About Us

Center Facts

  • 8,035 Hungry People Fed Last Year.
  • 3,424 Families Helped Last Year.
  • Distributed 173,939 Meals last year.
  • Over 208,727 lbs. of Food last year.
  • Over $52,873 of Clothing & Household Items distributed to people in need last year.

Mission

Open Door Outreach Center, a 501c-3 tax-exempt nonprofit organization, lives by its mission below:

Recognizing the human dignity of all person, Open Door Outreach Center’s primary mission, in the spirit of interfaith charity, is to provide emergency services of food, clothing and referral information to families in need.

 

Open Door Outreach Center has received GuideStar’s newest and highest level of recognition! By reporting metrics through GuideStar Nonprofit Profile, Open Door organization has a Platinum Seal of Transparency.

 

 

Our Story

Open Door began through White Lake’s St. Patrick’s Church in 1980.  The origin was with partnering denominational and non denominational churches to open the services to all people.  Open Door has had many locations with one in a storefront near the Big Boy restaurant on Cooley Lake Road in Waterford.

The original space with Pantry and Resale Store to provide funds for the outreach center which included clothing, odds and ends, religious books (Bibles of all faiths), consignment items, food and needed items for clients, jewelry donated for sale. You name it, Open Door had it!

The Open Door board included a president, treasurer, and secretary the first year and then increased members as trustees including local pastors.

Client Services existed in the same shop to qualify clients in need to receive food and clothing. Crisis funds were not available in the beginning, but as time went on fundraisers were held to raise more money so Open Door could help clients with shutoffs and utilities.

Collaboration with local churches for funds was and is a beautiful collaborative help to clients who were facing eviction. The board did not hold monthly meetings in the beginning, but eventually evolved into monthly meetings with a larger Board of Trustees.

The board included seven members for several years, increasing to 10 in recent years.

Food was distributed at first in filled bags, but then services changed to a “client choice pantry” where the client could shop for their own needed food and items.

Vouchers were given to clients to shop in the Resale Shop for clothing and household items they needed.

Seasonal programs were established from the beginning, e.g. Christmas/Holiday Meals, Easter Meals, Back to School, and Thanksgiving Meals and have continued through the years.

Open Door also has a special Summer Feeding Program to feed the children when they are not in school.

Clothing and food donations began right from the beginning and many of the churches donate and still donate on a weekly basis with food.

Many businesses still hold food drives also to help Open Door fill the pantry.

A video for the website was made in 2010 featuring Bill Bauer, founding member Julie LeBlanc, and Tony Nuckolls, Quicken Loans employee. It also included a testimony from a former client (with small children) who worked at Open Door in the very beginning as a volunteer and went on to continue her education at a university and earned her master’s degree in social work.

She continued to support Open Door, thankful for the help she received when she really needed it.

Bakeries such as Panera Bread and Costco contribute day-old items to Open Door on a regular basis and Waterford Insurance, White Lake Community Garden and other organizations began a garden to supply Open Door with fresh foods in the summer months. This helps the pantry tremendously.

Fundraisers such as the Julie Run to End Hunger and annual Tea provide some revenue. Grants are sought on a regular basis from foundations, businesses, government and estates.

Since its founding, Open Door has grown to include residents not only from White Lake, but also Waterford, West Bloomfield, Commerce, Wolverine Lake, Orchard Lake, Walled Lake, Keego Harbor, Sylvan Lake and portions of Wixom.

When people walk in needing crisis assistance, staffs sit with them to find out what can be done. Often that involves the need for emergency funds for utility shutoffs, prescriptions or rent. Some are facing eviction. Some are homeless.

Open Door’s careful screening ensures that assistance is given to those in the greatest need. We tailor services to meet specific needs, aiding each person to reach self-sufficiency.

Come and visit us - we welcome you.

CW50's Public Service Announcement for the Open Door

See Karen Myers interview on CW50's Street Beat

CBS 62 Eye On Detroit-Open Door Outreach Center