Southwest Solutions was founded in 1970 by Monsignor Clement Kern (1907-1983), the legendary pastor of Most Holy Trinity in southwest Detroit. Kern was known as the “conscience of Detroit” because of his passionate commitment to helping the poor and disenfranchised.
Clem Kern’s deep passion still animates our organization.
Southwest Solutions began as a mental health agency. In the wake deinstitutionalization, Southwest’s mission was to help the mentally ill live in the community by providing psychiatric counseling and medication.
John Van Camp has been with Southwest Solutions since its beginning. He started as an administrative assistant and became head of the organization in 1981, a position he still holds. John advocated expanding the vision of Southwest Solutions. He believed that reintegrating the mentally ill and homeless into the community also required providing decent, affordable housing and support services, and actively participating in neighborhood revitalization and economic development.
John’s broad vision delineated the future of our organization.
Our programs help those who were at the margins of society turn the page and write new chapters of resilience and purpose. These countless stories of renewed hope are the living history of Southwest Solutions.
Historic Lithuanian Hall in southwest Detroit was built in the 1920s and was the social center of two different immigrant and ethnic communities before it sat vacant for 15 years. The building was renovated by Southwest Housing Solutions in 2006 and symbolizes a community renaissance. Read More >>