HAVEN HOUSE: Helping Lansing Area Families Help Themselves

I’ve recently been getting to know those involved at Haven House who help keep this amazing place going for our community.  I’ve loved participating at board meetings and learning about the difference they are making, as well as finding ways I can give back through them.  I took some time to meet with Gabriel and Chequoya to learn more about Haven House and grab some photos also.  I’m so excited to feature them on my blog!

 

Keep reading to learn more about Haven House!

 

Rebecca: What is the origin of Haven House?

Haven House: In the 1980’s group of community members recognized a need to help homeless families.  They partnered up and were able to get use of a church on campus to use as a house.

 

Rebecca: How has Haven House evolved over the years?

Haven House: After some time had passed, Haven House moved to an old fraternity house with seven bedrooms.  It is able to house 5-9 families, maxing out at 30 people.  In 2012, we added a full-time volunteer coordinator to help with all the interest in helping Haven House.  Over time, the jungle gym and playground have been replaced and the “homey” aspect has been improved for the families.  The staff continues to grow to meet all the needs within Haven House.

 

 

Rebecca: What sets Haven House apart from other shelters?

Haven House: Our focus is on families and keeping them together.  We have intensive case management and each family meets with staff for 30 minutes daily.  They are required to look into new housing daily and find out how to apply.  We have a very strong focus on helping them understand and reach financial security.

 

Rebecca: What are the requirements to stay at Haven House?

Haven House:  1) They need to have at least one child. 2) There must be no history of domestic violence, be drug free, and alcohol free.  3) They must do a household daily chore within Haven House.  4) They are required to meet with staff for 30 minutes daily and seek new housing daily.  5) They must return to Haven House for the evening no later than 8pm.  6) They must attend weekly house meetings to discuss what is going on in Haven House and resolve any issues.

 

 

Rebecca: How long can people stay?

Haven House: Once their budget is figured out and they have their expenses under control, the goal is to have each family out on their own within 30 days of moving into Haven House.

 

Rebecca: How does Haven House help their residents transition to a new home?

Haven House: We have a program called Partners in Progress.  It is for families who have recently transitioned into their new homes. The transitional housing coordinator meets with them at least once a month making sure they are staying on top of their budget, providing info about any resources in the area, liaison between the client and landlord etc. The unique aspect of the program is she is also able to bring cleaning supplies & hygiene items donated to the shelter to help cut the cost on their pockets.

 

 

Rebecca: What are the various roles employees play at Haven House?

Haven House: Shelter Coordinators meet with families and do case management which involves going over budget, housing, and daily check-in’s. Volunteer Coordinator trains people to help with whatever they choose: helping with dinner, playing with kids, maintenance, cleaning, organizing, adopt-a-child project, adopt-a-family, as well as court ordered community service volunteers.  Shelter Manager oversees operations of the shelter and makes sure policies and procedures are followed.  They also handle client info reports and make sure things run smoothly.  The Executive Director is responsible for everything within the organization such as grant writing, partnerships, media, and speaking engagements with groups.  The Development Director raises funds and handles all communications from email, social media, mailings and website.

 

Rebecca: How can the public help?

Haven House: There are a few different ways.  1) They can help get the word out about what Haven House does.  2) Volunteer to answer phones on the weekends, cook dinner, play with kids (especially in the summer).  3) They can donate financially to help keep the shelter running or 4) donate cleaning supplies, hygiene supplies, and other needs.* 5) Invite Haven House to speak to a group and educate on the issues of homelessness, poverty and how they can make a difference.  6) Shop using Kroger Community Rewards and Amazon Smile.  7) Attend partnered events with groups and individuals.

*Please call in advance for donation drop-off.  Items not accepted are computers, used books, used toys, personal-sized hygiene items, or prescription medications.

 

 

Rebecca: Where is Haven House located?

Haven House: 121 Whitehills Drive East Lansing, MI 48823.  Right next to the East Lansing Post Office on Abbott Rd.

 

Rebecca: Can the public get a tour?

Haven House: Absolutely!  Just give us a call in advance.

American Cancer Society ROAD TO RECOVERY

I recently had the wonderful opportunity to meet Julie and Jan upon their return from a visit to Jan’s doctor.  Julie is a driver for the American Cancer Society’s Road to Recovery program and has assisted Jan in her need for transportation several times.  They were both so sweet and were willing to chat with me about this amazing program and how it is enriching local lives.

Julie…

Rebecca:  How did you get involved?

Julie:  I recently retired and was looking for an opportunity to volunteer.  I saw an ad for Road to Recovery on TV.

 

Rebecca: Why did you want to get involved with this program specifically?

Julie: I love to help people and am a cancer survivor myself.

 

Rebecca: How has Road to Recovery impacted your life?

Julie: I look forward to it and it gives me purpose.  I love helping people and this makes me happy.  I’ve also developed relationships over time after seeing the same patients.

Rebecca: Why would you recommend others get involved?

Julie: Because it’s so rewarding.  Cancer patients need us to help in their lives while they are going through this process of treatment.

 

Rebecca: Do you enjoy it?  If so, why?

Julie: I love meeting the people.  I love hearing their stories and the satisfaction I get is beyond words because everyone is so appreciative.  It is so rewarding.

 

Rebecca: Why is Road to Recovery so important?

Julie: You won’t be sorry. Just give it a try.  It’s a wonderful service and everybody benefits so much!

 

Rebecca: What were the requirements for you to volunteer for Road to Recovery?

Julie: I had to go through orientation online, and have a valid driver’s license and a car.  You can make your own schedule, so you can drive daily or just once a month- whatever works for you.

Jan…

Rebecca: How has the Road to Recovery Program helped you?

Jan: I was taking the bus to all my appointments and it was so hard because they are not always on time.  Having a Road to Recovery driver helps a lot because they are on time and can get me to my appointment.  I meet lots of people and it makes me feel good knowing that so many people are willing to help.

I also had the pleasure of speaking with Felicia McMullen of the American Cancer Society.  I’ve gotten to know Felicia over the past year or so and have loved her continuous support and unwavering acceptance of my desire to give back to the community.  She has a few tips for anyone wanting to get involved in Road to Recovery:

1) Navigate to the Road to Recovery Website.

    2) Click on “Volunteer to Drive”.
    3) Complete the necessary registration!
    There are a couple steps to getting involved but they’re easy, and once complete you’ll be able to choose the schedule for driving that compliments your life.  There are drives needed anywhere from 30 minutes up to two hours, and you choose what is best for you.  You’re also able to sign up up to two days in advance of the drive you would like to make.

 

    Thank you Julie, Jan, and Felicia for your time!  Hugs to all three of you!

From January to March Road to Recovery drivers provided 203 rides in Ingham County, 97% fulfillment. Additional volunteer drivers are needed, as ACS anticipates the need for rides to increase as they receive more referrals from local health systems.

Sign up online, or give the American Cancer Society a call today to see where you can fit in!  800.227.2345

Rebecca Houlihan Photography Interviews FantasticProm.com: Michigan’s Largest Prom Store!

I met Sue Rosenberger, owner of Fantastic Finds and FantasticProm.com, a little over a year ago. The first time I went to FantasticProm.com I was ooohing and aahhing all over the place! This is the kind of place moms dream of spoiling their daughters at one day and I am no exception. LOL. FantasticProm.com has an outstanding selection of dresses in any color and style you could ever dream of wanting. It’s no wonder they are the biggest store in all of Michigan! Girls from over 300 high schools shop here for prom and homecoming and I can see why! I took some time in August to grab some photos of the store and interview Sue for our September featured business. Read on to find out why you should get your prom dresses at FantasticProm.com!

rebecca Houlihan Photography Senior Pictures Lansing Holt MI fantastic prom

Rebecca: How many years have you been in Business?
Sue: We have been in business for 25 years and began with a small inventory of bridal dresses. As the need grew, we grew. We added prom dresses to our selection 20 years ago.

Rebecca: Describe what you sell.
Sue: We sell many of the popular Designer dress found in the Prom Magazines and we guarantee that we will not sell that same dress in the same color to the same prom. We also have dresses that are make EXCLUSIVELY for Fantastic Prom that cannot be found anywhere else in Michigan. Our Exclusive dresses are bought up fast and in high demand because it ensures our customers will have a dress that is unique to them. You will never see one of our Exclusive dresses twice at the same prom.

rebecca Houlihan Photography Senior Pictures Lansing Holt MI fantastic prom

Rebecca: Why should seniors shop at FantasticProm.com?
Sue: Our stylists work with our clients personally to help them discover their personal style. We also have the largest in stock inventory of any store in Michigan. We host special events and offer extra perks for buying your dresses here. Be sure to ask about our referral program and how to earn dollars with us!

rebecca Houlihan Photography Senior Pictures Lansing Holt MI fantastic prom

Rebecca: What sets you apart from other prom stores?
Sue: The diversity in our dresses and ease of shopping/trying on.

rebecca Houlihan Photography Senior Pictures Lansing Holt MI fantastic prom

How do you assist your customers while they are shopping?
Sue: Each customer who comes in registers prior to shopping. This allows us to make sure any dress they try on has not already been purchased by a student at their school. Next, we assist them in finding their fit as well as their style, and based on this info, we can make recommendations to them. Once they find a dress they love, we help with the finishing touches of finding perfectly matching accessories.

rebecca Houlihan Photography Senior Pictures Lansing Holt MI fantastic prom

Rebecca: What is the best part about owning Fantastic Prom?
Sue: Being able to see every fantastic high school girl transform from a blue jean clad girl into Cinderella.

rebecca Houlihan Photography Senior Pictures Lansing Holt MI fantastic prom

Rebecca: What will the trends be this fall?
Sue: Bling, vibrant/hot colors, colored lace, interesting and cool combos of black with color, sparkle, and high-low dresses.

rebecca Houlihan Photography Senior Pictures Lansing Holt MI fantastic prom

Rebecca: What about the trends this spring?
Sue: Cool backs, keyhole backs, sheer backs with bling.

rebecca Houlihan Photography Senior Pictures Lansing Holt MI fantastic prom

Rebecca: What other services do you offer?
Sue: We offer a great referral-based tuxedo rental program. We also offer partnerships with schools for scholarships and fundraising opportunities. Contact Sue at (517) 702-1200 for more information!

rebecca Houlihan Photography Senior Pictures Lansing Holt MI fantastic prom

Rebecca: Is there anything else you would like to mention?
Sue: Yes. Buyer’s beware! One of the biggest challenges we’ve heard from our customers is when they have ordered a dress online from a picture they saw. When the dress arrived, IF it arrived, it was not as described or did not fit. We have a large inventory and were able to help each one of these customers find a gorgeous dress in time for prom. It pays to buy local! Don’t be tricked by a pretty picture and unbelievable price. If it looks too good to be true, it is!

rebecca Houlihan Photography Senior Pictures Lansing Holt MI fantastic prom

Thank you so much, Sue, for taking time out of your busy schedule to meet with me!

FantasticProm.com is housed inside of Fantastic Finds and is now open 12 months out of the year! Check them out at:
2925 Wood St. Lansing, MI 48906
Hours: Mon-Thurs 11-8, Fri 10-6, Sat 9-5, Sun 1-4

Rebecca Houlihan Photography Interviews Jeanologie Boutique: Trendy, Contemporary Clothing for Senior Pictures!

I know how much seniors love to be unique and different, and how much they love for their senior portraits to stand out from all their friends’, so I went on a mission to find some different and fun places for you all to check out to help you achieve one aspect of that individuality you all crave!

Combine that with our custom senior portrait experience, and you’ll have senior pictures unlike anyone else’s!

 

Have any of you ever been to Jeanologie Boutique?  If not, you MUST check them out!  Oh my goodness, you’ll be walking into an absolute goldmine of trendy and amazing clothing, complete with complimenting accessories, perfect for the individual in you and PERFECT for your senior portraits!

 

 

rebecca Houlihan Photography Senior Pictures Lansing Holt MI jeanologie boutique

 

 

I really wanted to learn more about this exciting boutique store, so I interviewed Michelle, Jeanologie’s super upbeat and fun owner for you.  Read on to find out just how great this store is and why you should shop there…

 

Rebecca: How long have you been in business?

Michelle: Just over 3 years.

 

Rebecca: Describe the styles you offer?

Michelle: Girly, chic and flirty!

 

 

rebecca Houlihan Photography Senior Pictures Lansing Holt MI jeanologie boutique

 

 

rebecca Houlihan Photography Senior Pictures Lansing Holt MI jeanologie boutique

 

 

Rebecca: Why should seniors shop at Jeanologie Boutique for their senior pictures?

Michelle: Our items are one of a kind; we only offer six of each item.  We cater to each individual’s personality and offer affordable celebrity look-alikes.

 

 

rebecca Houlihan Photography Senior Pictures Lansing Holt MI jeanologie boutique

 

 

Rebecca: What sets you apart from other boutiques?

Michelle: We style you from head to toe for your body type and the occasion you’re attending.  We teach our customers what they should wear for their shape.  We specialize in dresses and custom order for weddings and proms.

 

rebecca Houlihan Photography Senior Pictures Lansing Holt MI jeanologie boutique

 

Rebecca: Has anyone famous ever purchased from Jeanologie Boutique?

Michelle: Yes!  Miss Michigan 2012 and 2013.

 

 

rebecca Houlihan Photography Senior Pictures Lansing Holt MI jeanologie boutique

 

 

Rebecca: Do you assist your customers with stylizing during the shopping experience at Jeanologie?

Michelle: Yes.  We style our customers from head to toe!  Our customers love the personal assistance and frequently send us thank you cards!

 

 

rebecca Houlihan Photography Senior Pictures Lansing Holt MI jeanologie boutique

 

 

Rebecca: What’s the best part about owning Jeanologie Boutique?

Michelle: Being right on campus, we have great connections with the University.  We participate in marketing endeavors and work with the sororities.

 

Rebecca: What will the trends be this fall?

Michelle: For clothing styles: printed maxis, wrap dresses, pants,and  jumpsuits will all be big!  Color trends will include nude, peach and burgandy!

 

 

rebecca Houlihan Photography Senior Pictures Lansing Holt MI jeanologie boutique

 

 

rebecca Houlihan Photography Senior Pictures Lansing Holt MI jeanologie boutique

 

 

Rebecca: How did you get started with Jeanologie Boutique?

Michelle: I studied apparel and textile design in college, then later was asked to develop a sewing curriculum, which I taught.  I assisted with marketing as well.  I had the desire to begin my own clothing boutique and was encouraged to go for it, so I did!  Soon after,  Jeanologie was opened on campus on sorority row!

 

 

rebecca Houlihan Photography Senior Pictures Lansing Holt MI jeanologie boutique

 

 

rebecca Houlihan Photography Senior Pictures Lansing Holt MI jeanologie boutique

 

 

 

Thank you so much, Michelle!!

 

 

Jeanologie Boutique is located at: 303 M.A.C. Avenue, East Lansing, Michigan 48823.

Their hours are Monday-Saturday 11 am – 7 pm and Sunday 11 am – 5 pm.

Michelle will hook you up with some gorgeous fashions for your once-in-a-lifetime senior portraits.  Be sure to tell her I sent you!

FantasticProm.com Homecoming and Prom Dress Sale!

Be sure to stop over at Fantastic Prom.com for their Homecoming and Prom Dress sale!

 

 

All dresses in stock will be 50% off starting 8/7 at 11 am and ending 8/9 at 6 pm.

 

 

Don’t miss out!!

 

rebecca Houlihan Photography Senior Pictures Lansing Holt MI FantasticProm.com