Detroit breaks ground on first Healthy Housing Center for homeless

Center is first of its kind in the state

Mayor Duggan and other leaders joined the NSO in breaking ground on the Detroit Healthy Housing Center, 3426 Mack Ave. (City of Detroit)

DETROIT – The City of Detroit has broken ground on the second and final phase of the city’s first Healthy Housing Center (DHHC), that will offer shelter and other services to people experiencing homelessness.

Neighborhood Service Organization (NSO) and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan were among those at the ground breaking ceremony at the site, located at 3426 Mack Ave.

The 22,000-square-foot facility is the second and final phase of NSO’s Healthy Housing Campus, a comprehensive site with a holistic service delivery model that is part of a $22 million vision offering an innovative approach to end chronic homelessness in the city of Detroit.

Deep dive: How homelessness impacts Michigan families

The first of its kind in the state, the DHHC will deliver solutions not only for the homeless, but for the entire Detroit community.

The DHHC will provide low-barrier emergency shelter to 56 adults, focusing on the medically at risk, and will offer transformative health and social services for its residents and neighbors.

It will offer services to help homeless individuals transition into permanent housing, a 17-bed medical respite for homeless individuals to receive continuing care post-hospitalization, a fully integrated health care clinic open to the public and other on-site wraparound services, including job readiness training.

The health care clinic will be accessible to the community for primary care, behavioral health, dental services and a pharmacy.

The first phase of the DHHC – the Clay Apartments – opened in September 2020. It included 42 affordable housing units, which are fully occupied.

“The NSO has been a tremendous partner and its new facility will help more people get out of and stay out of homelessness,” Mayor Duggan said. “The Healthy Housing Center will provide health services to the most vulnerable in our city and, with the Clay Apartments next door, offer a full range of services to support these residents’ transition out of homelessness and into a better, more stable life.”

“Access to safe, stable housing plays a critical role in a person’s health over the course of a lifetime. Lack of housing and a permanent address is also often a barrier to the basic economic stability that could help individuals and families access other resources such as health care, healthy food options, transportation and more,” said Elizabeth Hertel, Director, MDHHS. “I am excited that Detroit’s first Healthy Housing Center will take a comprehensive approach consistent with MDHHS’ priorities to prevent recurrence of homelessness and ensure people have access to the wraparound services they need.”

Related: Pope Francis Center expands into TCF Center in Detroit to help more homeless individuals this winter


About the Author:

Ken Haddad is the digital special projects manager for WDIV / ClickOnDetroit.com. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013.