Fair can handle the problem over the phone; other times, she drives over to the sprawling building on Jackson Road.
A social worker, Fair, fifty, has been with the Interfaith Hospitality Network for fourteen years. When she started, the shelter was still housed in local churches, which took turns hosting homeless families. In 2001, St. Joe's donated the building on Jackson, a former treatment center, and volunteers refurnished it with beds, toys, and play equipment.
As Fair leads a tour of the building, a couple of elementary-age kids returning from school bound through the front door. A mother and her young daughter hang out on a couch in a common room that's lined with bookshelves and a TV. Fair unlocks the door to one of six private bedrooms. Other than a single bed and a bunk bed, it's empty; the family that slept there last night moved today to an Ypsilanti apartment complex.
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