Project Dignity wants donations to open homeless shelter in Westland

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"One thing that homeless people have to hold onto is their dignity," said Brandy Shatawi.

It was that school of thought that helped to start a street ministry, called "Project Dignity."

On Sunday volunteers from the program set up tables near Martin Luther King and 3rd Street in Detroit to provide hot food and other donated items to homeless people. 

"This past Sunday we fed 500 people," Shatawi. 

But board members say working to meet the needs of Detroit's homeless population is the first of many steps for the founder of Project Dignity, Nahid Ayoub.

"We'd love to do a million things but as of right now, start a women and children's shelter, for domestic violence women and for women who are on the streets with their children," she said. "Just imagine being homeless as a woman how vulnerable you are the decisions you have to make, just to feed your children."

The shelter would sit on a parcel of land in Westland. Volunteers with Project Dignity say it is the right location for many reasons.

"The (big) amount of space, it is kind of secluded, away from neighborhoods," said Shatawi. "Unfortunately a lot of people would look down on a homeless shelter coming into the neighborhood."

But there's one issue, the organization needs money to get this shelter going.

"It's sad there's so many organizations out there that do receive funds and she's never been approved for anything," Shatawi said. "She's on the streets with these people where they live."

Once this shelter is in motion, it will provide more than housing.

"We intend to provide GED classes, (English as a Second Language) classes, we are looking at life skill classes, just getting these women back into the community and transitioning them," she said.

Project organizers say they hope to have this shelter open by winter and they hope you can help.

"We do have a GoFundMe right now, in hopes of reaching out to the community just to open their hearts as well and get these women and children off the streets," she said.

CLICK HERE to donate.