DETROIT (WWJ) — A Kresge Foundation Challenge Grant is giving the nonprofit group Neighborhood Service Organization a chance to earn an additional $500,000 if it can raise $750,000 by Dec. 31.

The challenge grant, if realized, will bring The Kresge Foundation’s commitment to the NSO Bell Building capital campaign to $1.75 million.

The rebirth of this iconic building also reflects the foundation’s commitment to supporting projects that are transforming communities in Detroit.

“The Kresge Foundation has provided us with a wonderful opportunity to fulfill our vision of transforming communities and lives,” said NSO President and CEO Sheilah P. Clay.

Clay also announced the launch of the website for community members who want to support efforts to complete the renovation of the historic Michigan Bell Building”

The website shows donors how their contribution impacts the lives of the formerly homeless individuals that now occupy the building, and assists NSO in providing wrap-around supportive services to help the residents manage and overcome the challenges that led to their homelessness. It offers a video featuring residents, a virtual tour of the Bell Building and the opportunity to read stories of lives transformed by the project. It is a convenient and innovative way for individuals, community organizations and companies to help NSO meet the Kresge Foundation Challenge.

“To realize our vision to change homelessness in Detroit, build a community, revitalize a neighborhood and give individuals a place to call home, NSO is accepting gifts both large and small from anyone who would like to become part of the rejuvenation efforts,” added Clay.

At, there are three ways to offer support — support the campaign by making a donation, support one of the NSO advocates who has already created a personal page, or set up a personal fundraiser and recruit friends and family to support the NSO Bell Building.

All donors will receive a story and a photo about a life that has been changed through the work of NSO. The site also provides a convenient way for donors to promote the cause through social media.

The NSO Bell Building, once an icon of abandonment and neighborhood distress, symbolizes a new beginning and hope for those who have lost everything. Located on Oakman Boulevard in Detroit, it is a permanent supportive housing solution to end homelessness. The 255,000-square-foot building includes 155 apartments and amenities for formerly homeless adults, as well as supportive services such as NSO’s Older Adult Services, Gambling Treatment Program, Emergency Telephone Service and Suicide Prevention Center, Supportive Housing and Training Services. The remaining square footage serves as NSO’s headquarters with more than 200 of the organization’s staff working in the building. Future plans call for a conference center for use by community groups, roof garden, and health clinic that will address the underserved medical needs of the local community.

In total, $4 million is needed to finish the NSO Bell Building renovations and make it a vibrant example of transformative projects that are reinventing the City of Detroit.

The $48 million already raised to fund the renovation project has come from a combination of equity financing; donations by individuals, corporations and foundations; tax credits; and loans and grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Michigan State Housing Development Authority, City of Detroit, Wayne County, The Kresge Foundation, The McGregor Fund, The National Trust Community Investment Corporation, Bank of America, Corporation for Supportive Housing, Local Initiatives Support Corporation and the Opportunity Resource Fund, as well as thousands of committed individuals.

To schedule a tour of the NSO Bell Building, contact Denise Figurski at (313) 961-4890 or


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