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Being tortured for speaking your mind isn’t an idea that enters our minds in the United States. But it does really happen in various parts of the world, and the U.S. is still a beacon of hope for those searching for freedom.

Freedom House is a local organization that provides temporary housing for people who are seeking asylum from persecution located in Southwest Detroit.

After serving the community for more than 30 years, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) denied the grant proposal from Freedom House. So it needs help from the community to continue.

It’s more than just shelter. They provide food, education, job training, legal services, social services, public education and offsite housing. Freedom House does a lot for those seeking asylum in the United States to escape persecution that is many times violent. Often served groups include those who simply spoke their opinions. Others were fighting for democracy, or being a member of the LGBT community.

They’re also the only organization in the United States that provides shelter, food and legal aid to asylum seekers for no charge.

The HUD grant ends March 31, so the organization has been trying to raise $100,000 by April 1 to keep Freedom House open until the end of 2017.

If you are interested in donating directly to Freedom House, you can find all of the information here. You can also text BREATHEFREE to 71777 to donate from your phone.

You can also check out some of these small businesses that have stepped up to donate proceeds to Freedom House.

Meta Physica Massage is donating $5 from every massage through February. There are still a few more days left of February, so treat yourself to a massage and help someone else out at the same time. You can book you massage here.

Nafas Fitness Studio in Royal Oak will be doing a restorative yoga class with 101 on essential oils on Sunday, February 26. The class will be held from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. All proceeds will go to Freedom House. They list a suggested donation of $15.

Wheelhouse Detroit-Hamtramck will be hosting a Paczki Day For Freedom House event on Tuesday, February 28. The event will be held from 12:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. and 10% of all sales will go towards Freedom House.