The temperatures have dropped across the state which means the needs of the homeless are on the rise. Meet April Fidler from MCREST.
She is the Executive Director of the non-profit which provides meals, lodging, life-skills training, housing assistance, job readiness training, and emergency shelter 365 days each year to Macomb County’s homeless population. April has been with MCREST for 16 years and has a personal connection to to the organization. Listen to her story and you will hear why she is a WCSX "Woman Who Rocks".
MCREST is a nonprofit organization with more than 70 churches representing many denominations that volunteer their time and resources to aid the homeless population. Each church in the program serves as a shelter for one week, some sheltering men, others women and children. Since MCREST is open all year, it doesn't have enough churches to cover every week for both. Unfortunately, because of this situation, everyday someone in need gets turned away.
April told me about some of the challenges Michigan's homeless face on a daily basis and explained to me that not everyone who is homeless is an addict. She also explained that while shelter is a goal, helping people become self sufficient is the ultimate goal. Can you imagine not having shelter with temperatures below freezing?
Uploaded by MCREST Shelter on 2014-10-22.
MCREST is in need of donations to assist with sheltering guests. Please drop off at the MCREST office located at:
20415 Erin Roseville, MI 48066
In the second half of the podcast, I am always joined by Cyndy Schalter-Salsido from Turning Point Macomb. The North American International Auto Show has rolled into Detroit and although it brings tourists and helps Michigan's economy, it also brings to light a very dark situation: Human Trafficking. Last year 22 victims were rescued during the duration of the Auto-Show. Cyndy and I discuss what to look for and how you can be vigilant. Modern day slavery is real and right here in our backyard.
The FBI says 30-40 children are trafficking within the greater Detroit area during the North American International Auto Show. The bureau joined Detroit Police Chief James Craig to talk about human trafficking ahead of the auto show opening to the public on Saturday.
On a more positive note, a new documentary on "Human Trafficking" made it's debut here in Michigan and while it is difficult to process at times, this documentary needs to be shown and shown again. The film was shot in Genessee County and is shown through the lens of a 17 year old girl.
Changing stigmas surrounding human trafficking. That’s what a movie filmed in Genesee County is doing. "Ring of Silence" made its debut at Flint's Capitol Theater. Human trafficking is an issue that's not just happening in Genesee County where director Nicole Bowers Wallace wrote Ring of Silence, but across the globe.
Cyndy and I also discuss the loss of pets. If you listen to "Big Jim's House" we often discuss my chihuahua Tito, who is a part of my family. If something happens to him, I will be devastated. An artist has launched a project that shows the bond between humans and dogs and how we deal personally with the loss of a pet. I will warn you, grab a box of tissues when you look at the pictures.
Any pet owner will tell you that losing them is as great a pain as losing any member of the family. It's in these moments we're at our most vulnerable. One brave photographer has taken on the task of capturing such fragile moments in a series that documents owners struggling to cope in the last moments of their animal's life.
Did you know January is "Stalking Awareness Month"? Stalking, yes we see films on Lifetime television about it all the time, but it's real and it happens more often than you think. Cyndy breaks down what exactly stalking is and how you can get help if you might think it's happening to you. More information was recently released about the murder of Utah student Lauren McClusky who was killed by a man who stalked her at her university.
(Salt Lake City, UTAH) - Fifteen phone calls. They contain the audio record of University of Utah student Lauren McCluskey and her parents, pleading with police officials for help. It's a chilling account, in retrospect, of a murder victim's last days. Lauren was shot and killed by her ex-boyfriend, Melvin Shawn Roland.
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