What community has to say..

Community members:

"I would like to thank Mai Family Services for the services they provide to our local community of Indian families. I had an opportunity to attend a meeting last year, and I witnessed the success and impact of this organization. The hard economic times makes their work even more necessary as the demand goes up and the donations go down.

Many times, the person needing help has nowhere to turn as they have left their family behind. MAI Family Services is their only hope. Sometimes, the person may feel ashamed or scared. MAI Family Services helps in providing various services. I feel proud that MAPI Auxiliary has chosen Mai Family Services as our charity of choice. It is imperative that we all continue to support Mai Family Services through this tough time."

- Alka Kudesia, President, MAPI Auxiliary

“Mai Family Services is a unique, volunteer-based service organization that provides the much needed support to individuals and families in the Metro Detroit Asian Indian community facing many life challenges. The SEVA Committee of the Bharatiya Temple of Troy (i) uses Mai Family Service as one of the referral resources for providing support for individual and family issues in the community which are brought up at the Temple and (ii) acts as a resource for Mai Family Services to provide the assistance SEVA provides.”

Madan Kaura, Chair, SEVA Committee 
Bharatiya Temple

“Our typical attitude towards domestic violence tends to be one of denial, apathy and inaction. What we need to do more of as a community in Metro Detroit is to accept that this problem does exist, get involved in the solution and take steps to prevent future occurrences. A leading not-for-profit organization that has been at the forefront of the battle to eliminate domestic violence from our community is Mai Family Services. The volunteers at Mai Family Services have been working tirelessly for the past several years to help victims of domestic violence survive crises, and later, to independently prosper.”

Subhash Kelkar, Michigan Indian Radio Host

Client Testimonies:

“The main support I received from Mai Family Services was counseling services that were very helpful. Although I have used local American counselors, seeing the perspective of an Indian counselor (being Indian myself) was very helpful in my own decision to leave my marriage. The counselor at Mai Family Services was always available.I called her so many times and eMailed her. She was always there to talk to me and support me in every way she could. Even my paid counselor was not available in that way. So I thank the Mai Family Services counselor in helping me through that. Now that I work for a domestic violence organization, New Visions for South Asian women, we hope to utilize Mai Family Services’existing resources including the great caseworkers that they have, to render help to those who are in desperate need of it.”

“I was living in fear. I could have even died if you had not helped me. Mai Family Services helped me contact my family in India. You’ve given me support, courage, confidence and guidance. You’ve given me a new life, a new beginning.”

“When I was going through domestic violence and abuse, my confidence, my inner hope and happiness died. I had no one to talk to or share my cries . . . I could not live anymore and I had the responsibility of taking care of my baby. I didn’t want her to go through the same abuse I had gone through, and this is when I contacted Mai Family Services.”

“I want to say that I am grateful to Mai Family Services, especially to the caseworker who answered my call when I called Mai Family Services for the first time. I was a victim of domestic violence who suffered silently with no knowledge of being abused and harassed. I thought it was okay and normal to be treated the way I was treated.But it is not normal. I thought my husband would change over time. I didn’t know that there are many women who are going through the same kind of abuse, whether physical or emotional. It is not right to be mistreated or abused. We are humans too, and we need to be treated well. As any girl who entered the sanctity of marriage, I had dreams in my heart and hope for my future. Instead, I found hardships an heartbreaks throughout my married life. I was more of a doormat or a servant who would do chores and pretend to be a wife in front of society for the heck of prestige and family pride. It took me so long to understand that the person I married as a monster and to take steps to fight back. Before I was considered a happy-go-lucky person who thought the world was full of joy and happiness and all the people in the world were good at heart. But I was wrong. I had to through thick and thin to understand that all that glitters is not gold and my husband was not the person I wanted to spend my entire life with. I wish I had known what type of person he was from day one. When I was going through domestic violence and abuse, my confidence, my inner hope and happiness died. I had no one to talk to or share my cries. No one understood me. Even if I made an effort to tell people, they would tell me that it’s a woman’s job to understand and compromise in all things to have a very peaceful,happy married life. That’s the advice I would get when I approached people. How can I describe what I had gone through and how many times I wished I would die before I had to live another day. I died within myself everyday. I could not live anymore and I had the responsibility of taking care of my baby. I didn’t want her to go through the same abuse I had gone through,and this is when I contacted Mai Family Services. The counselor has been with me through my hardships and listened to me talk about my issues and grievances. I was desperately looking for people who would understand and empathize with me and understand me for what I am. Without the Mai Family Services counselor, I would not be on the ground where I now stand.”

Our stories: Cases described below is real, but names have been changed to maintain confidentiality.

Satish and his wife, Seema, along with their two young children were referred to Mai Family Services by a local temple after Satish was diagnosed with end stage cancer. The family had recently moved from India and did not have medical insurance. Mai Family Services also collaborated with a local temple to raise donations, collect food and help with transportation for the family.After conferring with community doctors who donated their services, we addressed the terminal nature of Satish’s illness with Seema. The dire nature of this situation required MAI Family Services to provide frequent and intense counseling to help Seema throughout Satish’s illness and after his death; Seema had no other form of support. We especially helped her deal with the grief and shock of Satish’s death and later accept the reality of her situation and move forward.

Renu, a single mother of two, contacted Mai Family Services through a referral from her place of worship. Her teenage son, Ajay, had recently survived a car accident. Both Ajay and the driver were drunk, and the driver died. Renu was aware that Ajay had started using alcohol and drugs after his parents’ divorce, but the car accident shocked her. She realized she needed to seek immediate help for her son. Mai Family Services was able to provide necessary assistance. We conducted an initial intake assessment for Ajay and made referrals to an inpatient substance abuse rehabilitation program. At first he was resistant to seek treatment, but we were able to gain his trust and reassured him that we would continue to be there for him. Ajay spent almost one year in rehab while Renu and Ajay’s sister, Anu, received weekly counseling from Mai Family Services.Each family member had different concerns that Mai Family Services listened to and helped with. Our counselors spent over eighty hours supporting Renu and her family. It was heartwarming for us to hear “thank you” from Ajay himself after he completed rehab.

Salma was helpless after her husband left her with her five young children in winter without any electricity or gas. Salma’s neighbor contacted Mai Family Services on her behalf because she did not have telephone service and was unable to communicate in English. Fortunately, Mai Family Services was able to speak with Salma in her native language. After meeting Salma and visiting her residence, we immediately provided her with financial assistance to restore her electricity and gas and donated winter clothing and shoes for her family. Mai Family Services also helped Salma procure financial assistance from the state government. We counseled Salma in a culturally-sensitive manner and provided her with a referral for counseling for her depression. With our encouragement, Salma decided to enroll in English as a Second Language classes.

Neela, having learned about Mai Family Services through our website, contacted us about her abusive marriage. She was concerned about her safety and the safety of her infant child since the abuse was escalating. Neela was on a dependent visa so she could not work nor did she know how to drive.Mai Family Services helped Neela devise a “safety plan” (emergency responses in case a situation gets out of control). We helped her understand her legal rights as a dependent and explored future options with her. Neela decided to file for divorce and enrolled in school while simultaneously raising her child. She is now employed and able to provide for herself and her child.