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Detroit's Mariners Inn breaks ground on $24-million expansion for substance abuse treatment

Mariners Inn Facility
Briana Rice
Michigan Radio
Mariners Inn Facility

Detroit city officials broke ground Monday on a $24 million expansion project. The project involves a nonprofit that offers shelter and health clinics for people with addictions.

The Mariners Inn facility in Detroit is near Little Caesars Arena, in the area of the newly approved District Detroit.

This new building, called The Anchor at Mariners Inn, will offer more supportive housing, counseling, therapy and job training services.

This will double the Mariner Inns facilities capacities and allow the organization to offer more supportive services.

Shaun Wilson is the president of the Mariners Inn board of trustees.

“This has been a long time coming. A lot of tough conversations at board meetings and quite frankly, a lot of pushback from folks who said we shouldn't be here. But guess what? We're here,” he said during the groundbreaking.

The facility serves about 2,000 men a year but hopes to double the number of people it can help with the expansion. It will also begin helping women.

“As a city, we have made a commitment to permanent supportive housing, a program where you can live there and have people helping you with counselors, mental health assistance. But for 68 years on this site, Mariners Inn has led the way,” Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said.

The $24 million development will be built at Cass Avenue and Ledyard Street, next to the current Mariners Inn facility. The Anchor will expand Mariners’ residential treatment program with 40 new fully furnished recovery housing apartments, 44 units of fully furnished permanent supportive housing, private counseling and therapy, and career education and job training services, as well as help with small-business ventures, leaders say.

Leaders of the expansion expect the facility to open within the next 15 months.

“I got accepted to go upstairs in their program because I had nowhere to go. I was homeless, man. I was homeless once again. Mariner accepted me, and I've been here ever since,” said George Bishop Hubble who has been in treatment and living with Mariners for nearly five years.

The project is funded through Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) through the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA), HOME and Community Development Block Grant funding through the City of Detroit Housing & Revitalization Department (HRD), and generous donations from individuals.

“This has been such a long time coming and we have always had to battle. How do you fit in? Where do you fit in? In a place like this? In a space like this, with the people you serve. You have to have people that believe in you,” CEO David Sampson said. “All of you believe in us. We’re going to make you proud.”

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.