Month: February 2014

We’re Launching a Crowdfunding Campaign!

We’ve just set up a crowdfunding campaign on to help sustain Auntie Na’s Community Outreach Program. Check out the campaign here:

How does this campaign support the mission of Auntie Na’s House?

The point of this campaign is to keep the doors open at Auntie Na’s House, so that we can continue to help meet the basic needs of community members while providing a location to gather and build relationships. By organizing with people of all colors from diverse backgrounds to build a center for community self-sufficiency, we are attempting to combat the effects of generations of austerity, racism, and economic inequality in Detroit. Ultimately, we are working for a more just and equitable world, but we realize that there are tangible needs that have to be met immediately in order to assure the long-term survival of this community.

Why does Auntie Na need a crowdfunding campaign to keep the outreach programs running?

Auntie Na’s house has always been a community-run organization and has never had institutional funding or support. In part, this is because Auntie Na seeks in her community work to transcend the bureaucratic boundaries imposed by traditional government or 501c(3) social-service providers. Nevertheless, for decades, she has been struggling to pay the bills, keep the doors open, and keep the programs running. Because many houses in her neighborhood are abandoned, Auntie Na has to pay higher bills for water, gas and electric to cover her entire block. The city also continues to raise taxes on its lowest income citizens in order to combat massive municipal debt. For these reasons, Auntie Na needs some funds to help pay for the cost of keeping the doors of the community outreach center open.

We are asking for money to help defray the costs of taxes and utility bills and to purchase much needed materials for the house. Keeping up with these bills has been an incredible strain on the family and Auntie Na has been threatened with the imminent shutoff of gas, electric, and water. Auntie Na’s House already operates on a shoe-string budget, and thus far has been supported by the sheer will power of her family for many years.  As a community center that supports so many others in this neighborhood, keeping the doors open and the house livable will help many families survive the hardest of times.

What else are we doing to raise funds for Auntie Na’ House?

Paying for taxes and utilities is a struggle month to month. We recognize that the long-term sustainability of this project necessitates many sources of funding. This crowd-funding campaign is only one part of a multi-faceted strategy to obtain financial resources. We are in the process of applying for several government assistance programs, attempting to obtain grants, and establishing a network of supporters. Your donation will help push along the process of reviving of Auntie Na’s House, enabling it to serve Detroiters for generations to come.

What will your contribution do?

A contribution to Auntie Na’s house means that a person without a home will not freeze on a cold winter’s night, that a family can get a box of groceries for free every week, and that a child will have a place to go after school to do their homework, play the drums, paint a picture, and eat a healthy snack. By contributing to this campaign, you will do more than pay the taxes, help us obtain construction materials, or purchase a refrigerator–you will contribute to the development of a community center that will serve as a home for those most in need of respite.

What, specifically, are we raising money for?

Taxes and Utilities: $3,000

(We have been falling behind on paying the taxes and utilities and are being threatened with the eminent shutoff of water, gas, and electric. The house is also incurring additional fines for every month that goes by without full payment of taxes. If we square up on payments now, we will be able to keep the center open for months to come.)

Plumbing: $500

(The plumbing in the kitchen and the bathroom are in need of some work in order to be fully functional. A local plumber has quoted us this price.)

Windows for the front room: $200

(Two large windows in the front room are broken, leaving the space drafty, uninsulated, and without much natural light. By purchasing new windows and installing them, we will save money on heating costs and make the space more beautiful.)

Refrigerator: $300

(We have a freezer and a lot of pantry space in the house for food storage, but we are lacking a refrigerator. We hope to be able to purchase one that is energy efficient, so that it does not strain the electric bills too much and conserves energy for environmental reasons.)

Total: $4,000