As 2022 come to a close so too does the leadership of one our Dann’s House board members. Brenda Bartz, our long time Board Chair and compassionate supporter (Den Mother), is stepping off our board. Brenda has been with us since 2014 and has dedicated her professionalism to this important cause. As a nurse she was able to problem solve when our guys need support. As an all around good person, she would roll up her sleeves, no questions asked, and do the grunt work around the house when needed. Brenda’s dedication is unmatched and she will be missed by everyone. With that said, Brenda has asked me if I would step into her roll as Board Chair. I have agreed to do so. I have big shoes to fill, as they say, and by no means can I replace someone like Brenda, but I will try my best to walk in her shoes. Brenda, thank you for your compassionate and dedicated support to this house and to our community. You are the BEST!
It’s been mostly a good year for us at Dann’s House. We have managed to keep this important Housing First program going for another year. Covid has been hard on us and regular grant funds are beginning to dwindle but we keep soldiering through so that we can keep our doors open and beds filled. So far we have been able to manage the house keeping our guys warm, safe and off the streets.
Many thanks go out to our EXTREMELY dedicated and hands-on Board of Directors. Brenda, Staton, Bob, Tim, Harry and Jeff, thank you for sticking with us! We could not do this work without everyone’s dedication to this important program. I would also like to give a big shout-out to our regular volunteers Julie, Sue and Barb who provide meals for the guys, take them on field trips and support them with compassion and loving support. It’s touching knowing we have such great women willing to support our guys.
I would finally like to thank our donors. We could not do this important work without your generous contributions to Dann’s House! We thank you for supporting us and for donating to support this sometimes forgotten group of men.
As the only local housing provider that supports homeless men with alcohol use disorder, our nonjudgmental and dedicated board work to keep our doors open, our bills paid and help to manage independent living for 8 men. At Dann’s House we do not judge and we do what we can to help our guys live in a home year-round and off the cold streets of Traverse City in the winter time.
With the close of this most challenging year, we not only want to share in our success but also mourn our losses.
Back in January we lost one of our longest residents Doug Wilson. Dougie was a Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indian tribal member. He had a jovial spirit and was liked by all. He always had a smile on his face and filled the room with laughter. He is greatly missed at the House and by many in this community.
Brandon left Dann’s House in September of 2021 to make a new life for himself in California. Sadly in March, Brandon passed away in Los Angeles. He was well liked at the house and we celebrate him for working to make a go of it on the west coast. Rest in peace Brandon.
Just a few weeks ago we lost David Houseman. David was a gentle man. He came to us in a time of great need and after lots of soul searching, he managed sobriety for several months at the house. He had done so well that he decided to move on to more permanent living arrangement and was looking to get back to work. He roomed with Marvin who was also a DH resident that graduated to a more permanent sober living housing opportunity. I often saw him riding his bike around downtown and I smiled to myself knowing he was on a path to recovery. Sadly David passed away in his apartment. David’s quiet and gentle soul will be greatly missed.
I will close on a more positive note. Long time resident Rudy Lopez Jr has reunited with his family and has moved downstate to be closer to them. We are so thankful that he was able to rekindle his family ties. If Rudy was not eating he was joking around just being Rudy. Always friendly and pleasant to be around. Regularly the guys are in contact with him over the phone and the friendships they hold continue to be strong. He will be missed around the the house.
Dann’s House has helped to house over 40 men since our doors opened in 2013. We quietly provide transitional and supportive housing opportunities to many men that are overlooked and who need our support. Thank you to our past leaders who helped start this important Housing First program and thank you to those who continue to support us. One thing I’ve learned in my public and nonprofit involvement here is that you meet some of the best people who are willing to do this hard work to support others. We are lucky in Traverse City to have so many wonderful people willing to help.
If you would like to join us as a board member, please reach out to us. We would be happy to introduce you to this very important and viable program. If you are interested in a hands-on experience working with our guys, we would welcome your involvement. Please consider joining us.
Happy New Year and lets all work together to be prosperous, fulfilled and to house those that need the housing the most in 2023. Peace to all in the New Year!