Ilitches buy land around Cass Corridor homeless shelter


COURT SAID HIS DEFENSE WAS ADVOCATED FOR IN HIS TRIAL.>>Devin: LITTLE AESAR’S ARENA IS CHANGING THE FACE OF THE OLD NEIGHBORHOOD, INCLUDING THE CASS CORRIDOR. NOW THE ILITCH FAMILY BEING THE -VACANT LOTS AROUND THE NEIGHBORHOOD SERVICES ORGANIZATION, A POPULAR SHELTER FOR THE CITY’S HOMELESS, BUT THERE ISN’T A BATTLE BREWING HERE. ROD MELONI IS LIVE WITH THE STORY.>>Rod: I’M ON THE EAST SIDE AND THIS IS THE CORNER OF ELMWOOD AND MACK, THE FORMER 7th PRECINCT FOR THE POLICE DEPARTMENT. IT IS HERE WHERE THEY PLAN TO BUILD A MUCH LARGER, AND BETTER SHELTER TO TAKE CARE OF THE NEEDS OF THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN LIVING AND SPENDING MUCH OF THEIR TIME OVER THERE ON THIRD. THE CASS CORRIDOR LONG HOSTED THE POOREST OF THE POOR. THE NATIONAL SERVICE ORGANIZATION IS THE GATHERING SPOT FOR THE HOMELESS, DRUG-ADDICTED AND OTHERWISE NEEDY RESIDENTS. IT OWNS THE BUILDING AND THE PARKING LOT. FENCES HAVE GONE UP AROUND THE VACANT LOTS LEAVING MANY TO WONDER WHO DID IT AND WHY THE NSO IS ALLOWING IT. TURNS OUT. THE NS DOESN’T OWN IT. IT WILL BE DEVELOPED. THE CITY OWNS SEVERAL OTHER LOTS. NSO CEO SHEILA CLAY SAID IT’S NOT GENTRIFICATION.>>THEY’RE PARTNERS WITH US TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN. BUT WE’RE NOT BEING FORCED OUT. WE NEED MORE SPACE AND A LARGER FACILITY TO PROVIDE THE SERVICES WE’RE TRYING TO PROVIDE.>>Rod: IT WILL VASTLY IMPROVE CONDITIONS HERE.>>THIS WILL FORCE PEOPLE INTO THE BUILDING. IT’S ALSO GONNA BRING THE CONSUMERS WHO NEED HELP, AND WE CAN MOVE THEM INTO HOUSING.>>Rod: THE SOUTH SIDE WILL BE THE GATHERING SPOT FOR COMPLIANCE WHILE THEY AWAIT THEIR NEW FACILITY.>>Rod: GRATIOT, ELMWOOD, AND MACK, IS WHERE WE’RE AT. AND THE GOAL IS TO BUILD 40 APARTMENTS FOR LOW-INCOME PEOPLE AND 50-60 BEDS FOR THE HOMELESS TO SLEEP ON AND EXPECT IT WILL COST ABOUT $20 MILLION AND THEY THINK THEY CAN GET GOVERNMENT HELP BUT WILL BE LOOKING FOR COMMUNITY HELP TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN. AND THE GOAL IS TO HAVE IT UP AND RUNNING BY 2019.>>Devin: AND WHAT IS THE ILITCH ORGANIZATION SAYING ABOUT THIS DEVELOPMENT?>>Rod: THE ILITCH ORGANIZATION IS SAYING THEY’RE LOOKING TO DEVELOP THAT AREA BUT WORKING IN COOPERATION WITH THE NSO TO TRY

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