A new development in Core City aims to help the homeless in Detroit with resources and services, with the goal to move into permanent housing. The Bridge Housing Campus will have 40 studio apartments on a 5.3-acre campus near 96 on Detroit's west side.
The Pope Francis Center is leading the project, with funding from the Julia Burke Foundation. According to a press release, "Guests will stay for 90 to 120 days and have access to trauma-informed care involving intensive medical, respite, psychological, addiction, and social and job-readiness services designed to break the cycles of chronic homelessness." Guests will also receive help with the documentation needed to move into permanent housing.
The site sits between West Hancock Street, Lawton Street, and the Jeffries Service Drive. In addition to the apartments, the campus will include a gym, a cafeteria, a health clinic, classrooms, an art studio, computer lab, and a library. Core City residents will also be able to access some of the services. It will also have an outdoor shelter with radiant heating for those who aren't comfortable coming indoors.
“Today marks the beginning of the end of chronic homelessness in Detroit,” said Fr. Tim McCabe, SJ, executive director of the Pope Francis Center. “Our innovative Bridge Housing Campus will provide a new type of personalized, coordinated care to move people from a life on the streets to a better future.”
While the groundbreaking on Friday was ceremonial, construction is expected to start early next year, and will open in mid-2023.
The Pope Francis Center, currently in the TCF Center, serves 200 guests a day with meals, showers, laundry, health clinics, and housing assistance. They'll continue working from a downtown location after the Bridge Housing Campus is built.