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Mission & Service


Orchard Church Partnering with SOS - Putting Our Faith into Action

We host guetst from SOS at the end of October every year. Many hands are always needed to help make our guests feel welcome - please contact Sara Ganser to find out how you can help!

What is South Oakland Shelter (SOS)?

SOS is a non-profit agency based in Lathrup Village which is focused on providing shelter, food, career-building education, and counseling to men, women, and children in a safe, drug-free environment. SOS is a transitional program that accepts only those who are trying to improve by removing themselves from the cycle of homelessness. The program is not designed for the chronically homeless. The average length of stay in SOS is now only 45 days.

How does SOS work?

A maximum of thirty (30) residents stay for a week at a time at an Oakland County church or synagogue. They stay at the church overnight, where they receive dinner, breakfast, and a packed lunch for the next day. They are driven to jobs or to the SOS office in Lathrup Village in the morning, and are taken back to the church or synagogue in the evening.

What does this mean for Orchard UMC?

We will host SOS guests from a one week period. There will be a mixture of men, women, and children. Our guests will be staying overnight in Fellowship Hall and in nearby rooms on the first floor. Meals are eaten in the café and the MAC (Ministry Activity Center). We need over 200 volunteers to help with daily activities such as driving, preparing meals, and hosting at the church, as well as one-time activities such as setup, laundry, Saturday breakfast, and cleanup.

How successful is SOS?

You can see statistics below on how successful this program is, but the stories of individual success are what's important and why we SOS works. Click here to read some SOS success stories, and see below for statistics.

SOS 2014 Statistics

•526 homeless or at-risk individuals served

•80% of sheltered households successfully exited into housing

•88% of Follow-Up Care participants sustained housing for a full year

•37% of shelter clients were homeless for the first time

•More than 52% of shelter clients have attended or graduated from college

•17% of shelter clients were children

•31,797 meals served

•10,559 nights of shelter

•45% of eligible SOS clients exited with employment

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