Saline Area Social Service has three part-time employees--a director, a clerk, and a social worker--and nine volunteers per week who help with the office work. "I was a manager in the Michigan Department of Human Services for forty-two years," says Dersnah. "It was my career right out of college. And I left there and started here the same week."
SASS is funded by community donations and the United Way, each covering about half the budget. "Saline is a very, very generous community," says Dersnah. "When we ask, we find the need gets met."
None of the leaders see that need letting up any time in the foreseeable future. "For Dexter and Chelsea, we're it for the core services, and it's just the same for Saline, Milan, and Manchester, says Faith in Action's Nancy Paul. "We're all out here filling in around the cracks.
"We see faint glimmers of hope here and there, but it still looks pretty grim from where we sit."
[Originally published in April, 2012.]