In partnership with Shift Digital, The Kresge Foundation, and Birmingham FUMC UMW, NOAH launched a Computer Training Lab in August 2015. This lab, with six workstations, is open four days a week for general usage. Providing access to technology allows NOAH clients to craft resumes, submit job applications, and monitor benefits. In 2017, the lab had over 2500 hours of use.
Partnering with Shift Digital, NOAH offers a “Computers 101” class every other Thursday. This class provides one-on-one assistance not only in learning how to use a computer, but also help with crafting a resume, setting up an email account, filling out job applications, and more. Computers 101 teaches real world skills necessary to finding and maintaining employment.
Partnering with Back Alley Bikes, the nonprofit associated with The Hub of Detroit bike shop in Midtown Detroit, NOAH created an Earn-a-Bike program in July 2015. With public transportation in Detroit a constant struggle for low-income people, we realized that a bicycle can significantly improve an individual’s opportunities to find and maintain employment and housing.
NOAH’s Earn-A-Bike program does more than provide transportation, however. Over the three week course, individuals learn how to completely take apart, repair, and restore a donated bicycle. At the end of the course, they leave with a good as new set of wheels and the skills to fix it when something breaks. Thus far, two cohorts of six students have gone through the program, with 100% attendance and completion. The class inspires motivation and a sense of ownership as students tinker with brakes, gears, ball bearings, and more. The class ends with a celebratory group ride!
A partnership with First United Methodist Church of Birmingham, Art & Soul helps restore dignity among homeless persons in Detroit by inspiring pride and purpose through self-expressive art. We journey with disadvantaged adults through the arts of pottery, painting, knitting, sewing, beading, glass, poetry and more. Our 5th Floor Studio space at Central UMC offers a safe, cozy, art-filled oasis for participants to explore their creative side, make friends, learn new crafts and give structure and an alternative to life on the streets. Art & Soul is staffed by volunteers who assist participants. The program is offered September through June, Mondays and Thursdays from 10:30am-3:00pm. The program begins in the dining hall during the Bag Lunch Program where participants can begin working on small projects. At 12:00pm, the group then moves to the 5th Floor studio where, until 3:00pm, participants are able to work on longer-term projects. The studio is equipped with a kiln for firing ceramics. If you are interested in volunteering with Art & Soul or donating art supplies, please contact Art & Soul Coordinator, Susan Greenhalgh.