Posted on 08/24/2023 in News & Announcements

Ferndale LGBTQ+ senior housing project breaks ground

Photo from left, Cornelius Wilson of the HOMES Coalition, Paster Roland Stringfellow with Metropolitan Community Church of Detroit, Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter, U.S. Representative Haley Stevens of Birmingham, Ferndale Mayor Melanie Piana, Chief Housing Solutions officer at the Michigan State Housing Development Authority Kelly Rose, and Joshua Wilmoth, president and CEO of Full Circle Communities. 


Dignitaries broke ground Wednesday on the Shepherd House, Ferndale’s newest affordable housing project for senior adults, and the first in Michigan to be specifically marketed as LGBTQ inclusive. According to a news release, Shepherd House will be a 53-unit permanent supportive housing development that will create an affirmative and inclusive environment for LGBTQ+ elders. The project will include indoor and outdoor community amenity spaces, a community meeting hub, and on-site offices for one full-time property manager and case manager.

The $22 million project is named for Raymond E. Shepherd, a former deacon at the Metropolitan Community Church of Detroit and a volunteer at Affirmations, the Ferndale LGBTQ+ center. Shepherd was an out gay man, a lifelong Ferndale resident and an “integral part of the community,” said Rev. Dr. Roland Stringfellow, a pastor at Metropolitan Community Church of Detroit and sponsor of the project.

Several federal, state, county, local, and charitable entities came together to parse the funding necessary for this unique, and much needed housing development. Hennessey Engineers worked as a consultant for Oakland County’s Neighborhood and Housing Development Department to acquire grant monies. President Joan Hennessey, CPA, has worked extensively with several Southeast Michigan communities to acquire and manage grant funding for local projects.

Read Detroit News Article August 24, 2023: Ferndale welcomes LGBTQ+ inclusive housing for seniors