Little space becomes Little Park for Rickman House residents

Tucked in the space that used to be the location of Sarkozy Bakery, next to the Rickman House, is a new park for the residents of the low-income housing facility.

The land for Little Park was purchased with a donation William T. "Ted" and Francis Little, longtime supporters of the Rickman House. Housing at the Rickman is offered through Housing Resources Inc. 

The facility has 49 efficiency apartments with kitchenettes and baths. The units are rented to those who earn at or below 60 percent of Kalamazoo's Area Median Income (about $27,500).

The building, constructed in 1907, housed various hotels until 1960 when it was converted to housing. Today, residents are age 50 or older and have mental disabilities. It offers on-site management, community space, meeting or activity rooms, a computer center, and on-site rehabilitation.

Rickman House staff members, along with other agencies, offer mental health and substance abuse services and independent living training. Residents have access to on-site supportive services such as case management, support groups, emergency assistance, financial literacy classes, employment assistance and computer training.

The new park offers a place of rest and renewal for the residents of a historic building in downtown Kalamazoo.

The Littles took part in a dedication ceremony on July 13. The event included state and local dignitaries. State Rep. Jon Hoadley presented a special tribute to the Littles from the State of Michigan and signed by Gov. Rick Snyder and State Sen. Margaret O’Brien. Also on hand were County Commissioner Stephanie Moore and Lynn Turner, community and media liaison for Congressman Fred Upton.

“The Littles approached HRI with an amazing offer to make a donation so we could purchase the lot and turn it into a safe, relaxing outdoor space to benefit our residents,” says Michelle Davis, executive director of HRI. “It’s one of the most thoughtful and generous gifts we’ve ever received.”

Source: Housing Resources Inc.
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