does well in this country he is &quot;selling out&quot; his people, only the rap stars and sports figures are celebrated. When someone makes it big in business the &quot;haters&quot; come out of the woodwork, yet say nothing when a sports star, movie star, or rapper make millions for entertaining us. I am not even close to being rich but I certainly don't think I deserve someone elses money because &quot;life is not fair&quot;. I just can't understand this mentality. You can pull all the stats you want on just about anything and if you play with them enough you can make them work for your argument. Your quote is disturbing: &quot;You can't just go somewhere, get to work, and &quot;help yourself.&quot; &quot; Why can't you? Nobody gave me a darn thing in my entire life; I worked hard in school, worked as much as I could fit in a week, paid for my own schooling, saved my money instead of buying stuff, started a small business, and have employed a number of people over the years; so it can be done. The government only takes money, it creates NOTHING. It consumes dollars and resources that could be used to create jobs for the &quot;woe is me&quot; crowd, the same group that forms a union so they can make work rules requiring three people to do the work of two. The rich are the ones who buy the cars we build, the ho


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 2:07 p.m.

I've found the best way to help someone is by demanding they help themselves. Some will say this is cruel but making someone dependent on the system is far more cruel.


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 10:53 p.m.

This really gets me riled up: &quot;There r no jobs! Here in A2 if u really need work, u might possibly b going against a UM student (undergrad) and in that case u can count urself out.&quot; Learn to spell and you might have a better chance landing a job. I get that this is the internet, but the combination of subject matter and blatant misuse of the English language gives a hint to why you might be having issues gaining employment.


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 6:27 p.m.

Original Ann Arborite You might want to reread my comment, you're adding way more into it then I typed. And of all my job training was on the job, and wasnt given to me by the gov't. One more thing we all know many people who lost their jobs, but its funny how everyone I know found work within 2 months, so saying there are no jobs doesnt work with me. Your statement should be &quot;there are no jobs I'm willing to take&quot; would be more honest.

Original Ann Arborite

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 5:34 p.m.

Why do ppl like u always assume every1 receiving assistance is purposely trying 2 'milk' the system or being lazy? This is so not true and that is a fact...YES, there r ppl who do, but there r def ppl who don't and they really need the help... Let's figure out a way 2 make it work. They're taking away but not providing other options. Oh job training/job coaches lol, they have that now but guess what? There r no jobs! Here in A2 if u really need work, u might possibly b going against a UM student (undergrad) and in that case u can count urself out. I agree with @Milton Shift, this is not like the old days and u can't get in ur wagon and go set up somewhere else on 'free' land... We need 2 figure out a way 2 move 4ward, new avenues-but in a way that every1 has a chance 2 participate in growth... What could that b?