Ann Arbor suicide prevention nonprofit plans to build residential center with $4m federal award

Garrett’s Space, an Ann Arbor nonprofit focused on suicide prevention among young adults, has been awarded $4 million as part of the Fiscal Year 2023 Omnibus Appropriations Package recently signed into law by President Biden.
 
Garrett’s Space was founded in 2019 by Julie and Scott Halpert after they lost their son, Garrett, to suicide. The Halperts applied for the funds after U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell’s office invited them to submit an application. They received support from both Rep. Dingell and Sen. Debbie Stabenow.

Julie Halpert, COO and director of Garrett’s Space, says that when their son was struggling, “we were looking for a place like what we [have] created — a place that’s warm and welcoming and nurturing, a holistically-focused place that helps young adults to feel supported and like they’re not alone — and it did not exist.”
 
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the second leading cause of death for young adults in Michigan is suicide. 

“There’s just this tremendous need for new support options for this population. There’s just so little out there,” says Scott Halpert, president/CEO and director of Garrett’s Space.
 
The Halperts plan to use their new funding to construct a residential center where young people can participate not only in peer support groups but also in “cooking, music, exercise, yoga, meditation, [and] journaling,” according to Julie Halpert. 

“It’s going to really be focused on teaching young adults how to live in what has become an increasingly difficult world by learning different kinds of ways to live in this world — and to find joy, and to find ways to be resilient," she says.
 
Currently, Garrett’s Space offers wellness programming (most of it virtual), and the Halperts say they’ve received overwhelmingly positive feedback. Scott Halpert says they hope the residential center will be completed by mid-2025, but that will depend on the re-zoning process.

Natalia Holtzman is a freelance writer based in Ann Arbor. Her work has appeared in publications such as the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Literary Hub, The Millions, and others.

Photo courtesy of Garrett's Space.