Mariners Inn Aides Men Struggling with Addiction and Homelessness

With the help of the Flinn Foundation, this organization has been able to expand access to behavioral health treatment to clients suffering from addiction and mental illness.

Everyone deserves a chance to turn their life around, and with the help of Mariners Inn, that’s exactly what those struggling with substance abuse and homelessness receive.

“Mariners Inn is a substance abuse treatment and recovery center for homeless men. That was our original mission,” says David Sampson, the CEO of Mariners Inn. “We have since evolved based on some of the things that are going on now, but our goal is to help those who are struggling with the disease of addiction and homelessness develop some tools and coping mechanisms to re-enter society clean and sober regain their dignity and respect in the community, more importantly with their family and their friends.”

Recently, Mariners Inn took an important step in expanding its services to treat women who are homeless and struggling with addiction, as well. The organization broke ground on a new building in Detroit that will include services for female patients. The $24 million project will also include recovery housing apartments, therapy and job training.

About a decade ago, Mariners Inn turned to the Flinn Foundation for some help with an initiative that focused on the mental health of the people they serve. During studies and assessments, Sampson says, the group discovered that many of those they served had co-occurring disorders, meaning they are dealing with addiction coupled with mental health issues. Mariners Inn wanted to help, so they applied to get a grant to hire a cooccurring disorders therapist to work with the men they serve. They were successful in doing so, and every year since then they have applied for different funding related to mental health issues.

“Flinn Foundation’s support will allow Mariners to expand their residential treatment services for those dealing with addiction,” says Andrea Cole, Flinn Foundation’s executive director and CEO.

Grants were used to secure a psychiatrist to provide additional services to the people that they serve but to also help apply for additional funding.

“They helped us with the seed money to go out and find a psychiatrist to No. 1 assess our current population and No. 2 to help us apply for other funding to third party payers and things of that nature,” he says.

“The other one, which was a very important grant to follow up and follow through on, was a nurse practitioner that dealt with mental health and substance abuse and could also be the right hand or liaison to the current psychiatrist,” he adds.

These initiatives have been a success, Sampson notes, and it would not have been done without the help of the Flinn Foundation,

“That partnership has meant the world to us and to have that connection means that much more, and the reason I speak about that connection is because of our relationship and my relationship really with Andrea Cole, who I think is a dynamic leader. I think her foresight into mental health and helping those agencies who subscribe to treating mental health, I think her work and ambassadorship with them is phenomenal,” he says. “And we wouldn’t be where we are today if it had not been for the support and belief in our mission that Andrea and the Flinn Foundation has in us.”

Each year, the Ethel & James Flinn Foundation provides grants to southeast Michigan organizations who are doing their part to promote mental health awareness, access and understanding. For application information, visit the Flinn Foundation’s grant application information page.