Nonprofit awarded $4M in federal funding to help build residential center in Ann Arbor

Nonprofit has contract to buy property in Superior Township

Garrett's Space (Garrett's Space)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – An Ann Arbor organization dedicated to helping young people struggling with mental health has significantly improved.

Garrett’s Space has been awarded $4,000,000 in federal funding to help build a residential center.

Julie and Scott Halpert started Garrett’s Space after they lost their son Garrett to suicide in 2017. They channeled their grief into trying to help other struggling young people, and the new funding will do just that.

“We were obviously thrilled,” said Scott Halpert. “This is a huge boost for Garrett’s Space and our efforts to create this center. I mean, it’s a significant portion of the funding that we’re going to need to do it.”

The $4,000,000 in funding was secured by Congresswoman Debbie Dingell with support from Senator Debbie Stabenow.

“A lot of our kids are more depressed or suffering from anxiety than people know,” said Dingell. “And in this country, we’ve put a stigma on mental health and mental health issues. So that someone, many people are embarrassed to even acknowledge they’ve got a problem. And then we have the problem of how we’ve cut mental health resources that people can’t get the help that they need.”

Read: ‘Garrett’s Space’ hosting 24-hour virtual fundraiser

Garrett’s Space plans to build a nature-focused residential center for young adults struggling with depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts.

“We are seeing a real increase in incidence of suicide every single day,” Dingell said. “Garrett’s Space is a place that tries to help young people to give them a place to go to have somebody to talk to and connect with other people.”

The nonprofit has a contract to buy a 76-acre property in Superior Township.

“Whenever we thought and we dreamed about what Garrett’s Space would look like, what the location would look like, this is what we envisioned,” said Julie Halpert. “As you drive up this very tranquil minding road to get there, you just exhale, and honestly, we want the residents who come to this property to be to exhale and to have a break from their stresses and their anxieties.”

They’re hoping to create a healing place for young people in pain.

“There is a consensus among mental health professionals and politicians and people in our community that what we’re doing is sorely needed,” Julie Halpert said. “We are filling a huge gap in treatment for young adults. And I think most people are connected to somebody who is struggling right now.”

Garrett’s Space is currently working with the township to try and have the property rezoned. If that’s approved, they could purchase it this spring. They still need to raise about $6 million, but the funding is obviously a major head start on that effort.

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Here is a rendering of their proposed residential center:

Garrett's Space Residential Center (Garrett's Space)

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About the Authors:

Dr. McGeorge can be seen on Local 4 News helping Metro Detroiters with health concerns when he isn't helping save lives in the emergency room at Henry Ford Hospital.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.