St. Clair Shores City Council paves way for nonprofit to hold raffle to benefit homeless

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published November 18, 2020

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ST. CLAIR SHORES — An organization that helps the homeless of Detroit with meals, clothing, sleeping mats and other transitional assistance has been recognized as a nonprofit by the St. Clair Shores City Council, paving the way for it to conduct fundraisers in the city.

Dominic Sweeney, executive assistant for Motor City Mitten Mission, came before City Council Nov. 16 to request that the organization be recognized as a nonprofit so it could obtain a charitable gaming license to run raffles Dec. 11 and 18.

“That money will be used for our street outreach program,” he explained. “We do nightly outreach to folks living on the street, (providing) meals, clothing ... knit mats and pillows.”

Motor City Mitten Mission, 24623 Harper Ave., uses plastic yarn made from upcycled plastic bags to create mats and pillows to those living on the streets in Detroit and across the metro area. It began on Christmas Day 2017, achieving nonprofit status in January 2018.

Councilwoman Candice Rusie said the action by City Council is “basically us, as a city, vouching ... for the good work that your organization does.”

She said she volunteers to make the plastic yarn, or plarn, that is then crocheted into items to be used for the homeless. She said she was happy to be able to support the organization in its efforts to help others.

The motion to recognize Motor City Mitten Mission as a nonprofit organization passed unanimously.

Volunteers with the Motor City Mitten Mission took the week of Nov. 15-22 to host a Virtual Campout for Compassion as part of Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. During the week, staff and volunteers camped out in solidarity with the homeless to highlight the obstacles they face during the winter months.

Participants were encouraged to camp out at their home for one evening in the elements using similar resources available to those who are unsheltered. The event raised money for the organization through donations, which were being accepted via Venmo to MotorCityMittenMission, through PayPal to or by mailing a check to Motor City Mitten Mission, 24623 Harper Ave., St. Clair Shores MI 48080.