$40 Million Bridge Housing Campus opens to help create 'pathways from homelessness to affordable housing'

Posted at 10:58 AM, Jun 03, 2024

DETROIT (WXYZ) — The Pope Francis Center is working to combat ongoing homelessness in Detroit with the opening of it's Bridge Housing Campus, a $40 million facility that hopes to provide comprehensive transitional services in one location.

The Pope Francis Center says the opening of this campus will do wonders to help combat Detroit's chronically homeless population.

“Putting people in a house or apartment before addressing issues such as substance abuse or mental health doesn’t work for everybody,” said Fr. Tim McCabe, SJ, PFC president and CEO. “Our facility is a game-changer in how it allows those experiencing homelessness to have agency in their own healing. They decide how they want to progress, while we give them the support necessary to chart a better path in life.”

The 60,000 square foot campus, located at 2915 West Hancock Street in Detroit, will include:

  • 40 furnished studio apartments
  • A gym
  • A commercial kitchen
  • A free medical and dental clinic
  • A library and classrooms
  • A barbershop
  • Space for family gatherings
  • Heated sidewalks

Residents will have access to social service, including substance abuse rehab, mental health assistance, job training and computer classes, with the goal being for them to eventually transition to permanent housing.
Among the speakers at the Grand Opening were Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist, Michigan House Speaker Joe Tate and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan.

"Fr. Tim and the Pope Francis Center have done a great job working to create a better future for our most vulnerable residents,” Duggan said in a press release. “The Bridge Housing Campus will be another example of how Detroit and its partners are creating pathways from homelessness to affordable housing.”

The majority of the financial support from the center comes from private foundations and corporations, with the Julia Burke Foundation in California contributed the single largest donation of $13 million. Other contributions came from:

  • J. Addison and Marion M. Bartush Family Foundation
  • City of Detroit
  • Ford Motor Company
  • Lear Corporation
  • Magna Corporation
  • Midwest Province of the Society of Jesus
  • Piston Group
  • The Pulte Family Charitable Foundation
  • State of Michigan