A $16 million development project is now complete in Piety Hill, just off Woodward on Clairmount. The Ruth Ellis Clairmount Center will offer supportive housing, medical services, counseling, career training, and more for LGBTQ+ youth.

The building is a collaboration between the Ruth Ellis Center and Full Circle Communities Inc. Henry Ford Health Services is partnering with critical health services.

“The new Ruth Ellis Clairmount Center is a significant milestone for Ruth Ellis Center, and more importantly, an example of how we must respond to the disproportionate number of LGBTQ+ young people experiencing homelessness nationwide,” said Mark Erwin, interim co-executive director of the Ruth Ellis Center, a nonprofit that serves LGBTQ+ young people 13 to 30 who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness and other oppressive barriers to success. “Our mission is to create opportunities with LGBTQ+ young people to build their vision for a positive future.” 

The 45,540-square-foot center has 43 living units, with 32 studios and 11 one-bedroom apartments. 34 of the units will be supported by vouchers that will cover most or all of the residents’ housing expenses. Eight others will be offered to residents earning no more than 30% of the area median income. A live-in peer support specialist will live in the last unit. The center will include a space for support services like individual and group therapy and case management. The center also has  a resource library and technology center, a roof deck, outdoor space with raised beds for gardening, art space, and a career training center.

A mural of Ruth Ellis, painted by artist Ijania Cortez, adorns the side of the building. Ellis offered shelter and support “to those whose race, sexual orientation or both set them apart from the dominant culture” starting in the 1930s. 

Non-profit developer Full Circle Communities partners with organizations across the Midwest, and dedicates 75% of its earnings to carry support services at its developments.