JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS)—“I don’t think we’ve ever seen so many people standing with signs on every corner. It just breaks my heart seeing them,” said Leader of Second Chance Shelter, Tracie Jo Sutliff.
Living without a home is a feeling Tracie Joe Sutliff knows all too well. She has been there before.
“It was hard not to have a stable place, to put my stuff, and to be able to stay this is my spot not knowing where I am going to go the next days.”
Now with the need greater than ever, she’s leading the charge to give families in Jackson a second chance, and a roof over their heads at America’s Best Inn and Suites. It’s a temporary shelter.
“We’ve got single moms here, domestic violence from Covid with three kids they have absolutely nothing,” said Sutliff.
Along with a clean bed, people are getting additional support from community donations with things like food, clothing, and toys and access to different programming. This comes while the second chance team is spending roughly $1,200 a night, and some out of pocket to keep people housed, and they’re having to get creative on raising money.
“We’ve taken back I don’t even know how many bottles that our community has given us to use. I mean we have paid for probably 50 rooms with bottles alone, so the funding is scarce, but our community is coming through,” said Stacey Richardson.
Sutliff says while they work with people here day and night, the clock is ticking to finding a long-term solution.
“We really need a building. We could be helping these people in so many different ways than just trying to house them.”
Right now, they say they have enough funding for another two weeks. If you are interested in donating, they say the best way is through in-person donations or through the non-profit, Pay it Forward.