City of Jackson looking to address homelessness

Published: Nov. 30, 2022 at 7:09 PM EST
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JACKSON, Mich. (WILX) - Jackson leaders are looking into a new use for an old school.

As the weather gets colder in Mid-Michigan, having a warm place to stay is a concern for people without reliable housing. Now, the city of Jackson said it’s looking into turning a vacant school building into a shelter for the city’s homeless population.

The city of Jackson is looking into purchasing the vacant T.A. Wilson Academy, which has sat vacant since 2019. City leaders said it could serve as a long-term homeless shelter. They hope it’ll help address the needs of Jackson’s homeless population.

“Whether that’s a temporary shelter or more longer-term solution providing people a place to stay for a couple of weeks or months,” said City of Jackson Spokesperson Aaron Dimick.

Some nearby businesses said they’re not so enthusiastic about having a homeless shelter next to their business.

“Just like anybody, we have concerns of thievery, people coming into and breaking into the place, just with the homeless people that walk around here, we get that,” said Chris Grostephon, who owns Brown Floral Company.

Other people who live nearby the now vacant school building said they’re happy that it will get some new use.

Jackson city officials said they are hoping they can continue to give people who are in need shelter.

“We’re heading into winter, temperatures are dropping and people need a safe place to go,” said Dimick.

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, there were 113 people who were homeless in Jackson county in 2019, the last year statistics were available.

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