DAPCO Strengthens Families One Person At a Time for 25 Years

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This entry is part [part not set] of 21 in the series Ann Arbor Family Newsletter

DAPCO Beginnings

Destiny and Purpose Community Outreach, founded by Towana Parker, has been providing vital support services to strengthen at-risk families in Wayne County since 1997 and in Washtenaw County since 2007. 

Parker said it all started with “a group of women led by me that were small business owners [who] wanted to do something charitable in the community.”

They started off by volunteering in residential girls’ homes as mentors and used their own financial resources to purchase needed items for the girls

“I never dreamed of running a nonprofit agency, but a seed was planted when someone told me that we could avoid using our financial resources if we decided to form a nonprofit agency and ask for charitable donations through companies, corporations, and grants,” Parker said.

And, thus DAPCO was born.

Services

DAPCO’s mission is “to equip men, women, and youth who are at risk of becoming non-achievers with the skills and resources to become productive citizens with new hope; living purposeful lives with moral and ethical values.”

With services for all ages designed to support every member of the family, there’s something for everyone including: entrepreneurial coaching & business start-up for women, youth role-model mentoring, marriage and relationship enhancement, youth employment training and internships, ex-offender resources & intervention, parents and babies in need, senior patrol and​ recovery coaching.

Location

Photo provided by Towana Parker.

Although they once had physical offices in both counties, these locations no longer exist primarily due to the pandemic and the conclusion of grant funding streams. 

They are now housed out of a trailer currently located in Ypsilanti. This makes it easy for the 100-125 families they serve each year to access services since the majority live in or near here.

Future Plans

DAPCO is searching for a new commercial location to purchase for their offices. They are hoping to find something with land and existing buildings to serve as transitional housing for homeless mothers and children living in their cars. 

This will be a temporary placement until they can find stable housing through Housing Access for Washtenaw County, the county’s central intake for individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. These moms will also receive supportive services such as financial education, esteem building, daycare for their young children, and job placement assistance. This way each mom will be in a better position to support herself and her family once provided a more permanent placement.

Holiday Wish List

Their biggest wish is for a vehicle able to tow DAPCO’s 7,500 lb. trailer as their original plan fell through.  Being mobile would allow them to pop up wherever and whenever they are needed, going right to those who need them the most.

They also seek these specific items for their Parent and Baby Pantry.

  • gift cards ($10 and up to major stores like Meijer, Kroger, and Target) to be used as incentives to encourage mothers to take at least ten online self-enhancement sessions in a three-month period
  • clothing (newborn-18 months)
  • diapers
  • wipes
  • formula
  • toiletries

How to Give

Gift cards can be e-delivered to the email address below or you can contact Parker directly to discuss a vehicle donation or to coordinate dropping off any in-kind or check donations. 

And, of course, cash donations are always encouraged and welcomed. You can pick a designation from the list or add a message if you would like your dollars to go specifically towards purchasing/maintaining a vehicle or for pantry items.

What drives Parker day-to-day? 

“Just knowing the visions I see inwardly and [that are] spiritually inspires motivates me to continue until they all come to fruition,” Parker said.

Parker is so grateful for the community’s continued support and urges you to please consider giving to DAPCO this holiday season. 

You will make a huge difference in the lives of vulnerable families living right in your own backyard!

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