NSO Bell Building Project
The Neighborhood Service Organization (NSO) is undertaking a rehabilitation effort of the historic former Michigan Bell Building on Oakman Boulevard, attempting to revitalize the surrounding north-central Detroit neighborhood. The new NSO Bell Building is a groundbreaking effort that will provide supportive housing for homeless adults and much needed support services to help them stabilize and turn their lives around. It will also be the home of the new NSO headquarters.
The $50 million community investment will provide 155 safe, fully furnished, one-bedroom apartments for formerly homeless adults. NSO will provide mental health, addiction treatment, intensive case management, financial literacy, nutrition classes and other on-site support in one location to better help residents restore their lives. A health care clinic will be located in the building for residents and the community to utilize. The facility also will include amenities such as a gym, library, computer room, art and music rooms, and a chapel.
CSH provided over $2 million in New Market Tax Credits to the Bell Building that will be used for providing supportive services to residents of the building.
The project, expected to be completed in late 2012, will act as a catalyst for revitalizing the surrounding neighborhood. With new residents and approximately 200 NSO employees inhabiting the building, they foresee an increase in customer traffic for local businesses and opportunities for the creation of new businesses in the community. In addition, the NSO Bell Building is expected to save taxpayers more than $5 million annually, as some estimates show that a single chronically homeless individual can cost taxpayers $50,000 or more a year in police calls, ambulance calls, emergency room visits, and time spent in the hospital — all paid for with public dollars.
"We serve a very large homeless population, and our philosophy is, the way you end homelessness, is you house them. We wanted our project to be part of a revitalization effort, and really feel like we were going to help a community, but the number one goal was to end homelessness," says NSO President and CEO Sheilah P. Clay.