Join Sharon in support of NSO's Bell Building Renovation
- What factors typically contribute to homelessness?
- Any number of factors can leave someone without a home, such as lack of education, joblessness, substance abuse, mental illness or physical disability. Some NSO Bell Building residents once held professional positions with large companies; others have been homeless most of their adult lives. At least forty percent of residents were homeless for more than a year prior to signing their lease.
- How do I know my donation will make a difference?
- All donors will receive a story and a photo about a life that has been changed through the work of the Neighborhood Service Organization.
- Who can qualify to be an NSO Bell Building resident?
- People who sought help at the NSO Tumaini Center, a walk-in service center for homeless adults, as well as other homeless service providers were encouraged to apply to the waiting list. All residents were homeless and have a disabling condition, which could be a physical disability, mental illness, addiction issues or developmental disabilities.
- What did the building look like before the renovation?
- Built in 1929, the historic Michigan Telephone and Telegraph building sat empty for more than 10 years. Visible from throughout the neighborhood and a major Detroit highway, its broken windows and dark façade served as a stark reminder of the decline of the neighborhood and the city. Now it is a bright beacon of hope, showing the great potential of not only the building, but the people who live and work there.
- Do people live in the NSO Bell Building for free?
- No. Rent is a sliding scale based on income. Some residents have part time or full time, low paying jobs, others are eligible for Social Security Disability, Veterans Benefits or other cash assistance. Each resident pays 30% of their monthly income as rent.
- How long can people stay?
- The NSO Bell Building provides permanent supportive housing. Residents sign a 12-month lease that can be renewed each year. Just like anyone else renting an apartment in any other building, they can stay in their homes as long as they uphold their lease. Many residents will eventually choose to move out once they have secured a job with a steady income or reunite with family.
- What services are provided to residents?
- The NSO Bell Services team consists of social workers and clinicians who provide case management, help people access benefits and services from organizations throughout the community, and connect them with education and job opportunities as well as substance abuse and mental health counseling and referrals and basic healthcare.
Weekly activities include men’s and women’s support groups, NA and AA meetings, an active Tenant Council, GED preparation, cooking classes, financial literacy workshops, homework help as well as physical fitness and artistic endeavors.
- Where does my money go?
- Funds go to NSO to help renovate the Bell Building. A small portion of each donation goes to support the online campaign.
As a proud NSO board member, I am honored to share this opportunity to provide support to many who were homeless and now have a home of their own. With many exciting projects in the city, the Bell Building represents community and economic development at its best while lifting the human spirit. Together we can all make a difference.