Emmanuel House needs help providing for veterans after VA stops subsidizing Detroit program

Veterans battling addiction are getting the help they need to turn their lives around while helping others at Emmanuel House in Detroit.

"I'm at peace, I've got peace of mind now," Larry McClendon said.

Emmanuel House gives vets a place to stay as they recover.

"It's day and night. I was pretty messed up when I got here," John Prosiese said.

Bobby Riley arrived at Emmanuel House in November.

"I found Emmanuel House and came here and my life's starting to get better now," he said.

Riley now has a job at the VA, and he's spending time with his children.

Veterans credit the spiritual program at Emmanuel House, where they can stay as long as needed on their road to recovery.

"I'm in a clean environment. I'm in a nurturing environment. I'm safe. I've got food, I've got shower, I've got a place to rest," Ted Baker said.

All of the men here fell into addiction, sometimes losing their homes. Many lost hope.

"It was a lot of hopelessness -a lot of chaotic living. Now since the process I've been in now, I've got a better relationship with my family, I'm employable -- a lot of things I wasn't before, I am today," McClendon said.

While getting that help, they help others.

"The passion of helping people, that's the key, helping people," Rev. Timothy Thompson said.

Thompson, a former addict, founded Emmanuel House 28 years ago. He said their program has a success rate higher than 80%. With 70 beds at their location in a church on the city's west side, they've helped thousands of veterans over the years from life skills and financial literacy to jobs and homes.

Keeping it running costs about $40,000. The VA used to subsidize that, but not anymore.

Thompson said the VA is restructuring, so he's had to take out loans just to keep Emmanuel House open.

"It's cost me quite a bit of money in seven months to support, but it's well worth it because it's not about the money - it's about the lives that's being saved and changed," he sad.

But now they're seeking corporate and community partners help keep the mission of Emmanuel House alive.

"If it wasn't for this program - I don't know, I couldn't tell you," McClendon said.

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