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First Step gives second chance

By Dee Ryan – It’s been over 2 years since First Step opened its doors in Wayne.  First Step provides free and confidential programs to help victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse.  Their mission is:
To eliminate both, and to provide services to individuals and families impacted by these crimes.
Located in Wayne, First Step offers a 24-hour help-line, which is: 734-722-6800. Specially trained staff and volunteers provide crisis intervention, and safety planning for those who call.
When home is no longer a safe option, First Step provides emergency short-term housing for victims of domestic violence.  Each of the temporary apartments has a mini kitchen, a bath, and two bedrooms.  First Step facilities also offer a full size kitchen, schoolrooms, children’s learning centers, plus playrooms.
Outside, in the planning stage, is an area, very large, which will be divided into gardens and play areas.  Toddlers will have their own safe playground—teens will have a gathering place of their own, and everyone will have a place to unwind and enjoy. In October, a pavilion was completed, and volunteers were doing seasonal plantings.  Karl Lehmkuhe,  a Dearborn candidate for Eagle Scout has designed and built a beautiful arched bridge.
Ms. Theresa Bizoe the Associate Director who gave me the ‘cooks tour’ of First Step tells me that all our Wayne City Departments have been helpful and supportive. Wayne Rotary is donating all the wood chips that will be used for the garden area.
Donations of money are always needed and appreciated. Checks may be mailed to the First Step Administrative Office at: 44567 Pinetree Dr., Plymouth, MI 48170.  Donations can also be dropped off at 4400 S. Venoy.  I’m told they really need twin size sheets and can always use  personal care items and diapers size 4 & 5.
Some of those who have been helped by First Step say:  “I believe First Step may have saved my life and the lives of my children many years ago.  I stayed in your facility for 10 days upon leaving my husband, who was extremely abusive.”  “Because of the help from First Step, I will have a chance to save money, further my education, and acquire new skills that will increase my capacity to support myself and my children.”

Biddle Street Bunch’s Block Party was an Autumn Celebration this year. Although usually in summer, this year’s date was Sept. 29th.  It started with the annual George Wootton Open golf outing at 8:30 a.m.   The street was blocked off at noon, followed by a visit from the Wayne Fire Department who brought their fire truck. The annual parade at 1:00 p.m. featured bikes, big wheels, wagons, all decorated with balloons, ribbons, and any embellishment you might think of.
Games were organized for the kids. Sarah Crane and Cindy Bousley kept the youngsters entertained by having many small pumpkins for them to decorate.
Dinner started at 6:00p.m with a great variety of food.  Pam and Tom Dobrowolski provided the tables, plates etc., and as in other years, their house and yard where we enjoyed everyone’s company.
So good to see our friends—Marilyn and Bob Sawyer, Ed Bumpass ,Barb Wootton, with Suzie, Tony, Claire, and Shane Hammons, Don Talaga, The Gilberts, Jean Smoes, Ed Marmon, and Betty Spaw.  Representing Pam and Tom’s large family were Heather, Joe, and their kids, Aria and Attica—plus Pam’s Mom—the beautiful Ruby.  Missing was Mary Lindsey, who is recovering from knee surgery, and Gary Smoes—nursing a bad cold.
Bridget Kelly, my husband, Kerran, and I are adopted Biddle Streeters, and as such are allowed to attend and enjoy the yearly event.

The Historical Society will present “Eloise History” on November 13.  Mr. Joe Johnson will be your guide through this interesting program.  Residents of Wayne will especially like this program, because so many of them worked at Eloise.  Make sure you ask Mr. Johnson about the POGIES.
Once again our Library will host Michael Hauser and his “Christmas at Hudsons.”  This is a ‘must see’ as Mr. Hauser brings back, in slides and artifacts, the splendor of Hudsons during the Holidays. This is a jam packed program that will bring back happy memories.  It begins at 6:30.  There is no charge, but if you wish, you may make a small donation at the door.

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