Freedom house seeking help after losing federal funding
DETROIT (WJBK) - An organization that has spent decades helping refugees build new lives in metro Detroit, providing them legal and social services and even shelter and all under one roof might be forced to shut its doors.
The Freedom House has lost its federal funding.
"They beat me. They do me bad things. It was two horrible days." "Lisa", Lives at Freedom House.
"Lisa" is a 29-year-old political activist from West Africa. She was jailed, beaten and raped.
She escaped that torture with the help of family friends. They helped her hide and get a visa to come here to the United States, here to Detroit, to Freedom House to seek asylum.
Deb Drennan, Executive director, Freedom House said, "The Freedom House first is the only organization in the entire nation that can provide services to asylum seekers all under one roof comprehensive services all under one roof all at no charge."
She has been the executive director at Freedom House for 11 years helping hundreds of adults and children go from homeless and heartbroken to happy, healthy citizens living and working in the U.S.
"In 2015, 94% of our residents exited our program into permanent housing than any other subsidy", said Drennan.
Residents stay at the Freedom House at least 18 months while they go through the asylum process. They learn English, receive legal aid, medical and psychological help, and job training.
They are free from the torture and imprisonment they were subjected to in their home countries, but changes in federal funding distribution for programs that help the homeless mean Freedom House is losing 60% of it's funding. That is nearly $400,000. The money it needs to keep going.
"Every aspect of someone's home this is what we provide here for up to 40 people at a time."
So it is appealing the funding cut from the department of housing and urban development. It is hoping to be recognized as a special segment of the homeless population like veterans and victims of domestic violence.
"I lost my dignity. I lost some part of me and Freedom House helped me so much to believe again on me."
"It's a new beginning. You cannot forget your past but leave this past away and re-start your life."
"It's a big family. We are one world, one hurt, one people, one love. So we can feel that here in this place."said, "Lisa".
It's not clear how long the appeal process will take at Freedom House.
If you would like to help click here: http://www.freedomhousedetroit.org/