Today, Ele’s Place Ann Arbor, the only non-profit community-based organization with a mission dedicated to creating awareness of and support for grieving children, teens and their families broke ground on their new home in Ann Arbor. The new children’s grieving center will serve thousands of grieving children and their families in eight southeast Michigan counties.
1 in 20 children will experience the death of a parent and unfortunately, the need for our services will never go away. Unresolved grief negatively affects our children and teens contributing to alarming rates of depression, addiction and violence.
Ele’s Place serves families from eight counties including: Ingham, Jackson, Lenawee, Livingston, Monroe, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne as well as 31 surrounding cities. Some families will drive over an hour to receive this unique support.
At any given week, Ele’s Place Ann Arbor may have 30 children on its waiting list to begin the grief support programs. Currently, families attend the programs in a rented church facility in Ann Arbor. With the new facility, we can expand our program from three nights a week to four. The permanence, freedom and flexibility of our new home will be an insurance policy for our community today and for years to come.
Launching “A Home for Healing Hearts” Campaign is the community’s investment in a beautiful, adaptable facility. The new 15,000 sq. ft. facility will offer space uniquely designed to meet the specific needs of grieving children and families and allow for future growth.
“In Washtenaw County alone, 4,500 children could potentially benefit from the services of Ele’s Place Ann Arbor. However, due to the current space limitations and availability at our rented facility, we have stopped promoting our critical programs as we simply cannot accommodate all the families who need our services. The new building will allow us to better serve the community’s needs and continue to grow.” Howdy Holmes, CEO of Jiffy Mixes and Campaign Co-Chair.
“The loss of a parent, sibling or loved one is devastating to children and they need to be surrounded by compassionate support programs. In our new home, children & teens will find encouragement and support in an environment where they can truly express themselves.” Sue Snyder, Michigan’s First Lady and Campaign Co-Chair.
The new facility, which will be located at 5665 Hines Drive in Ann Arbor, will include a spacious “potluck room” overlooking the acres of woods the property sits on.
“Sometimes when we are grieving, dinner around the table at home might be difficult with an empty chair, dinner in the potluck room is a way for families to spend quality time together while meeting other families in similar situations” said Monica Brancheau, Managing Director of Ele’s Place Ann Arbor. The new home will have 10 group rooms, 3 activity rooms and a beautiful library offering a quiet, private space where children can sit with a loved one reading books about grief, feelings and healing.
Ele’s Place Ann Arbor expects to open the new facility by the Summer of 2019. A growth rate of 25% is expected within the first few years of opening the new facility. Ele’s Place programs are free to all families and individuals. If you would like to help fund the campaign for the new building or learn more, visit www.elesplaceannarbor.org or call 734-929-6640.