Gift helps households with emergency needs

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Afia Inc. donates $10,000 to the Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic Development’s Barrier Busters program.

Here’s some newsroom “Inside Baseball”: Photojournalists (and a lot of other newscreatures) hate check-pass photos like the one you see here. They don’t hate charitable donations or people who’re doing good; they just don’t like those sorts of posed photos. And I’m right there with them. We like candid, documentary photos, where the photographer captures a moment seemingly free from the awareness that it’s being observed. It’s just one of those barriers between journos and the rest of the world, which generally adores posed photos. I’m sure it makes us look like a bunch of jerks, when, really, we just have different ideas of the purpose and aesthetics of photography. 

The Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic Development received a $10,000 donation from Afia Inc. to support low-income households through the Barrier Busters program.

The donation will be directed to OCED’s Barrier Busters “Emergency Unmet Needs” fund, which enables social workers, case managers and other direct service providers to help clients prevent evictions, utility shut-offs and other emergency costs that threaten Washtenaw County residents’ housing and financial stability.

Through a network of 80-plus social service provider agencies, Barrier Busters assists hundreds of households annually with emergency financial assistance in addition to developing strategies and referrals to help clients maintain household stability.

“We are proud to support the great work Barrier Busters is doing to help community members that need it most,” said Jeremy Nelson, co-founder/managing partner of Afia. “Our contribution helps ensure they continue their great work into the future.”

“The additional funding from Afia helps with everything from rent, move-in costs, utility bills, and other emergent situations where a single bill puts a family at risk of eviction or other hardship,” said Andrea Plevek, OCED’s director. “These funds keep families in their homes, and helps them get over a hurdle that might otherwise lead to a serious financial crisis.”

As part of Afia’s social mission, charitable donations totaling $40,000 were made to these area organizations:

  • Corner Health Center
  • The Education Project
  • The Rainbow Connection

Afia is a consulting firm based in Ann Arbor that works with organizations across the country to optimize health-care delivery by understanding their needs, implementing solutions to their problems and checking whether they made a difference.

To learn more about Barrier Busters or to join the Barrier Busters Network, click here


Jim McBee

Founding partner, creative director and ink-stained wretch with The Ann magazine.