Kresge Grant Results in Nearly $1M for New Healthcare Center in Detroit

March 27th, 2012
Architectural rendering of the community health center that Southwest Housing Solutions, in partnership with Covenant Community Care and Southwest Counseling Solutions, is developing at 5716 Michigan Avenue in southwest Detroit

The Kresge Foundation has awarded Covenant Community Care a $250,000 grant toward the construction of a new integrated healthcare center in southwest Detroit.

As a result of the Kresge grant, Covenant Community Care (CCC) was able to leverage additional funds through a Michigan Department of Community Health matching program, bringing the total amount to about $930,000 to invest in building costs.

The new health center is located at 5716 Michigan Avenue (48210) and will provide primary medical, pediatric, obstetric, dental, psychiatric, and behavioral counseling services to 7,000 individuals and families annually. All the services will be bilingual.

CCC is partnering with Southwest Counseling Solutions to create one of the first facilities of integrated primary and behavioral healthcare in southeast Michigan. Southwest Housing Solutions is the real estate developer for the project.

“The Kresge grant comes at a critical time and provides essential funding to help bring this important community project to fruition,” said Paul Propson, executive director of CCC. “The center is located in a federally designated Medically Underserved Area, and will deliver integrated, affordable and quality healthcare to those who need it most, regardless of their ability to pay.”

“The collaboration between Covenant Community Care and Southwest Solutions represents an innovative approach to healthcare for the most disadvantaged members of the southwest Detroit,” said John Van Camp, president of Southwest Solutions.

Children and families will especially benefit from the facility. Southwest Counseling Solutions will consolidate and move its Children, Youth and Families (CYF) division to the center. CYF programs serve children and youth who have a severe emotional disturbance, have been adjudicated by the juvenile court, or are at risk of being placed out of the community due to behavioral problems.

“The consolidation of our CYF programming at the Michigan Avenue center means that children with complex needs will have greater access to multiple services, enhancing their prospects for success,” said Joseph Tardella, executive director of Southwest Counseling.

The site of the new facility is a historic warehouse that was designed by Detroit architect Albert Kahn, the foremost American industrial architect of his time. The building is nearly a century old and was originally a cigar factory. Southwest Housing is revitalizing and updating the structure to preserve its historic integrity and maximize the use of “green” materials and technologies.

“This project is an important step toward revitalizing the Michigan Avenue corridor,” said Tim Thorland, executive director of Southwest Housing. “We believe the project will anchor and promote further economic investment and development in the area.”

Construction on the center is expected to begin in March and will be completed by the end of the year.

The total project cost for the healthcare center is $10.93 million. Financing involves a combination of tax credits, loans, grants and developer equity. Tax credits were secured from Michigan and Federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits, Michigan Brownfield Tax Credits, and New Market Tax Credits; loans from Living Cities, Local Initiative Support Corporation of Detroit (LISC) and JP Morgan Chase; and grants from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, United Way, National Trust for Historic Preservation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, NeighborWorks® America, Local Initiative Support Corporation, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Wayne County Economic Development Corporation, and City of Detroit Community Development Block Grant.

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