MCAH & Authentic Engagement

Authentic Engagement

Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness provides a unique value in its holistic approach to addressing homelessness. While other agencies may focus on specific aspects of the issue, such as providing shelter or food assistance, the MCAH takes a comprehensive approach by advocating for policy changes, coordinating resources, and now promoting community engagement. This multi-faceted approach allows the MCAH to have a broader impact and work toward long-term solutions to homelessness.

If you would like to learn more about MCAH’s Authentic Engagement efforts, schedule a guest speaker, or invite us to an  event, please contact our Manager of Authentic Engagement, Ms. Ashia Wilson at  

How Do We Do This Work?

A critical aspect of authentic engagement includes partnering with people who have lived experience with homelessness. MCAH and our Manager of Authentic Engagement, Ms. Ashia Wilson (see below) are committed to:

Identify opportunities for individuals to share their stories.

    • Humanize different circumstances, while highlighting resilience and wellness.

    • Collaborate with people on how to share their stories in a respectful, productive manner that is impactful without causing trauma to the storytellers and listeners.

    • Provide support throughout the process.

    • Recruit and retain volunteers.

    • Assist in building/leading a cohort of advocates with lived experience of homelessness.

    • Reintroduce The Speakers Bureau

Strategic Initiatives

Establishing Relationships

  • Forge partnerships with Continuum of Care organizations.

Statewide Engagement

  • Actively engage with service providers across Michigan.

Event Participation

  • Boost attendance at in-person events throughout the state.

Enhanced Communication Channels

  • Collaborate with the communications team to establish wider-reaching media and communication channels.

Evaluation and Inclusion

  • Assess MCAH’s programming, advocacy, and communication efforts to integrate lived experiences into the organization’s culture and operations.

Building Volunteer Base

  • Develop a robust volunteer base to support MCAH’s mission, providing diverse skills, experiences, and perspectives.

Meet Ashia Wilson, Manager of Authentic Engagement at MCAH


Ashia is MCAH’s Manager of Authentic Engagement.  In this brand new role, she is committed to helping end homelessness through the design and implementation of new programming, initiatives and policies that build power and opportunity for people with lived experience of homelessness and further MCAH’s priorities as outlined in the organization’s strategic plan

Before joining MCAH, Ashia worked as a Program Coordinator for Northwest Initiative’s program A.R.R.O in Lansing, Michigan. During her time there, she advocated for returning citizens and their families, addressing the challenges they face when reintegrating into the community after incarceration. Ashia also facilitated wrap-around services by connecting ex-offenders and their families with various resources, including identification, housing, employment, medical coverage, mentoring, and transportation.


Ashia served as a Community Engagement Specialist with Nation Outside, where she focused on networking and collaboration among community members and stakeholders to raise awareness and advocate for policy and practice reform. The goal was to address the barriers faced by individuals returning to the community after incarceration. Nation Outside has played a crucial role in advocating for Clean Slate Legislation, organizing large-scale expungement events, and leading the effort for Fair Chance Housing ordinances in Michigan.


Additionally, Ashia holds certifications in CCAR Ethical Considerations and Project ASSERT. She has also completed the Recovery Coach Academy with Wellness Inx, Michigan. Currently, she is pursuing her General Studies associate degree at Lansing Community College. Ashia firmly believes in housing as a basic human right and is passionate about using her own experience with homelessness to advocate for change on behalf of others.


Ashia Out and About

Manager of Authentic Engagement Ashia Wilson and MSU MSW Intern James Rawson at a recent PIT Count in Lansing, Michigan.

Lansing PIT Count, January 2024

Manager of Authentic Engagement Ms. Ashia Wilson and MSU MSW Intern James Rawson at the 2024 Pit Count in Lansing, Michigan.

Washtenaw County

Housing Kent

Goodwill Northern Michigan

Northwest Michigan Coalition to End Homelessness 

Housing Kent

Ground Cover Newspaper

Advent House Ministries

The Fledge