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Zaman International aids victims of River Rouge house fire

A mother and daughter who lost their River Rouge home and all of their possessions in a devastating house fire [] have received food, clothing, and home furnishings from Zaman International as they struggle to rebuild with help from the community.

Shirley Johnson and her 12-year-old daughter were attending religious services the morning of April 3 when they learned their house was on fire. They arrived to find their home a burnt-out shell with nothing to salvage inside. A breast cancer survivor, Shirley had lost even her cancer and stroke medications. In response to a news broadcast by WDIV Local 4 news, the Red Cross responded with temporary shelter and a local media outlet and Zaman International brought food, clothing and other crisis assistance to the family the day following the fire.

“Zaman’s mission is to help struggling mothers with children, so our hearts were touched when we learned of this family’s plight,” said Anna Malallah, a social worker with Zaman’s Bayt Al Zahra crisis assistance program. “We knew we needed to respond immediately to see how we could help.”

In the weeks following the fire, Shirley and her daughter moved to a new apartment in River Rouge and received a delivery of furniture from Zaman, including two bedroom sets, area rugs, living room furniture, and a washer and dryer. Zaman has also assisted with clothing, gift cards, blankets, pillows, and other miscellaneous household items. Shirley and her daughter have been registered as clients of Zaman and will be eligible for all of the services the organization offers, including monthly food boxes.

Malallah said she recently received a thank you card from Shirley expressing her appreciation for all Zaman has done to help her and her daughter through this ordeal.

Zaman International is a non-profit organization committed to addressing the basic needs and empowerment of marginalized women and children locally and internationally. Founded in 1996 and incorporated in 2004, Zaman has to date assisted more than 125,000 people in Southeast Michigan with food, clothing, furniture, utility assistance, infant burial, and other essential needs, while providing humanitarian relief, disaster response, and access to safe drinking water to an additional 600,000 across the world through international activities and partnerships. Since 2014, Zaman has operated out of the Hope For Humanity Center, a 40,500-square-foot facility in Inkster that houses its crisis assistance, vocational training and life skills programs. For more information, please visit



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