NSO's Bell Building Renovation

$4,908 from 43 donors $250,000 goal
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.

Thanks to...

Dec 31 Gordon made a $100 contribution
Dec 3 Patrick made a $100 contribution
Nov 24 Valerie made a $25 contribution
Oct 23 Michael made a $25 contribution
Sheilah made a $250 contribution
Oct 20 Lisa made a $25 contribution
Oct 18 Kirsten gave $20 for a renovation package for a Bell Building apartment
Jessica and Crystal made a $80 contribution
Shirley and David made a $52 contribution
Juanita made a $20 contribution
Oct 16 Kirsten gave $5 for a renovation package for a Bell Building apartment
Oct 9 Kevin made a $250 contribution
Susan made a $100 contribution
Oct 6 Fran gave $50 for a renovation package for a Bell Building apartment
Oct 3 Cathy made a $50 contribution
Tom made a $50 contribution
Kimberley made a $100 contribution
Oct 2
Michael view profile
Michael made a $350 contribution
Diane & Jim made a $100 contribution
Kristine made a $200 contribution
Leila made a $50 contribution
Oct 1
Mark view profile
Mark made a $500 contribution
Sep 29 Asalei made a $40 contribution
Sep 27 DeVon gave $100 for a set of household goods
Sep 22 DiAnna made a $50 contribution
Sep 16 Corrado made a $75 contribution
Sep 14 Kim gave $50 for a set of household goods
Maureen gave $50 for a set of household goods
Sep 11 Lori made a $100 contribution
Jeffrey made a $50 contribution
Sep 7 Dr. Ikenna made a $50 contribution
Sep 4 Sherri made a $23 contribution
Aug 31 Justin made a $50 contribution
Aug 30 Patricia made a $100 contribution
Aug 29 Beth made a $250 contribution
Aug 28 James made a $500 contribution
Aug 26 Sharon made a $250 contribution
Aug 15 Marx made a $500 contribution
Aug 5 Chrystal made a $50 contribution
Jul 8 Katie made a $50 contribution
Jun 26 Mike gave $25 for a set of household goods
Jun 25
Mark view profile
Mark made a $10 contribution
Michelle view profile
Michelle gave $10 for a renovation package for a Bell Building apartment
May 14
Bradley view profile
Bradley made a $5 contribution

A Place to Call Home for 155 formerly homeless Detroiters

New life for an abandoned building. New energy in a declining neighborhood. New hope for those who have lost everything.

NSO is changing the way we assist homeless adults in Detroit.  We believe that the best way to end homelessness is to house people, so we have adopted the Housing First model. Once the person has a safe, stable home, NSO offers on-site wrap-around supportive services to help our residents manage and overcome the challenges that led to homelessness.

You can help NSO meet the Kresge Challenge! In August 2012, The Kresge Foundation challenged us to raise $750,000 for the NSO Bell Building by December 31, 2013. If we meet the challenge, Kresge will add an additional $500,000 to their generous $1,250,000 gift.

By some estimates, an individual living on the streets can cost a community $50,000 or more a year in police calls, jail time, ambulance calls and time spent in hospitals, all paid for with public dollars. Permanent supportive housing costs as little as $7,200 a year in rent, plus $10,000 per year in supportive services. Overall, the NSO Bell Building could save taxpayers more than $5 million per year!

While the cost savings are impressive, what matters most is the life savings. The NSO Bell Building provides more than a roof to residents, it provides hope and a place to call home – for many residents for the first time in their lives.

You can show your support in three ways:

  1. Set up your own personal fundraiser and recruit your friends and family to support the NSO Bell Building. Just click on the green ‘join the team’ button below and follow the instructions.
  2. Support one of the amazing NSO advocates that has already created a personal page. Just click on their image and click on the green ‘make a donation’ button on their page.
  3. If you want to support the campaign but don’t know any of the fundraisers, give by clicking on the green ‘make a donation’ button at the top.

Take a tour of the new Bell Building!

Help transform the historic Michigan Bell Building
Help transform the historic Michigan Bell Building
Provide permanent housing and support services for the homeless
Provide permanent housing and support services for the homeless
The NSO is completing renovations that will turn around the lives of homeless adults.
The NSO is completing renovations that will turn around the lives of homeless adults.
155 fully furnished apartments
155 fully furnished apartments
Offering a place to live…
Offering a place to live…
A place to visit family…
A place to visit family…
A place to eat…
A place to eat…
And a place to wash clothes
And a place to wash clothes
Everyone has a mailbox – that wasn’t the case when they were homeless
Everyone has a mailbox – that wasn’t the case when they were homeless
We’re building a shared space for the community
We’re building a shared space for the community
To relax and have fun…
To relax and have fun…
To study and worship…
To study and worship…
To exercise and stay in shape…
To exercise and stay in shape…
And to play basketball
And to play basketball
Your contribution will help us complete the project
Your contribution will help us complete the project
and move people into their new homes
and move people into their new homes
Please consider giving today.
Please consider giving today.

Support a fundraiser

Marsha
$50 1 donor
Sheilah Clay
$250 1 donor
Michelle
$35 2 donors
Want to fundraise for this cause? Add your photo here! Join the team
Boyd White III
$900 5 donors
Sharon
$250 1 donor

Give a renovation package for a Bell Building apartment

The one-bedroom apartments in the NSO Bell Building offer formerly homeless adults a safe, protected, permanent place to call home.  Each apartment includes a full kitchen, bathroom, living/dining area and a bedroom. Basic furniture and kitchen appliances are included. Apartment sponsors at the $5,000 level will receive special recognition in the building lobby and by the door of the sponsored apartment.

Provide essential goods for new residents

Most new residents of the NSO Bell Building come directly from the streets or a homeless shelter.  They often do not have the items essential to apartment living.  For $500, you can provide all of the household goods someone needs to start their new life.  Items include pots and pans, dishes, cleaning supplies, a clock, toiletries and linens.

Read stories of real lives changed

About the Neighborhood Service Organization

Neighborhood Service Organization (NSO) was established in 1955 as a private, non-profit human service agency. The Mission of NSO is to provide diverse and innovative community development programs and community services to meet the changing needs of the regions population. We’re focused on being “always within reach,” we serve consumers across metropolitan Detroit through accessible programs designed to strengthen and empower individuals in their communities, support families and help those in need.

Visit our website to learn more about the Neighborhood Service Organization and our work in Detroit.