This year marks the 40th anniversary of COTS effectively supporting Detroit families, affecting the lives of more than 50,000 homeless people – many of them children.

“The impact on thousands of lives over the last 40 years would have been impossible without the hundreds of team members, thousands of volunteers, donors and many others who have swum with us on these waters. We wouldn’t be here. We cannot support families alone. It really requires a village – and we’re grateful to have such a village, ”said Cheryl P. Johnson, CEO of COTS.

Starting this month, the Human Services Organization is launching a months-long multimedia campaign where it shares inspiring stories of people who have overcome poverty, the successes they have achieved, and the evolution of COTS programs that have helped consumers along the way. Stories will be told through videos on the organization’s website (, as well as through interviews in COTS ’own podcast“ The Art of the Family, ”available on many podcasting platforms.

The organization will also celebrate past successes and recommit to creating new opportunities for Detroit families at an already sold-out event on Thursday, June 23, featuring donors, partners, volunteers and team members. The event with limited participation includes live entertainment, food from Detroit culinary experts, family reviews, tours of the newly renovated Peterborough Arms apartment building that serves as ancillary housing, and the COTS administrative office and more.

Individuals interested in learning more about the work of COTS and visiting the Peterborough Arms, enjoying cupcakes, coffee and talking about helping families overcome poverty and homelessness, can register online at Space is limited. Excursions will take place daily from 13:00 to Thursday, June 30, 2022. The number of seats is limited.

In 1982, a coalition of partner organizations teamed up to form the Coalition for Temporary Asylum (COTS) to offer support to Detroit residents in need of asylum and to address the homelessness problem in Detroit. In the beginning, residents were often single men and single-parent families. Over time, the care of COTS residents has become diversified, and the organization has evolved to meet changing needs, expanding family support and creating opportunities for their success.

«Over the years, our focus has shifted from providing temporary solutions to homelessness to long-term implications for overcoming generational poverty. We have moved from providing hope, help and housing alone to intentional connections with an emphasis on partnership, mentoring and relationships, ”Johnson said.

Through partnerships with donors, volunteers, corporations, organizations and the wider community at large, COTS opens the door to opportunities by providing families with training and mentoring. They then work together to build intentional and genuine relationships to explore the root causes of homelessness, increase social capital, identify strengths, and support goal setting that move families toward stability.

In 2021 alone, COTS serves 1,210 people in 462 families:

§ 52,415 nutritious meals

§ 40,212 nights of safe haven

§ Provided 1925 hours of child care

§ 152 Passport to the training activities “Self-sufficiency”.

Self-sufficiency passport

In 2015, with an awareness of poverty as a factor of homelessness that COTS had to contend with, emerged their theory of change to destroy the poverty of generations, the passport of self-sufficiency. The Self-Sufficiency Passport is a holistic approach that helps families achieve their housing, economic, medical, educational and career goals through training, mentoring and support as they seek to overcome homelessness and break the cycle of poverty for the next generation and beyond. .

“Every family is unique, and the success of every family looks very different. Families manage these goals. We work with the whole family and build intentional relationships with children. By educating them in the same way that we do with their parents, we open up opportunities to them that are not otherwise available, that help broaden their horizons and allow them to see more of what is possible, ”said Aisha Morel-Ferguson, COTS Chief Development Officer.

Shameyka Richardson was a young single mother who found herself homeless for herself and her daughter. She turned to COTS for help.

“When I was growing up, I was only taught that no one in this world cares about you and you will be there, all alone, with nothing but struggle. [COTS’] A self-supporting passport helped me figure it out. It helped me overcome obstacles and prepare for future challenges. ”

Today, Richardson is working on creating his loan and obtaining a cosmetic license.

She added: “I have a lovely house and my daughter is so cozy there. I go to school and work for an ambulance company. I am learning to budget and make good financial decisions. . . Help doesn’t stop once you get a roof over your head. COTS cares about all of our well-being as individuals. ”

26 Peterborough Building In December 2020, COTS reopened its 26th Peterborough building as the newly renovated Peterboro Arms apartments. This $ 17 million renovation created an affordable housing community for families with 56 two- and three-bedroom homes in downtown Detroit. It also serves as the administrative office of COTS. COTS is proud to support this historic property, the former Imperial Hotel, and offers this resource to resource-rich families such as health centers; viable employment opportunities; healthy lifestyle retailers; exciting venues for art, culture and entertainment; and even new modes of transport.

If COTS looks to the future and the next 40 years, visit to contribute or find other ways to help Detroit families succeed.

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