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"Everybody deserves a safe place to live": New homeless shelter to open in Detroit

Briana Rice
Michigan Radio

Detroit is getting a new homeless shelter for single men and women.

City leaders say it's a major step in the fight to end homelessness. That's because in addition to the facility being a place for folks to sleep, it will also offer job training and a health clinic offering primary care, behavioral health and dental services.

That clinic won’t just be open to residents of the shelter, the public will be welcome to come whether they’re insured or not.

Linda Little is the President and CEO of Neighborhood Service Organization. They’re in charge of the new shelter.

She says within 90 days, this shelter will be able to get people into temporary transitional housing and even permanent homes.

“If we could normalize the face of homelessness and make it more real, then we would have more compassion and really make it at the forefront of all that we do, that everybody deserves a safe place to live and thrive and enjoy life,” she said Thursday during a press conference.

The shelter will also have 17 beds available for medical respite for those individuals experiencing homelessness who have completed their acute hospital treatment but are too sick to be in a shelter or on the street.

David Bowser is the Associate Director of Detroit’s Housing & Revitalization Department, which helped fund the $22 million dollar facility with $4.1 million in Community Development Block Grants-CARES funds.

“We firmly believe that the path toward sustainability does not end with housing. Rather, housing should be an entry point into additional services that result in a sustainable and equitable life for residents and this organization. This building actually represents that concept coming to life,” he said.

The Detroit Healthy Housing Center also has the Clay Apartments on its campus - 42 one-bedroom affordable apartments for people who were experiencing homelessness. It has been at full capacity since it opened in 2020.

The shelter will be able to house 56 men and women at any time and is scheduled to open in the next month or two.

Briana Rice is Michigan Public's criminal justice reporter. She's focused on what Detroiters need to feel safe and whether they're getting it.