We started The Neighbors Project in Michigan because we believe that every person deserves supportive friendship and tangible help from people who love them.
We want to see Families in hard seasons who feel isolated finding help and friendship to equip their family to stay safely together
Although I was initially very hesitant to jump into foster care, I love being a foster dad. It's taught me how to live in proximity to those who are hurting. Growing compassion for all people in hard situations has pushed me further into the world of being neighborly to everyone that I can. I'm passionate about seeing Neighbors meet the needs of Families around them and Families accepting help in the hard times of their lives.
After walking through a long season of hardship and grief, I've learned that the only way through is love. As our mission says, "Love is our greatest vocation". The fierce and unconditional love I've been shown on my darkest days is what motivates me to extend the same love to others who need support. I want to make sure that no family ever has to feel alone in a hard season which is why I'm so excited to launch The Neighbors Project in Michigan. Together, we can show love, offer support and make our circles bigger!
Josh and Hannah are foster parents and community advocates near Detroit who have a passion for seeing families thrive together. They are fierce advocates for reunification within the child welfare system and for empowering people, not systems, to do the good work of caring for and loving their neighbors. When they aren't matching Neighbors and Families in Michigan you can find them going on a hike in the woods, playing board games, and having fun with their daughter and family.
On the hardest days of parenting and the darkest days of grief,
we were as strong as the people who sought us out to say
“I see you. You aren’t alone. You can do this.”
These difficult years were built of beautiful bricks of presence.
These years showed us how deeply we all need each other.
What is a Neighbor?A Neighbor is a volunteer who shows up at least once a month with dinner or groceries for a family who needs support. Our volunteers build a friendship with their matched family, customizing their monthly deliveries to specific needs and wants. We act as the matchmaker between volunteers and families, freeing you to build a happy, simple, supportive friendship to last for years. Neighbors can apply here.
Who can get matched with a Neighbor?This program is for any family that is struggling or feeling isolated and would benefit from the loving support of a Neighbor. Our program is designed to serve families impacted by child welfare or facing a hard season. These groups could include but are not limited to: foster families, kinship families, adoptive families, reunified families, low-income families, single parents, refugee or immigrant families, or families navigating grief or loss. While this is the original intent of our program, our heart is to provide relational support to any family in need. Families can apply here.
How do I get matched with a Neighbor?Families who would like to receive support from a Neighbor can fill out an application here. After applying we will send you a link to our short orientation which takes about 20 minutes to complete. Once you complete the orientation, we will start searching for a Neighbor within 15 miles of you to make the connection.
How do you ensure the volunteers and families are safe to be around?We want to make sure everyone involved with the program feels safe. Each Neighbor completes a background check to help keep our families safe. In addition, both Families and Neighbors complete training as part of the application process to ensure the safety of everyone in our program.
How much food is expected each month?The minimum commitment of a match is to drop off one meal per month. We ask our Neighbors for a six month commitment. Feel free to get creative! If breakfast is more helpful than dinner, do that. If take-out is more appealing than homemade, you are welcome to pursue that route! Some Neighbors are willing to drop off more than once a month, but that is up to the Neighbor and family to decide. If you are a family, please be specific with your food preferences, allergies, and/or specific dietary needs so that the Neighbor can bring you food that works for your family.
How can I support The Neighbors Program?The best way you can support us is to share about what we’re doing! Refer your friends and families so we can reach even more people in our communities. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram and tell your friends to do the same. You can also support TNP by making a financial gift. Our program is entirely volunteer operated and all donations go towards recruiting, training, matching and giving support our Families and Neighbors. If interested, you can donate here.
What about COVID-19 precautions?We are taking COVID-19 very seriously and require our volunteers and families to follow any current local health department guidelines. Neighbors and Families will have the opportunity to share their current comfort level so that we can match accordingly and show our respect and care for each other.
How did The Neighbors Project get started?The Neighbors Project in Michigan operates in partnership with Families Together in Colorado. In 2017, Families Together began connecting families who were isolated with volunteer “Neighbors” who wanted to prove they were not alone. Neighbors started delivering meals and over time it became obvious how this crucial community support helped to stabilize families and children, giving them the support they needed to be healthy and remain together. We’ve personally experienced how important relationships are for families who are struggling. We know so many people who want to help and so many families who need support so we started the process to offer matching services in Michigan. Our team has been trained by the founders of Families Together and carries on many of their key practices, all with the goal of delivering supportive friendship and tangible support to families who feel isolated. To learn more about Families Together at Tennyson Center click here.