Haley Schultheis is a 2021-2022 Fellow. She grew up in Naples, Florida and attended University of South Florida where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Healthcare. She is currently in the Masters of Community Development program at the University of Detroit Mercy’s School of Architecture and Community Development.

Tell us about your host company and your role in the organization.

Community & Home Supports, Inc (CHS) is a small nonprofit organization in Detroit that works within the Detroit Continuum of Care to provide services to families and individuals who are experiencing homelessness. At CHS, I work in many capacities servicing clients and executive staff at the organization.

Tell us about a challenge project you’ve worked on; what did you learn from the experience?

We just wrapped up our project with Artist Village in Old Redford (shoutout to my team: Aaron, Karmel, Ben and Tasnia). Artist Village works with a collective of organizations organized by the same dedicated community members in Old Redford, a neighborhood in NW Detroit. Artist Village (and the collective) meet a variety of community needs by creating an uplifted community through art, revitalization, and conversation. I really enjoyed this project and learning about how on the ground community work can, and must be, flexible to meet community needs.

Me + my team for the team-choice project with Artist Village!

How do you hope your time as a Fellow impacted the community?

I have been most excited about further understanding the importance of uplifting community voices in community work – learning how sometimes the best thing you can do is take a step back and listen.

Since becoming a Fellow, what new skill have you gained?

Better understanding the process of design thinking has been a big take-a-way from this experience. I have been able to apply design thinking framework in my education, work, and even everyday life – creating new patterns for thinking + ideas.

The cute little ferret I met when we were all hanging out on the Riverwalk.

Please share the most memorable moment you have experienced so far as a Fellow. Why was it memorable and how has it impacted you?

A most memorable experience in Challenge Detroit was going to the Riverfront during orientation and having time to relax with new friends. It reminded me that while planned “connection events” are important, it is also nice to exist in a natural space with peers and just talk, connect, + laugh!! I even got to meet a ferret on a leash (as shown in the photo LOL).

If someone is reading this and considering applying to be a Fellow, share why you would encourage them to apply?

I would encourage someone to apply for this fellowship if they are looking for an immersive experience in community work. Expect to be challenged, humbled, and dedicated to the experience.