Taylor Little has a big dream to help homeless women

he body is a temple, but not everyone has the resources to treat it that way. Taylor Little, a class of 2016 graduate of Harrison High School in Farmington Hills, wants to fix that. Through her newly established community-service organization, The Temple Project, she’s worked with organizations including The Philip House Mission, the South Oakland Shelter and Alternatives for Girls to provide hygiene products, clothes and other necessities to homeless people in metro Detroit.

What inspired you to start The Temple Project?

As part of the International Baccalaureate program at my school, they want you to do some type of project that lasts for maybe three months. It’s supposed to display action, service and creativity. Most people did things like starting clubs or hosting events, but I didn’t want to do that. I’d already started a club at my school, so I got to thinking about what I’m really passionate about. I know what it’s like to come from a poor family, and I have a lot of conversations about politics with people. Sometimes we talk about how desensitized people are to the homeless. We see them on the streets and we don’t really do anything. So I decided that would be my focus.

Tell me about what it was like starting out.

I was feeling really discouraged in the beginning. After my friend and I looked up different charity services, I sat down and started emailing a bunch of companies. It wasn’t supposed to depend on community donations, initially. The plan was to get menstrual product companies to donate huge boxes so that we could distribute them. Most places didn’t reply, and the ones that did declined since we weren’t an established organization.


When did you realize this you had to go to a Plan B?

By January, I realized that I didn’t have to depend on donations from (the major companies). Why not depend on the donations of the community? It turns out that people want to help, but often they just don’t know how.

How did social media really get The Temple Project off the ground?

It started on Facebook. I decided to make a page and invite all my friends to like it. While I was trying to spread the word, I contacted Afropunk (a blog dedicated to punk rock culture among Black fans of the genre). They ended up writing about me on their site, and the post received thousands of views. After that, support just started pouring in. My mom jokes that I turned the house into a nonprofit because of how many donations we stored there.

The Cause Continues

Taylor Little will be attending Eastern Michigan University this fall on a full-ride scholarship. She plans to start a new chapter of The Temple Project at the school. To support the cause, visit Fb.com/TheTempleProject.

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