Jackson makes new efforts to tackle homelessness and housing

Published: Mar. 22, 2023 at 7:23 PM EDT
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JACKSON, Mich. (WILX) - The City of Jackson said it’s making groundbreaking efforts to provide more housing and resources for the homeless.

Tuesday night, the city council approved spending $3.3 million dollars in American Rescue Funds to build 100 new homes and provide more shelter for those without shelter.

To do so, the city purchased the TA Wilson Academy from Jackson Public Schools, which has been closed since 2019, in hopes to add another shelter for those who are homeless.

“We just know that there is an immense need for more homeless services in the City of Jackson. We have one fully functional shelter, and my understanding is that there really is a need for more services,” said Aaron Dimick, City of Jackson Spokesperson.

An effort to provide shelter for the homeless and temporary housing. Jackson currently has one homeless shelter, Jackson Interfaith Shelter. Dimick said this is a timely matter.

“We’re hoping the TA Wilson Academy, that property can be used as kind of a resource center for people who have housing instability, whether it’s a shelter that you can come to overnight or just a place to get warm, or if it’s something where you can stay temporarily,” said Dimick.

In addition, $2.5 million dollars from the American Rescue Plan will be used to build 100 new affordable homes for single-family housing using the hundreds of vacant lots throughout the city.

“There are a lot of our blocks that have a lot of empty lots on them. and I think when we energize that lot and put a home back on there, it’s really going to do a lot to reenergize the neighborhood,” said Dimick.

In the long run, the city wants to own less property and allow more use for residents. The city said that now that the space for more homeless services is secured, it’s up to city staff to really make the plan happen.

The city is looking for community partners to help run the shelter and they hope to open the doors sometime this year.

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