Shelter aims to end homelessness with race fundraiser

By: Kayla Dimick | Southfield Sun | Published July 10, 2014

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SOUTHFIELD — If it wasn’t for the South Oakland Shelter, Brian Magsig wouldn’t be the person he is today.

Once homeless, unemployed, and addicted to drugs and alcohol, Magsig turned his life around through the help of SOS.

On Sunday, Aug. 3, at St. David’s Episcopal Church in Southfield, SOS is holding a run/walk to raise money to help other people like Magsig. 

The event, called the End Homelessness Now! 5k/10k Run/Walk, aims to raise $100,000. As of press time, SOS and St. David’s church had raised around $22,000. All proceeds will fund SOS’s housing program.

The housing program combines rental assistance with in-home supportive services. Magsig used those services before SOS helped him get back on his feet.

“They helped me get a security deposit and my first few months’ rent,” Magsig said. “It helped me start my sobriety that I’ve maintained through the years. They have a zero-tolerance program.”

Now clean and sober, and working in picture framing, Magisg lives in Warren with his wife.

Magsig said SOS gave him the motivation he needed to find a job.

“It would have been way more of an uphill struggle not having a permanent residence,” Magsig said. “They gave me the confidence and drive to get back on my feet. They gave me the drive to go out there and do it.”

According to Megan Holt, director of development for SOS, the event will give the people in Oakland County a chance to help those around them.

“In Oakland County, on any given night, around 3,000 people are homeless,” Holt said. “You can help people right here in your own community. We can get them into housing, help get them off the streets.”

Magsig is walking in the 5k event and is looking for sponsors to raise money for the cause.

“I wanted to help give back a bit,” Magsig said. “I’ve always been telling them, if there’s anything I can do, I will do it.”

If running or walking isn’t your thing, Holt said SOS and St. David’s are looking for around 50 volunteers to help with everything from manning the finish line to helping prepare a pancake breakfast, which will be served after the race.

Participants of the race, volunteers and even spectators are invited to the breakfast, which will be held at St. David’s and will include pancakes, sausage and juice. Tickets are $3 at the door. 

At 10 a.m., participants, volunteers and spectators are invited to an interfaith celebration and prayer service at the church featuring a choir. 

For each $10 Meijer, Wal-Mart, Target or gas station gift card brought on race day, participants, volunteers and spectators will be entered to win a raffle prize. Gift cards donated will be used for the shelter’s clients to buy clothes, gas or anything they may need to help them get to work or job interviews.

To sign up for the race, visit endhomelessness.southoaklandshelter.org, and click the “Register here” button in the top left corner.

To volunteer, donate or learn more about the event, visit the aforementioned website, email the South Oakland Shelter at contact@oaklandshelter.org or call (248) 809-3773.

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