Residents Oppose Homeless Shelter
About 150 southern Clinton Township residents and business owners have signed a petition expressing their concern over the opening of the first homeless shelter in Macomb Township.
Join the discussion below, or Read more at ClickOnDetroit.com.
#1 Oct 7, 2008
Should have invested in more bus shelters along Van Dyke. What the hell, Macomb will be one big homeless shelter before too long.
#3 Oct 8, 2008
Date: Tuesday, October 7, 2008, 9:57 AM Email response from Jimetta Lewis
"There is a difference here in Macomb County regarding the homeless – I have been to NSO, Cass Community Social Services (who runs a Safe Haven for the mentally ill and has a drop in center) and I know that on any given day we have 1142 homeless on last count and Detroit has over 14,000. If you have comments and want to be heard – then come to our meeting."
Question: As a homeless person if you had to compete with 13,999 other people for resources vs 1141 people where would go?
Answer: 15 mile and Harper and the surrounding community.
Jimetta Lewis with MCREST said,“We're not talking about criminally insane people. We do not take sexual predators in our area. We have security 24 hours 7 days a week. People need a home to stay. It’s nice to be able to go to your own home and be able to sleep there at night, and have your own bed.” www.mcrest.org
This is what Jimetta said in the Macomb Daily, November 12, 2007 edition when MCREST thought they were getting the homeless shelter building project on Little Mack and north of 1-94 in Roseville by the way they owned that property.
Its such a perfect area because we don’t have direct neighbors, we're surrounded business and hotels” But when Roseville said no2mcrest and they were going to lose that $600,000 federal grant. They had to find a building real fast to keep the money so they then chose 15 mile & Harper. By the way the purchase agreement has already been signed.
It appears Jimetta Lewis did a 180 about the direct neighbor quote.
#4 Oct 14, 2008
I am a business owner in the 15 & Harper Community. Please let me know how I can help the shelter. Those apposed, look in the mirror, and be thankful you do not live there.
#5 Oct 22, 2008
The Clinton Township board wants to make a nursing home mentally ill homeless men on 15 mile and Gratiot they are working with MCREST there is a meeting tonite @ 6pm at Clintondale High School 15 Mile rd and Little Mack.
At the meeting, MCREST will show you passive pictures of all the good things that this facility will provide for seriously mentally ill and the homeless of Macomb County. They will tell you look at MATTS on Mound and tell you about th 84 churches they work with. They will trot people in front of us who will attest to how MCREST has saved their lives.
They will provide a beautiful PowerPoint presentation with a good sound track pulling at your heartstrings telling you how safe this project will be. This project will be endorsed by pastors, police department and other prominent members of our community.
But the facts are what they are! It will be a residential facility for the mentally ill and a treatment facility for those who are addicted to drugs or alcohol for up to 2 years. And the person in charge Jimetta Lewis does not have the experience to run this type of facility.
There is not a shelter in the State of Michigan that provides this sort of services in a residential community like ours, if approved; the results will be devastating for the quality of life in our community.
Understand this is about millions of dollars for them and the stakes are high for MCREST and they will do what ever it takes to make this happen. Even lie.
However MCREST did not anticipate the will and the resolve of the Clinton Township people.
This meeting will be held at Clintondale High School auditorium located at 35200 Little Mack Ave. in Clinton Township on Wednesday, October 22, 2008 at 6:00 pm. All community residents are welcome.
Tell your neighbors; bring your family and your voices
#6 Oct 22, 2008
As soon has they vandalize and break into your Internal Controls and you will have to drive all the way from Franklin to do a police report you will change your mind.
#7 Oct 22, 2008
I was at the meeting tonight and was amazed at the ignorance and prejudice towards other human beings. I went expecting some heated words but sat speechless as ADULTS behaved like children. Because of the constant interruptions and yelling. NOTHING was accomplished! You blew it! I went in support of MCREST and yes I live in the area. I worked as a coordinator for a church involved with MCREST for YEARS. Any problems we had were inside the church. Our neighbors were never affected by our program.
Do you seriously think that you don't have the homeless walking through your neighborhood? Look at the people walking while you are driving, better yet take a look at your own mortgage, your bills. Having any trouble with them? Things getting a little tight? In this economy their are a lot of vacant homes, a lot of first time homeless. Not everyone has a support system surrounding them. Very few people are on the street by choice and some mental illnesses don't show symptoms until adulthood.Some of these people were just like you before they had a devastating illness or financial problem hit them. Thank God you don't need a place like this shelter and pray that you won't need it in the future. Not everyone is as lucky as you. Have some compassion.
#8 Oct 23, 2008
As one of the biggest daycare centers in Clinton Township, I am shocked and deeply concerned about the security of the neighborhood. How can you possibly say things will remain 100% safe when you are sheltering mentally unstable men and the homeless!! Our daycare oversees the care of 50 children per day. We are outside everyday and I would like to be able to be honest with my parents on their child's safety.
This has been a daycare since 1991 and has thrived. There are hundreds of children and elementary schools in this area, and they have to walk home from school!!!!! With all of the vacant buildings now available, you can not honestly convince me that they cannot find a better location! They need to select a better safehaven location for people that have such severe illness and problems, not in a family oriented setting with all of these children around. It is so true, that if you are going to be feeding them, they are not going far!!
Fort Huachuca, AZ
#9 Oct 23, 2008
I am disappointed at the conduct I witnessed during the meeting held on Wednesday Oct 22nd. I have a position on the topic. I am willing to consider an opposing view; when opposing dialog becomes an uncontrolled, hate-filled tirade, you lost me.
I tried to pose my comments during last night's community meeting. Though I was given the microphone to speak, the meeting composed of grown adults had by that point completely disintegrated, and the moderator ended the forum. This is what I wanted to say.
Who I Am
I am a practicing Christian believer.
I recently retired from a 22-year career in the US Army. I miss the sense of teamwork that I experienced and fostered in my previous career.
I started a 2nd career in 2004, a minor miracle in today's economy.
My GI Bill funding allowed me to complete my undergraduate degree in 2004, but I depleted my GI Bill funding before I could complete my MBA
I moved to Clinton Twp. in 2005, and I am a homeowner. I live about 3-quarter mile from the proposed MCREST homeless shelter.
I am a registered voter. I lean conservative on many issues. I voted GOP during the last 2 presidential elections.
I am a registered personal weapon owner.
I am very protective of my family.
Romans 12:3-8 identifies 7 gifts:
7. Showing Mercy
According to Christian doctrine that I try to practice, those that are blessed with these gifts are to beneficially help others. In my lifetime, I have personally benefited from being the recipient of other people sharing some of their seven gifts with me.
I endured an expensive divorce after I retired out of the Army, and I incurred an expensive monthly child support responsibility. There were many times when I was seemingly a couple packets of Ramen Noodles away from completely "washing out." I received help from congregation members of the church I attended outside Fort Bragg, some of the 7 gifts described in Romans 12:3-8, and I pulled through my darkest hour. I am now a homeowner, I remarried, I completed my college education, I have a new career, and my children reside with me. I am grateful that some people came to my aid with some of those 7 gifts.
My MCREST Homeless Shelter Position
My church participates with and supports MCREST.
I intend to find the participating church that will supports MCREST during the Thanksgiving holiday period, and my entire family will volunteer as part of our Thanksgiving celebration.
I believe in and support what MCREST is doing for the less fortunate among us.
I support the proposed MCREST homeless shelter at 15 Mile and Harper. I will volunteer at that shelter once its doors are open.
Though I support the proposed MCREST homeless shelter, do not incorrectly suspect that I therefore invite any sort of criminal activity to do harm to my community or my family. If any homeless people in or around that homeless shelter were to leverage the good deeds of that homeless shelter to inflict harm to my community, I have confidence that the city and county law enforcement agencies will deal with it, just like those agencies enforce the laws today.
C.S. Lewis once said that the only thing evil needs to prevail are for good men to do nothing. This proposed MCREST homeless shelter is an opportunity for the good people of our community to do good things for the less fortunate among us - to actually put into action some of those 7 gifts that are discussed in Romans 12:3-8 in the Bible.
#10 Oct 26, 2008
we need a place for them to stay long term
so they look out of place,some of them drink,but they need a place to dry out and get clean now matter who it is. Even the people kicked out and are homeless with nothing where do they go?
Lets help them individual or get a homeless place for them to get help to stay out of homeless places.
#11 Oct 27, 2008
Let's make no mistake about what this facility will do. As of right now this 23,000 sq ft facility will only house 25 severely mentally ill men. There will be no other rooms for any of the other hundreds of homeless individuals who cannot get into the MCREST program through the churches. Last year they turned away 61 homeless individuals who were not substance abusers. Also, Last year they turned away 894 homeless individuals from warming centers who were substance abusers.
Because this is a federal funded program if you are a homeless individual from another county you can transfer to Macomb County.
Wake up people, do your homework on what this facility is all about before you make assumptions. This facility will bring in more homeless individuals to this area, guaranteed!!!!!!!!! Unfortunately, there will not be enough facilities to house them over night. Thanks to our wonderful government handing down their 10 year mandate to end homelessness.
This is an enormous problem that the government is trying to put a band aid on!!!! As long as there are available drugs, mental illness and some people who choose to make the wrong decisions in life there will always be a homeless population.
#12 Oct 30, 2008
We also read the community meeting minutes for their September meeting, as directed by several individuals. We noticed that someone stated that a facility located on 23 and Gratiot area was not only larger, but cheaper, in an industrialized/commercially zoned area, was fenced in and was about half the price of the building that they wish to take possession of before the New Year. Ms. Lewis’ response was that the SMART bus system did not go that far. Our question is why did not Ms. Lewis and MCREST negotiate a contract with the SMART bus system with the extra money that they would save? Why did MCREST not speak to their attorney and financial advisers regarding a possible tax write off for SMART if they were to voluntarily add this route to their existing schedule? Why was it never asked by any board member as to why some of this federal grant money could not be used to secure a contract with SMART? Why is it that MCREST could not use roughly $1500-2000 to advertise it’s intents and the date of this community meeting more effectively?
We feel there are too many questions. MCREST did not put together an effective presentation nor have they opened up a two way communication processes, regardless of what the community’s views are of this facility. MCREST and Ms. Lewis have not substantiated any of their claims with prevalent, practical and relevant statistics taken from the metropolitan Detroit area. They have not taken into account that these men need more assistance than what they, or anyone else on their staff, is qualified to handle. They have disregarded the community’s needs and any opposition or suggestions contrary to their wants and beliefs. Personally, we feel as if they are attempting to locate a facility as quickly as possible, regardless of the costs, both monetarily and communally, in order to not lose the money that has originated in grants from the state and federal governments. This endeavor needs to be revisited by the board and all of us in the community in which this facility will directly affect. There is a need for the undertaking of relevant studies, analyzing relevant statistical information pertaining to the State of Michigan and the metropolitan Detroit area. Most importantly, MCREST needs to undertake an active campaign of involving ALL of the community, including businesses, churches (including those not affiliated with MCREST), the board, the police and the school system in seeking solutions that would provide for everyone, especially these seriously, mentally ill men. We thank you for your time and consideration in reading our letter.
#13 Oct 30, 2008
FYI, the above comments were made by me, a Clinton Township resident. I apologize for not changing the location field when I posted my comments.
#14 Oct 31, 2008
The underlying issue is: "The tending of homeless - is this a function of the government, or the church?"
If you want to save the taxpayer billions in taxes on welfare programs, foreign-aid programs, programs of all kinds - hand these programs over to the Churches. Why should a church-going tax payer pay the Government AND the Church to tend the same needs? The chucrhes can organize and do a better job at serving the community than the government.
I am for a homeless shelter under the condition that it is run on faith, by volunteers, and not on tax dollars. There is something truely wrong with the country when people turn to the government instead of God in these times of need.
When you vote next week, let your values vote for you - not your party affiliation. Vote "No" to "Proposal 2".
#15 Oct 31, 2008
I believe like you that you should turn to God in these hard times, however to suggest that volunteers in the faith based community could possibly do what MCREST is trying to do is unreasonable.I worked as a MCREST coordinator. None of my volunteers would have been capable of giving these men the assistance they need. Not because they were bad volunteers but because they weren't social workers. MCREST has the social workers. They have been doing this for years. There is nothing that they have not seen at this point. Having worked closely with them, I can tell you. If I had to take a situation to them, they never failed to resolve it. They are fully capable of running this shelter.
To address some of the comments above, I have to say that you are ill informed. I was at that "town hall" type meeting and MCREST never had an opportunity to plead their case. When they were showing the movie about a homeless man like the ones that would be at this shelter, the people in front of me were laughing. The meeting deteriorated from there. Even when Jimmetta was reading the emails sent to her and trying to respond to them she was booed off the stage. MCREST wasn't allowed to state their case or answer questions by the very people who wanted answers.
At the end the people in front of me yelled out,that they wanted the meeting to end so they could go out to eat. How ironic,when they were there to protest a shelter that would feed people.
#16 Nov 1, 2008
I guess it's all in the way you look at it. We sat for 45 minutes through presentations on the homeless. NOTHING about the proposed center! Then Jimetta wants to read email blogs to us!!!!! COME ON! ENOUGH ALREADY! TELL US ABOUT YOUR WONDERFUL PLAN JIMETTA!!!! PROPERTY VALUES WON'T GO DOWN? HOMELESS INDIVIDUALS DON'T PANHANDLE? ENOUGH LIES! AND MCREST WANT'S US TO TRUST THEM! UNSTABLE SEVERELY MENTALLY ILL MEN and CHILDREN DO NOT MIX!!!!!! NOT AT 15 MILE AND HARPER! FIND ANOTHER LOCATION TO DO YOUR GOOD DEEDS! WHILE SOME OF THESE DRUG ADDICTED MENTALLY ILL HOMELESS INDIVIDUALS GET THERE LIFE BACK TOGETHER!!!!!! DON'T PUT THEM IN OUR NEIGHBORHOOD NEXT TO HUNDREDS OF OUR CHILDREN!!!!!!!!!!
#17 Nov 3, 2008
Do you really think they are not there now? What MCREST is trying to do is get them OFF the streets. They are far more dangerous now then they will be living in an building off the street with proper medical care. Wake up! They are in your back yards NOW.
To answer your other comments MCREST was simply trying to put a face on the homeless. They wanted you to see who they were trying to help. I realize you are worried about the unknown. Let me suggest you do a little research,if you had some background on MCREST you may not be so scared. Why not visit a church that is hosting MCREST. Volunteer one night, see the people this shelter would help.
You seem to be focused on the 25 men who would live there while they are off the streets and working. You forget about the countless others who would use the drop in service. I've seen the women and children first hand.
You say homeless men and children don't mix, but I've seen men women and children together many times at our church. Last year the youngest homeless person in our program was two. Prior to coming to MCREST he was living in the car with his two sisters and his mom because they were kicked out of their house. In this emergency situation Mom was trying to hang on to her job and keep her children safe while she found housing. These are the people who would be helped by the drop in service. This is where mom could take her children for medical care and assistance.
Your worried about the children? Okay.... now look into this two year old homeless child's eyes and say " Sorry but not in my backyard"
#18 Nov 4, 2008
See that is where you don't have all your facts. MCREST stated that these Mentally Ill Homeless Men don't fit in the traditional MCREST program! I encourage you to read more, also! I have volunteered for MCREST! This is not a simple issue. There is alot more to it. No one is denying that Mother and her children anything. MCREST has program in place now and there are programs in place for that family now. Macomb County Health Department. I wish her and her children the best!
#19 Nov 5, 2008
How much is the life of a homless person worth?
How much is the life of a mentally ill person worth?
As we usher in the age of socialism under the Pro-choice Obama administration, let it be known that the precedent is being set. If a baby can be aborted per the convenience of an unwilling mother, what is to say that a homeless person can be disposed of per the convenience of an unwilling government? This is a tempting solution.
The government will be faced with another major financial catastrophy: its social security and medicare obligations to the baby boomer generation. What do you suppose the simple solution would be? Answer: murder.
A truck will be by shortly to collect the homeless, mentally ill, and the elderly. They will be taken to a recycling plant and turned into soylent green wafers to be eaten by none other than you - the obama voter.
#20 Nov 6, 2008
The men don't fit into the program because they need more medical care and support than the "average" homeless individual but again you are ignoring the other people the shelter would help and focusing on the 25 you find to be a problem. Also concerning the women and her children referenced above she almost lost her children to the system. MCREST saved her from that. Her children are still with her and she is off the streets thanks to MCREST and a few caring, compassionate individuals.
The point remains, if these men are a danger to women and children then why are they housed with women and children in MCREST programs now? I had men in my program that fit this description and they never caused a problem for any of the women and children in our church. My volunteers felt comfortable enough to bring their own children to help during our program. These men weren't just walking by the church, they were eating, sleeping and living in the same building with women and children. Your right this isn't a simple issue but as a Christian, my belief calls for love and compassion for all people.( Even the ones I don't agree with) That is my motivation.
#21 Nov 10, 2008
The fact still remains that this facility will treat severely mentally ill men who belong in a mental facility/hospital where they can receive the intense care intense they need.
Another fact MCREST still operates and will/can still serve that mother and her children and others. The multi purpose facility is not going to house her and her children or anyone else except for the 25 severely mentally ill men. Unless these organizations have other plans that their not revealing.
Finally as a Christian I believe in helping others. I also believe in common sense and 15 Mile and Harper is not the right location for the planned facility.
These organizations have some wonderful ideas and I applaude them for the work they do but find the right place for EVERYONE. How about the Elizabeth and Groseback area. Near FIA and the Jail.
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