Detroit promoter and entertainment provider The Right Productions has teamed up with health and human service agency Neighborhood Service Organization to provide housing for artists in need. To help alleviate the issue of chronic issues of homelessness the two entities have launched the Tommy Garrett House as a solution for the local artistic community in Detroit.

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Located on the northwest side of Detroit, the Tommy Garrett House is a three-bedroom, 1,920-square-foot home designed to house six artists at a time. Named after the internationally acclaimed singer, songwriter and recording artist Tommy Garrett, who overcame homelessness with NSO’s support, this house aims to foster a nurturing environment for artists to live, build stability and create work safely in the heart of Detroit.

“Addressing the complex issue of homelessness is challenging. More than 1,500 people in Detroit experience homelessness on any given night. Despite nearly 6,000 households accessing housing assistance in 2022, a significant number are not officially considered homeless, but they lack access to safe and stable housing, resulting in a continuous cycle of transition,” said NSO president and CEO Linda Little in a release.

Little added that NSO’s collaboration with The Right Productions started when both entities conceptualized and hosted the inaugural Community of Hope concert featuring R&B artists Maxwell and Tamia. The Community of Hope inaugural concert, also hosted by the City of Detroit, took place in July of this year to energize, inspire and foster a community-wide drive to address the challenges faced by the unhoused and their families in metro Detroit. Funds raised from the Concert of Hope event were allocated to address homelessness by supporting housing and services tailored to the needs of the unhoused individuals, including those within metro Detroit’s creative community.

“The overrepresentation of Black individuals among the homeless population, the prevalence of domestic violence and the median length of 69 days for homelessness highlight the challenge, emphasizing the need for comprehensive, long-term and affordable solutions, such as initiatives focused on permanent housing,” said Little. “The Tommy Garrett House was created to do just that for local artists.”

President and CEO of The Right Productions Shahida Mausi added: “Sometimes you see a need and wish you had the ability to address it. I had long wanted a way to provide housing and support services for artists of many genres. Having worked with artists for my entire career, I’ve seen the gaps in financial and mental health services in the creative community. I dreamt of a place where creative people could feel supported and cared for during difficult times. I shared my dream with Linda Little at NSO, who has the expertise to bring a dream into reality.”

In addition to the Tommy Garrett House, the second annual Community of Hope is scheduled for Aug. 2-4 at Detroit’s Aretha Franklin Amphitheatre, which The Right Productions runs. The event will feature two evenings of inspiration and performances by various musical artists including headliner Kem. Efforts will also be made to connect the unhoused population in metro Detroit with community organizations that offer a comprehensive range of wraparound resources and will engage a colloquium of stakeholders.

Taylor Mims
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