Affordable Housing Options for Seniors and People with Disabilities

Washtenaw Association for Community Advocacy and Partners in Personal Assistance are offering free workshops each month related to the needs of senior citizens and people with disabilities. On Tuesday, January 20, the workshop “Affordable Housing Options for Seniors and People with Disabilities” will be offered at 6:30pm at Washtenaw Community College’s Gunder Myran building, Room 316. Representatives from the following organizations will discuss their programs and services, and outline options for people who seek service-enriched housing: Housing Access Washtenaw County (HAWC); Housing Bureau for Seniors; Ann Arbor Housing Commission; Avalon Housing; and Fair Housing Center. Since seating is limited to approximately 40 persons per workshop, reservations are recommended by calling PPA, (734) 214-3890 or Washtenaw ACA, (734) 662-1256.

#GivingTuesday

As the holiday season continues on, we mustn’t forget about our neighbors that can’t indulge in the temptation of gluttonous eating and frivolous spending. Did you know that one in five children and one in six adults in Washtenaw County do not know where their next meal will come from? In these situations, the thought of trying to provide a little extra for your family is just not a possibility.

But there is good news! After the onslaught of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, there is #GivingTuesday. This global campaign started in 2012 as a response to the commercialization of the holiday season, and as a way to tap into the generosity of the holiday spirit. Take a moment tomorrow to donate your time by volunteering, or make a donation to your favorite non-profit. Many organizations have set up matching campaigns so that your financial contribution will have double the impact! Even as part of your regular shopping, some businesses will donate a portion of sales to the charity of your choice. If you still need ideas of how you’d like to be involved, log on to your computer and follow #GivingTuesday on Twitter and Facebook to see what’s happening in your neck of the woods.

For the Birds!

Do you keep bird feeders in your yard for the winter? Do you ever see a type of bird that you want to know more about, or can't identify? AADL subscribes to Birds of North America Online powered by Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the American Ornithologists' Union. This subscription-based resource is available through our website for all library users. You can learn the behaviors, eating habits, migration, and more, of hundreds of birds. You can even listen to recorded samples of their bird calls!

Delonis Warming Center

Michigan weather may be unpredictable, but we know it's going to get cold. And fast.

Unfortunately, not everyone in Washtenaw county has the option of throwing on an extra layer or avoiding the weather altogether by staying warm at home. According to a Point In Time survey conducted by the Washtenaw Housing Alliance and the Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic Development, "in 2011, the count found 426 individuals living in homeless shelters and 43 individuals living on the streets -- a total of 469 people. The 2013 count found 344 individuals living in homeless shelters and 166 people living on the streets -- a total of 510 people."

This year the Warming Center at the Delonis Shelter starts at 7 p.m. on Monday, November 17th. For those facing a housing crisis, you must first contact Housing Access for a phone screening at 734-961-1999, or stop by in person at the Delonis Center from 5:30pm to 8:30pm Monday thru Friday, and 2:30pm to 5:30pm on Saturday. A referral to Warming Center will be given to those who meet the criteria. For more information, click here or contact:

Ellen R. Schulmeister
Executive Director
Shelter Association of Washtenaw County
Office – 734-662-2829 ext 225 (assistant)

Expanded Eligibility for Step Forward Michigan

Catherine McClary, the Washtenaw County Treasurer, announced that the U.S. Department of Treasury has approved expanded guidelines for the Step Forward Michigan program. Step Forward Michigan was funded in 2010 through $498.6 million from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), and is administered by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA). Assistance is targeted to help eligible homeowners who are facing difficulties keeping up with mortgage and/or property taxes. Three programs are available:

Loan Rescue—Payment assistance for homeowners who are behind on property taxes, mortgage payments, or condominium association dues.

Unemployment Mortgage Subsidy—Subsidized mortgage payments for homeowners who are unemployed or underemployed.

Mortgage Modification—Permanent modifications for homeowners who have fallen behind with payments, or whose home values have slipped below the mortgage amount.

The Unemployment Mortgage Subsidy has been expanded to consider underemployment and to include self-employed applicants. The Mortgage Modification now considers higher loan-to-value ratios and higher mortgage payment-to-income ratios. Up to $30,000 in assistance is available per household. Funds are provided as a 0% interest loan with no payments required. Loans are forgiven at 20% per year as long as the property remains the homeowner’s primary residence. Interested homeowners are encouraged to start the application process immediately as the funds are expected to end next year. For more information visit www.StepForwardMichigan.org or call (866) 946-7432.

Winter work arounds

Michigan winters can be tough, especially when it comes to staying in shape. So why not develop a good at-home practice before we get snowed in?! Yoga is the perfect solution for combating the winter blues, keeping your energy levels up and extra pounds off the scale!

The AADL collection has options for everyone; monthly magazine selections, reading materials to develop and deepen your practice, and DVD’s for those looking to work on flexibility, strength or improve your sense of self. You can even experience yoga IN your library! Keep an eye on the events calendar for future programs, and be sure to join us next week at the Pittsfield branch for a children's yoga class!

"Fast Company" Features AADL

Fast Company, the award-winning national business magazine focusing on technology, business, and design, just released an online article about public libraries, highlighting AADL and its unique collections.

In the publication's Elasticity section, highlighting innovative businesses using the cloud and big data to stay in sync, the article Taking A Long-Overdue Sledgehammer To The Public Library describes how libraries are "lending tools you can't 3-D print -- awls, hammers hacksaws, mood synthesizers and human skeletons -- to keep pace with the times."

Deputy Director Eli Neiburger describes AADL's Unusual Stuff to Borrow collection and how "Ann Arbor launched its collection of objects three years ago with 30 telescopes. Soon, the waiting list grew to more than 100 people. Encouraged by the telescopes' success, the library added tools, giant-sized games, musical instruments" and more.

"Libraries have always been a place to access rare, hard-to-find objects." Eli states. "Commercial books aren't rare, hard-to-find objects anymore, so library collections are being used in different ways."

Career Fairs

Fall is a time of change, and maybe for you that means a new career. The AADL has a Job Search Tool Kit to help you learn more about different careers, research salaries and find local job postings.

If you're interested in looking for a new position or want to learn more about branching out into a completely new sector, head down to the Morris Lawrence building at Washtenaw Community College. Starting this month, the WCC Career Services Department will be hosting a series of career fairs.

Upcoming career fairs are as follows:

Retail & Supply Chain: September 16th, 1-4 p.m.

I.T.: September 30th, 1-4 p.m.

Health Care: October 15th, 1-4 p.m.

Advanced Manufacturing: February 11th, 1-4 p.m.

Spring Fair: March 19th, 1-4 p.m.

Not a current student? No problem! Attendance and registration are free to all interested participants! Simply go to the website and create a registration account to learn more about events.

New Volunteer Center is now open at VolunteerWashtenaw.org!

The new Volunteer Center is now open at www.VolunteerWashtenaw.org! This virtual Volunteer Center will connect people interested in volunteering with local nonprofits that rely on volunteers to achieve their mission. More than 65 agencies have listed more than 160 needs and counting on the new site. The site will accommodate individuals as well as groups, and will be provided at no cost.

The new Volunteer Center website makes it easy for people to find opportunities to serve. At the new VolunteerWashtenaw.org, volunteers can:

·Search the volunteer needs by scrolling through the full list or you can narrow it down to suit your preferences; key word search, interest area categories (such as education or senior citizens), by court-ordered appropriate, activity type (such as construction or mentoring), one-time needs, ongoing needs, group opportunities, distance, date, and more.

·Explore agencies that are doing amazing work in our community, from human services to animals to the environment to the arts. Learn more about what they do, where they're located and what needs they have.

·Easily sign-up for volunteer opportunities online.

·Become a fan of agencies or update interests in their profiles to receive notifications of new volunteer needs.

·Invite and register a group for a volunteer opportunity.

·Log volunteer hours to keep track of work for school or civic resume

·Share opportunities via email or social media at the click of a button.

·See other nonprofit needs: in-kind donations, advocacy and employment

·Browse Community Events that are happening in Washtenaw County.

It’s fast, it’s easy and it’s free! And to add to the fun and celebration of the launch, enter to win a Zingerman’s Gift Card now through Oct 1! Read more about the launch contest online.

If you have questions about volunteerwashtenaw.org, call 734.971.8200 or email volunteer@uwwashtenaw.org.

September is National Library Card Sign-Up Month

September is National Library Card Sign-Up MonthSeptember is National Library Card Sign-Up MonthSeptember is National Library Card Sign-Up Month. Give yourself or your child one of the greatest gifts you can give: Free Knowledge!

AADL is full of books to read and explore, graphic novels and magazines to escape into, and movies and music to transport your imagination to new places. But that is not all! We have a growing collection of unusual stuff to borrow which includes music tools, home tools, games, art prints, telescopes, and activity passes for many statewide attractions, to name a few.

AADL also offers services like homework support and resources for job-seekers and small business entrepreneurs. There are also on-going, drop-in ESL conversational groups.

Getting a library card is a rite of passage; many adults have never forgotten when they first received "the keys to the castle" as a child. Maya Angelou, a great supporter of public libraries once said, "The best candy shop a child can be left alone in, is the library." And if you are an adult without an AADL card, remember, it's never too late! Stop into any location to get your card, there is no fee if you live within Ann Arbor District Library boundaries. To see the details of what you will need to bring, click here.

We would love see pictures of new cardholders with their cards. Tweet them to @aadl or share them on Instragram at @aadlgram and use the hashtag #MyFirstAADLCard.

Syndicate content