Cass Corridor building rehabbed for homeless veterans

Now there's a new housing facility opening in Detroit, designed just for homeless vets.

- They risked their lives to protect our freedom but all too often many of our veterans end up living out their days homeless and on the streets.

Now there's a new housing facility opening in Detroit, designed just for them in the Cass Corridor.

The Charlotte Apartments was once a haven for drug dealers, prostitutes and in the early 1980s it was basically a pit.

"I secured the roof, I put windows in it, I boarded it up just to secure it, clean it up and get it ready for this project," said Joe Earley, Charlotte Apartment Developer.

In fact Mike Duggan, when he was prosecutor in 2003, wanted to tear it down.  But now, 13 years later and $6.1 million, this project is an apartment building for those with special needs.

"You have to be homeless and be working with a mental illness issue," said Curtis Smith, housing director for Detroit Central City. "And your income can't be too high."

And the only income for most of the residents in this 27 unit is Social Security disability. But there's another common theme for residence at the Charlotte apartments - military service.

"I was in the United States Army for seven years," said Joe Key. 

"Army, from 1979 to 1984," said Kevin Fulgenzi.

Preference is given to veterans.  Meet Kevin who says it was a hard adjustment to re-enter society after serving.

"For me it was," he said. "Because you're told what to do and how to do it."

"These people really look out you."

Jey said he couldn't be happier now at his new home.

"I love it, I love it," he said. "It's back home."

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