DETROIT (WJBK) - A former U-M running back is hoping to get his treatment center back up and running after a Detroit neighborhood kicked him out.
At 68 years old, Billy Taylor Jr. has battled addiction and even spent time behind bars, but now the former college athelete is fighting a different kind of battle.
After struggling with addiction, homelessness and a criminal past, he wanted to give back and thought Detroit was the perfect location for a rehab center called Get Back Up.
Taylor says the location on the border of the Russell Woods community, there are vacant buildings, abandoned houses, graffiti, drugs and alcohol.
Fox 2 even featured his work as part of Amy's Angels.
But some of his neighbors in the historic Russell Woods Sullivan area took exception to what came with the treatment center.
"He moved 60 pre-release prisoners in there," says James Boyer, who has lived in the area for more than 50 years.
That was back in 2008. Boyer says the issues started immediately.
"They would pound on windows and yell at people walking by," he said.
The neighborhood association took its concerns to court and eventually got the center closed due to the zoning violations.
"I spent over $1 million rehabbing that building. And then some 4, 6 months later we're called back into court," Taylor said.
As the name would suggest, the facility is billed as a way to help people who are struggling, but Boyer says there are other motives at play in this scenerio.
"Money, they paid him big bucks to take those prisoners," he said.
Taylor sees it differently
"That's my sole purpose -- to help people and change lives," he said.
He plans on fighting this battle as long as it takes.