By Simon Albaugh – Yemeni American News
HAMTRAMCK, Mich. – At their new location on Mitchell Street, ICNA Relief’s Muslim Family Services has expanded their capabilities, offering new transitional home locations, a resource center, and an expanded food pantry.
Muslim Family Services is a faith-based non-profit that works on a variety of projects that serve the needs of the broader community of Metro-Detroit. They offer English as a Second Language Classes, Citizenship Classes, Counseling and other services meant to serve a growing immigrant population in Southeast Michigan.
Muslim Family Services started small, serving around 90 families. Amin Jibril, one of the founders of Muslim Family Services, says the organization started as a way to address the specific cultural needs for immigrant families.
“We started with counseling services because we had Muslim community-specific counseling needs that the ministry organizations were not satisfying,” Jibril said. “So we started with the counseling services, based on religious, faith-based counseling.”
From counseling services, Jibril says that the organization was able to grow a food pantry and offer emergency assistance to families experiencing financial instability. Transitional Housing for women and women with young children is also a program offered by Muslim Family Services.
The new location offers a number of expanded programs, including larger ESL classes, larger capacity for counseling and a wider variety of food pantry offerings.
The expanded food pantry will offer groceries of choice to those in need of food assistance, rather than prepared boxes.
“With the purchase of this building, that allowed us to have a bigger facility where we can accommodate more clients, more food and also make it a pantry of choice for people,” said Summi Akther, Director of ICNA Relief’s Muslim Family Services.
“That way, we can serve them with respect and dignity. Instead of just giving them a box, we would just let them come and choose their groceries. And this allows us to accommodate furniture, clothing and other minor household items. So that’s one of the things this building is doing for us.”
The new building was originally a church. After being repurposed to provide social services, Akther says this allows Muslim Family Services to expand their capability to help the broader community, which includes communities across the entirety of Metro Detroit.
“This transition is mainly for the community, not for us,” Akther said. “We could have operated from the small office… It’s more for the community because we have the larger community come to us – even the refugee community coming. Our clientele has really grown from when I started nine years ago.”
The new location is located on Mitchell Street and offers a number of social services including transitional housing, a food pantry and emergency assistance. For more information, visit their website.