Gilchrist visits Detroit homeless shelter during frigid weather

    Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II at the Detroit Rescue Mission, Jan. 31, 2019 | Ken Coleman

    Michigan Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist today visited a westside Detroit Rescue Mission center that provides food, shelter and other services to the city’s homeless population. He met with the nonprofit’s staff and served lunch to about two dozen men who are seeking to stay warm during today’s frigid weather.

    “These are the coldest wind chills that we’ve seen in a generation,” Gilchrist said. “It’s important that the people who are stepping up [to volunteer] and the people who are really struggling in these conditions have a place to get warm and have services. The governor and I also want to make sure that we are supporting the people who are stepping up to support the people who need the most help.”

    State Police officer riding off the capitol grounds down Ottawa Street on bike patrol | Michael Gerstein

    State government has been closed for Wednesday, Thursday and most of Monday.

    Dr. Chad Audi, Detroit Rescue Mission president, thanked Gilchrist for stopping by.

    “It’s important the lieutenant governor be here and see first-hand how will deal with this important population so that he can understand their concerns and needs,” he said. “We hope that he and Gov. [Gretchen] Whitmer will be able to get more legislation and more funding to not only help these men, but also women and children, too.”

    Detroit’s morning low temperature reached -13 degrees—a 99-year-old record. It was only 3 degrees at the time of Gilchrist’s early afternoon visit. He also was scheduled Thursday afternoon to be at the Grace Centers of Hope in Pontiac.

    Ken Coleman
    Ken Coleman covers Southeast Michigan, economic justice and civil rights. He is a former Michigan Chronicle senior editor and served as the American Black Journal segment host on Detroit Public Television. He has written and published four books on black life in Detroit, including Soul on Air: Blacks Who Helped to Define Radio in Detroit and Forever Young: A Coleman Reader. His work has been cited by the Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, History Channel and CNN. Additionally, he was an essayist for the award-winning book, Detroit 1967: Origins, Impacts, Legacies. Ken has served as a spokesperson for the Michigan Democratic Party, Detroit Public Schools, U.S. Sen. Gary Peters and U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence. Previously to joining the Advance, he worked for the Detroit Federation of Teachers as a communications specialist. He is a Historical Society of Michigan trustee and a Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit advisory board member.


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