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  • Eileen Zilch

BIG Announcement: Introducing Bethel Suites!

Over the last few months, Community Catalysts has been hinting at a BIG announcement.

We’re incredibly excited to share that the time has finally come to share what we’ve been up to, and how you can get involved!

Introducing BETHEL SUITES, formerly known as the Crest Motel on Grand River Avenue in Howell Township!

Exterior of the Crest Motel, prior to renovation.

Over the next seven months, Community Catalysts will transform a building in extreme disrepair into Bethel Suites, providing 14 units of 'extended stay' or 'transitional housing' that will range from a 'motel-style room' with a bathroom to 'apartment-style' living.

Our goal is to use this property to serve people in our community who need a safe and affordable place to land -- be it for a week, or several months until an affordable apartment becomes available.

All units will be completely rehabbed, fully furnished, and available to rent on a week-to-week basis at affordable rates!

Interior of the Crest Motel, prior to renovation.

Exterior of the Crest Motel, prior to renovation.

Now, you might be wondering…”Why buy and rehab a motel?!”

Every week, Community Catalysts receives multiple calls from people who are looking for an affordable place to stay. In our community, there are few available housing units of any kind (including modest rental units) that are attainable to low-wage workers or to people experiencing a significant, disruptive life event that forces them to look for alternate housing.

Redeveloping the former Crest Motel allows us to quickly bring 14 “transitional housing” units online for the people in our community who need them.

Unexpectedly, one of our existing apartments became available in June. As we were taking applications for this apartment, almost everyone who applied said these three things:

"There are no affordable apartments available in Livingston County."

"I REALLY need a place to stay."

"Can you give me time to save enough money for the security deposit?"

One of the most heart-breaking applicants was “John”.

“John” submitted an application, including verifying his employment at two different jobs (where he was working over 60 hours each week). As we reviewed with “John” all of the information he submitted on his application, he explained why his current address didn’t make sense……because he was living out of his car.

As an extended-stay transitional accommodation, Bethel Suites will provide our guests with a beautiful, affordable, and safe location to stay, along with the opportunity to heal, receive supportive services, and save money to apply toward a security deposit for an apartment.

Guests can stay for a week, a month, or several months until a longer-term affordable apartment becomes available for them. We are partnering with local service organizations who want to help our guests access counseling, mentoring, and job skills, as well as with necessities like food and friendship.

Thank You to Our Bethel Supporters

We would like to recognize the following organizations who have already supported this project in very significant ways:

  • Our general contractor (Joe Hammond LLC) is donating his time to this project and is not charging us a general contractor fee.

  • Our architect (Doug Necci) donated his architectural services and completed the blueprints we needed to apply for our building permit and move into construction.

  • Nix Contracting donated their excavating work through the permitting process with Livingston County for our new septic field.

  • TruGreen donated their material and services to help eliminate the jungle of vegetation behind our building.

And we are just now announcing this project to our community!

Developing housing in today's economy is hard and expensive. We need individuals and organizations who want to join us in rehabbing this building and then serving the people who will stay with us. The only way for us to do this project affordably now and over time is with help.

Are you feeling a tug to contribute in a meaningful way to this project? Keep reading...

Volunteer With Us!

Join us on October 15 as we install landscaping at the motel, do some exterior painting, and create art for the walls of each bedroom.

Donate to Bethel Suites

$25 will buy a blanket for one of the beds.

$150 will buy a toilet for one of the bathrooms.

$500 will buy a shower for one of the bathrooms.

And $1000 will buy a bed for a person who needs a safe place to sleep.

Stay tuned for an invitation to our upcoming Motel Party, to be announced early next week!

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