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In 2013, The Neighborhood Service Organization (NSO) completed the multi-year renovation of the historic Bell Building, a $50 million project that provides permanent supportive housing for homeless individuals in Detroit. At times when the project hit some financing roadblocks, LISC stepped in and provided more than $3 million in financing to fill funding gaps, allowing this vital renovation to move forward.
Today, the Bell Building houses 155 previously homeless individuals - taking people directly off the streets and providing support services to help them stabilize their lives. NSO provides mental health services, addiction treatment, intensive case management, financial literacy, nutrition classes and other on-site support all in one location. There is even a health care clinic for residents and the community to utilize. The facility also includes amenities such as a gym, library, computer room, art and music rooms, and a chapel.
Along with all of the amenities, small things like a mail room provide previousy unattainable connections to the community. Having an address, an often overlooked detail of life, allows residents to connect to their families and for several residents it allowed them their first opportunity to register to vote.
The Bell Building has been a catalyst for revitalizing the surrounding neighborhood too. With new residents and approximately 200 NSO employees working in the new headquarters housed in the building, there has been an increase in customer traffic for local businesses and opportunities for new businesses to spring up in the community.