Diocese of Marquette recovery center planning continues amid rezoning concerns

One neighbor believes the center should not be in their residential area
Catholic Diocese wants to make former bishop's home a women's recovery center
Published: Jul. 9, 2021 at 6:43 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - The Catholic Diocese of Marquette wants to turn its bishop’s former home on Rock St. into a women’s recovery center.

That requires rezoning, which needs city approval. As plans move ahead, some neighbors have concerns.

Catholic Social Services of the Upper Peninsula CEO Kyle Rambo hopes the recovery center becomes a reality.

“There’s a serious need to support some of our most vulnerable citizens of the city who are struggling with addiction,” said Rambo.

For Superior Housing Solutions executive director Ryan Redmond, this project is personal.

“With being a person who is in long-term recovery,” he said, “and it being my calling to work with this population, and to change the trajectories of those populations which we serve, it is the most fulfilling thing I have ever undertaken.”

Both men see this as a good opportunity. However, some neighbors oppose this recovery center.

“As good as they are and as much as we do need them, they bring issues to the community,” said one neighbor. “We’ve had problems with trespassing. We’ve had problems with food conduct and drug abuse.”

TV6 contacted several neighbors who shared their concerns in writing with city leaders. The neighbor, who did not want to be identified for this story, believes the center should not be in the residential area near Father Marquette Catholic Academy.

“There’s hospital property that may be more appropriate, whether it’s the new hospital or utilizing parts of the old hospital,” the neighbor said.

Redmond addressed some of the concerns, saying the residents will be monitored 24/7.

“There’s a mandatory meeting requirement,” he explained. “They are required to go to counseling services. They’re required to participate in community service.”

Rambo also understands the neighborhood’s apprehensions, but says this program can work.

“Joining a faith community really helps those struggling with addiction,” he stated, “And it helps them stay on the path to recovery.”

The Marquette Planning Commission voted 3-2 Tuesday night to recommend approval of the diocese’s request to rezone the property from medium density residential to multiple family residential. Next, the Marquette City Commission will hold a public hearing, likely on Aug. 30, and take its own vote.

If the property is rezoned, the diocese could then apply for a special land use permit for the recovery house, which would be in the residential part of the St. Peter Cathedral property near the corner of Rock and Fourth Streets.

Rambo says the recovery house would first accommodate five or six residents. The plan is for it to be open for services at the beginning of November.

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