Those who are chronically homeless face the most complex barriers to independent living due to their struggles with disabling conditions such as a serious mental illness, substance abuse disorder or physical disability.

As a result, they have fallen through the cracks. For them, being homeless and living on the streets is but a symptom of the hurt and limitations that life has thrust upon them.

These are the guests Pope Francis Center is dedicated to serving.

Despite expanding our services over the past three decades, the need is still high for our guests. Life on the streets has proved to be deadly for many as they succumb to drug overdoses, preventable diseases and harsh winter weather. We feel an extreme sense of urgency to expand Pope Francis Center’s services to ensure that no more lives are lost.

We believe that each and every death we have witnessed could have been avoided had the necessary support been in place. As we look to expand our reach and save countless lives, we envision a one-of-a-kind facility in Detroit that meets the complex needs of those who are chronically homeless.

We plan to build a 40-unit Bridge Housing facility in Detroit, providing guests with 90 – 120 days of shelter, along with intensive medical, respite, psychological, addiction, social and job-readiness services. This will provide guests with the adequate time and support needed before transitioning into permanent supportive housing.

The project provides a coordinated solution to chronic homelessness that will be truly revolutionary. It’s based on our decades of experience and many years of research on effective housing models, incorporating best practices of seven similar facilities across the United States.

Our Bridge Housing plan is a holistic response to the complex and interconnected barriers to housing, including essential 24/7 services like intensive mental health and substance abuse counseling and treatment, and access to case workers and medication. We’ll provide individuals with personalized, well-coordinated care to prepare them for a successful transition into permanent supportive housing.

In addition to 40 studio apartments, the facility will feature a cafeteria, gymnasium, library, classrooms and health clinic. It will also include an outdoor shelter area with heated sidewalks and overhead radiant heaters for those who’ve normalized homelessness and struggle to come indoors. This space will provide individuals with a safe place to begin building trusting relationships and start imagining something different for themselves.

In addition to serving our guests, we will open the doors of our facility to the neighboring community. We strive to build partnerships with community leaders in providing a safe space that offers vital resources and supports community building. Features our guests and the community can access together include:

  • Health care clinic
  • Recreational facilities, including an art studio
  • Urban farming
  • Life skills courses and computer lab

Center Highlights