Friendship House History


In 1929...

a member of the American Baptist Home Mission Society, named Minnie Shepherd conceived the idea to start a Vacation Bible School for the neighborhood children in the old Russian Baptist Church in Hamtamck. The program was so successful they purchased the building to house year-long children's programs. The children named it Friendship House because regardless of culture, social status, race, creed, or nationality, the children found friendship among each other.

The Great Depression ushered in the need to utilize Friendship House as a distribution center for food and clothing. In 1962 a Sunday Fellowship was organized at Friendship House for those with no particular church affiliation. In 1971 Friendship House opened a daycare center and in 1975 a re-sale store selling gently used clothing, household items, and toys. Although many of those programs have come and gone, Friendship House remains a vital, faith-based mission in the center of Hamtramck.

Currently, Friendship House is the only public food pantry in Hamtramck. We provide an average of 60,000 lbs. of food per month to hundreds of low-income families in Hamtramck.