A Community Center for the Recovery of Flint
In a city that helped build America, hope is often in short supply. Jobs are scarce – violence, illiteracy, and crime are on the rise. Young people are being raised in a an environment of poverty and despair. Foreclosures and anxiety, joblessness and poverty – all contributors to depression and domestic violence – are destroying families. Funding has diminished for medical care and housing assistance to aid aging veterans and individuals on fixed incomes who have expensive prescriptions and growing medical bills. Clearly, help is needed. The Center for Hope is the beginning of a new path for recovery, offering case management and access to counseling and mental health services; substance use disorder treatment and recovery services; housing assistance and referrals for food and furniture; and a place to sit and play cards after a shower and a hot meal. The Center for Hope offers just that – hope for each new day that comes, for a city that won’t give up and the individuals and families who live here.
…You can help
What would you give to make your family safe, bring peace of mind to someone you love, or make a change in a community that is crying out with the weight of its overwhelming need? By helping us bring life to the Center for Hope, you will help bring life to veterans and the homeless, families and young people who are living a life without hope, without a future. All of the services offered at the Center for Hope are available free of charge – from the diapers and soap in the Community Closet to the lunch in the Soup Kitchen and the blanket in the Warming Center – providing help for those in need and hope for a community that is making its way back.
The project involves a planned $5.5 million renovation of the site, centrally located in downtown Flint in the former St. Michael School Building, now the Center for Hope, on Fifth Avenue, west of Saginaw Street. The building has already been assessed for future life and the planned renovations will have a lengthy service life.
Anyone can join us to restore Hope in our community, changing one life at a time.
The Center for Hope building itself is a distinguished, three-story, former school building of brick construction completed in 1929, along with a later addition to the building, also of brick construction, completed in 1953. During its long history of service, the building has never been updated to reflect compliance with current HVAC or energy-saving standards, or Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations. This means there is only one (very recently updated) handicap-accessible restroom, no elevator access to the basement, second or third floors, and no air conditioning. Catholic Charities is working to raise $5.5 million to bring this landmark building into the current century. The following list outlines a few of the items that will need to be replaced, updated or installed in order to bring the building up to code.
For the past few years, Catholic Charities has diligently worked toward the fulfillment of a dream that will change the lives of all those who seek our help – the Center for Hope – a place where all are welcome, basic needs are met, and lives are changed for the better. We began with our sights set firmly on providing a barebones, but functional, refurbishing of our space, with room enough for partners that shared our vision. Since then, we have struggled, hoping always for the best, believing in our purpose and in our mission to serve. Even as Flint began to move away from its economic turmoil, the community and our place in it, changed. Our partners were unable to remain with the project, and our road took an unexpected turn when we were asked to play a major role in serving the community during the water crisis and ongoing recovery.
In an effort to be the best steward of our resources and stay true to our commitment to the families and people of Flint, we have had to make difficult, but exciting decisions. We are moving forward with changes to our Center for Hope Project that will provide the space (approximately 30,000sf) needed to lead us into Flint’s future, and better serve all who seek our help. While these changes will involve the demolition of the 1927 portion of our building, they allow us to “right-size” the Center for Hope to meet essential program needs.
Soon, the necessary demolition and heavy work required to renovate the former St. Michael School/School of Choice will commence, creating an attractive, highly functional space, while preserving many of the architectural and historic elements of this remarkable building. As our community continues to combat economic issues and the ever-present water situation, we believe the Center for Hope will play a critical role in reaching those in need, giving them a hand up toward a brighter, healthier future. Renovations on the 1953 portion of the building are slated to begin before the end of the year. During the transition, the Center for Hope will find a temporary home in the lower level of St. Michael Church.
Catholic Charities leads an unprecedented collaborative effort to create the Center for Hope, with plans to:
- Deliver a full range of services to meet physical and mental health needs, simply and efficiently
- Improve the delivery of human service needs through seamless agency interaction
- Provide a cost-effective method of delivery
- Capitalize on our strengths and resources
- Provide an opportunity to improve the quality of life for our target population by changing one life, one family at a time.
Currently, operational and program costs are in place into the foreseeable future, and Center for Hope program expansion is planned. Significant planning and assessment has already been completed, and it is anticipated that the Center for Hope will be fully operational in 2017, at a total cost of $6.5 million. We are within $200,000 of reaching our goal.
The Center of Hope will serve those who qualify solely based on need, without discrimination based on age, gender, religion or ethnicity. We invite you to visit us in the coming months to volunteer, donate and pray with us as we work together to make the Center for Hope all that we know it can be.
Catholic Charities of Genesee County
At the beginning of World War II, a local priest, sensing the great need in Flint, founded Catholic Social Services to care for the poor and vulnerable who were in need. Today, after more than 70 years of continuous service, Catholic Charities is more vital, and essential, to the community than ever.
As an advocate for those in need, Catholic Charities offers services and opportunities that empower and strengthen families and individuals, giving them hope for their future. A leader in the field of health and human services, the agency is located in downtown Flint, making it possible for more than 30,000 individuals and families each year to find assistance with family, marital, individual, and group therapy; pregnancy counseling, foster care and adoption services; prevention programming including parenting, anger management, and Kinship Caregivers for grand parents raising their grandchildren, complemented by a community closet and warming center (both located in the Center for Hope).
Catholic Charities is the owner of the Center for Hope building, and its main offices are located next door, in the former St. Michael convent building. It is the intention of Catholic Charities to put every square foot of the building to use in the service of people of all faiths who come seeking guidance and help.
Genesee Health System (GHS) GHS is dedicated to providing the highest quality, most effective services and supports available to meet the mental health, developmental disabilities, and substance use disorder needs of the adults, children, and families in Genesee County. These services are provided in a welcoming, supportive way that is helpful to symptom stabilization, long-term recovery, and achievement of the varied life goals envisioned by those in care. We set a new standard for excellence in the management and delivery of mental health and substance use disorder services to individuals and families in Genesee County. We realize our vision through cultivation of an experienced and dedicated work force; innovative, person-centered implementation of best practices; good stewardship of our resources; and a fundamental interest in fostering an improved quality of life for all persons served. GHS promotes an unconditional Culture of Gentleness wherein positive supports and approaches are the norm , regardless of the challenges an individual may present. A Culture of Gentleness presumes a trauma-informed system of care, which significantly improves outcomes for persons served. We promote pathways to recover that recognize resiliency and the strengths of persons served and their natural supports.
- Gifts to the project can be made through our Razoo page or by downloading and mailing the attached pledge form.
For more information, contact:
Mary Stevenson Phone: 810-232-9950 x228 Fax: 810-232-3465 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Center for Hope: Temporarily located in the lower level of St. Michael's Church, 609 E. Fifth Ave. Flint, MI 48503 Main Office: 901 Chippewa Flint, MI 48503