Is Peace House Ypsi a shelter?
We are not a shelter, we are not an institution. We are a house of hospitality in the tradition of the Dorothy Day, Peter Maurin and the catholic worker movement. Peace House Ypsi is a privately-owned home, and those who live here have made a commitment to welcome our friends into our home in order to provide them hospitality. Many of our friends happen to currently be experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity.
What do you mean by hospitality and works of Mercy?
Traditionally works of Mercy include comforting and consoling… feeding the hungry, visiting the sick and imprisoned, clothing those in need and welcoming strangers… sheltering the homeless, solidarity with the marginalized and disempowered and advocacy on behalf of the poor, the stigmatized, the mentally ill, and the addicted. As a chief witness of charity and a preeminent work of justice we include peace building.
In the day to day, what does that look like?
It is difficult to say what a “typical” day looks like at any house of hospitality and as a new house this is still a work in progress. We open our home during designated hours for individuals to shower, do laundry, and visit with friends and others in the community in a safe and welcoming environment, sheltered from bad weather. We host events geared toward the health and wellness of the community and individuals in the community. Our work is in collaboration with Mercy House, Hill/Purple House (owned by the nonprofit M.I.S.S.I.O.N.), Solidarity House, Washtenaw Camp Outreach, the Ypsi Gathering Space, Growing Hope, the Mutual Aid Network of Ypsilanti, Washtenaw County Daytime Warming Centers and in solidarity with individuals experiencing homelessness themselves to provide humanitarian aid (sleeping bags, blankets, propane, food etc.) and to ensure that the voices of those experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity are heard in the institutions and in the policies that affect them.