In McDougall-Hunt, nonprofit group Neighborhood Service Organization (NSO) broke ground on the Clay Center, a three-acre campus to “end homelessness” at the site of the former 7th Police Precinct at 3364 Mack Avenue. Despite its perhaps overly optimistic mission statement, the new development will have a significant impact on area residents struggling with homelessness, addiction, and joblessness.
The $20 million facility—designed by Fusco, Shaffer & Pappas Inc.—will provide temporary housing and services to help its residents eventually transition back into permanent housing. Amenities include on-site healthcare, substance abuse treatment, job-readiness training, a commercial kitchen, and outdoor gardens.
“Our city’s revitalization won’t mean much if those who struggle with homelessness aren’t made a priority,” said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan in a statement. “Thanks to our partners at the Neighborhood Service Organization, we are seeing a $20 million investment in the McDougall-Hunt neighborhood to provide permanent supportive housing and critical support services to our homeless population.”
Phase one of the Clay Center project calls for a two-story building with 42 one-bedroom units of affordable housing backed by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority and the City of Detroit. It is expected to open in 2020.
NSO officials are still raising money for the Clay Center and plan to launch a capital campaign in the coming weeks, according to the organization. Partial funding for the Mack Avenue development was supposed to come from a $1.5 million sale of the NSO’s Tumaini Center in Midtown. The Ilitch family’s Olympia Development, however, backed out of a deal to purchase the property in May.