Detroit shelter offers unhoused women comprehensive services to regain stability

All Things Women on Detroit's west side is more than just a shelter; it serves as a safe haven for many – providing them with home-cooked meals, books, toys, clothing, and other necessities.

"I, too, was homeless as a child. I, too, understand what domestic violence looks like. I was raised by a crack-addicted parent, so I kind of understood some of those pitfalls and I wanted to utilize my lived experience to support women," said Mena Davis, the founder and executive director of All Things Women.

Davis began providing supportive services to unhoused women, families, and veterans through All Things Women in 2018.  However, in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic sent many more women and children her way.

"All Things Women began getting all these calls from women who were in homes where they were unsafe because of the pandemic," she said. "They couldn't escape. They were being violated or abused, their children were not being taken care of."

The small shelter in an old home is now making a big impact on the community.

"It's just a place for women – by women for women, and our goal is just to produce healthier children, healthier families," Davis said.

A clothing closet in the basement pf All Things Women shelter on Detroit's west side.

That means giving women in need a place to stay, counseling, financial literacy, mentorship, and even helping them get a job. But in a city with high poverty rates and limited affordable housing options, All Things Women faces challenges.

"About 67,000 women in this community. …wake up every morning unsure of housing. Where do they call? Who's their resource? Right now, there's almost nothing," Davis said. "We've been fortunate to collaborate with some local landlords who have said. …'If they stay in your program for 90 days, let's vet them, let's look at their credit, let's look at their income, and then we will rent to women who come out of your program.' So that's been probably one of the most dynamic things that have happened."

These partnerships aim to provide support and assistance to those in need.

"Let's take care of our women, let's take care of our families, let's produce healthy children," Davis said.

For more information on All Things Women services, partnerships, or volunteer opportunities, visit their website here or call 313-733-6265.