PONTIAC — State Rep. Brenda Carter (D-Pontiac), along with several local elected officials and community activists, held an open house today to provide families and residents in need with donated linens from local hotels. The linens were originally donated to Oakland County’s Poverty and Homelessness Taskforce to be distributed to those in need. After sorting and distributing the linens to local shelters and other community groups, the linen supply was opened up to the public.

“Lifting Michiganders out of poverty is a priority for me, so when I was offered the opportunity to take in these donations and help out, I was honored to do what I could to help,” Carter explained. “So often when trying to eliminate poverty in our communities, our first instinct is to say that we need to throw money at the problem, then fight about where the money is supposed to come from until we lose the energy to act. In reality, there are so many ways to help, and the Oakland County Poverty and Homelessness Taskforce is getting it done. That’s why I am so happy to bring their fighting spirit to Lansing.”

The Oakland County Poverty and Homelessness Taskforce was established earlier this year, and since then, its members have partnered with Rep. Carter on several initiatives, including the linen drive, Oakland County’s first mobile dentist, and mobile shower, and supplies for students.

“Last winter, I found myself trying to help a 21-year-old homeless girl find shelter during the coldest weeks of winter, including the polar vortex,” said Kimber Bishop-Yanke, Chair of the Oakland County Poverty and Homelessness Taskforce. “In the process, I found out some very concerning things: Oakland County only has three shelters, and no family shelter, the barriers to accessing help are overwhelming, and we lack the necessary resources to support our most vulnerable citizens. I want to change that.”

Inspired by the work of the Oakland County Poverty and Homelessness Taskforce, Rep. Carter partnered with several legislators to form the Poverty and Homelessness Caucus in the Legislature. The Caucus is bipartisan and bicameral.