JACKSON, Mich. — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer recently awarded a slew of housing developers money to tackle affordable housing in Michigan. One such recipient was Andy’s Place in Jackson.
Developers were awarded more than $830,000 for Andy’s Place II, which is a major boost of founder Mike Hirst’s goal of helping people stay sober in a safe place.
“This is a great opportunity for those that are struggling with substance abuse,” Hirst said. “The first phase of the project you had to be in the drug court system, but what about all the rest of the people out there that haven’t gotten in trouble yet but they are suffering from substance abuse.”
Since it first opened, Andy’s Place has been a refuge for those battling addiction.
“As soon as we moved in, it was just a sense of peace and since we’ve been here. Being involved with the community has just been a wonderful experience,” resident James Dean said.
He’s lived Andy’s Place for two months now with his wife and son. He says without this place he doesn’t think he would be as far along in his journey then he is now.
“I think this place is miraculous. The more they can expand the better,” he said.
And expansion is coming. Two new buildings are planned for the future, one with 15 single bedroom units and a second building for family housing where they plan on focusing on pregnant women who need help.
“Somewhere along the line we got to break the cycle of addiction that passes down from grandfather, to dad or mom to the kid, and we really helped to try to achieve that accomplishment of breaking that cycle of addiction,” Hirst said. “There’s no mom out there that is carrying a child that wants that child to be born addicted to drugs.”
Hirst is no stranger to getting support from Gov. Whitmer. Elected officials on both sides of the aisle have been in support of his project every step of the way working together for a common cause.
“If you want to look at crime statistics in this entire county, you’ll find that right where we’re at now is one of the safest places in Jackson,” he said.
Hirst will be taking his vision of Andy’s Place to Midland. Their City Council approved a site plan proposal after an area judge visited Jackson and saw how his housing development has helped recovering addicts.
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