PO Box 1711
Traverse City, MI 49685
Phone: 231-944-2724

Letters from the President

July Dann’s House News 2022 – Letter from the President

August of this year we celebrate 9 years open to serving in Traverse City.

There is a flurry of activity at Dann’s House. Our 8 residents have happily been bitten by the gardening bug! They are watering and weeding the vegetable and flowers and rewarded with watching their garden GROW. Speaking of growth this group of guys are forming into a “band of brothers” as proclaimed by House Manager Sandy. They are learning to trust each other and take care of each other.

They are also taking care of the house and property with some ownership. This pride is also being reflected in the individuals who live here. The guys are re-establishing relationships with friends and relatives.

Dann’s House always has challenges. We are concerned we may lose some of our funding. The van we purchased for $1900.00 over 2 years ago may need to be replaced. If anyone has a van to donate – we are a 501 (3) C.

We are a working BOD. Please see the need for continuing this mission!

February Dann’s House News 2022 – Letter from the President

Covid finally hit the House – all the residents, staff and most board members succumbed to the virus. All were vaccinated and had mostly mild symptoms. We are grateful for that.

Winter is rough on the residents without covid restrictions volunteers were able still to hold monthly meetings with food- always welcome. The guys attend facilitated weekly house meetings. House manager and case workers have managed to get guys to medical and various appointments. At the moment the house is fairly calm – but it fluctuates about as often as the weather.

Positive notes: One of our residents who has struggled with chronic alcoholism has transitioned to a sober house over a month ago and keeps in touch with our manager. He is so grateful for the support he received from Dann’s House over time he was a resident. Another resident just decided to “quit drinking – sick and tired of being sick.” We are so proud of him.

We are based on a Harm Reduction Model. We celebrate every positive step.

We’ve also sustained a huge loss – One of our original residents recently passed. He died at the house knowing that he was loved and in a warm home. Due to being housed he was able to reconnect with family. Eventually he was permitted to have visits with his grandchildren. He just beamed when talking about them. He will be missed for his humor and quick smile.

When this pandemic recedes, we will be seeking volunteers.

We are also in need of a grant writer. Please contact me if interested.

Brenda Bartz
Board President

July Dann’s House News 2021 – Letter from the President

Summer Update. Dann’s House residents did a great job of surviving the Covid-19 virus. As of today, all residents have been vaccinated and restrictions have been lifted. Regular visiting hours are 10am-10pm daily. Stop by for a chat or play a game of pool.

We have 10 men living at the duplex. 7 have housing vouchers, 2 are not funded and our night employee has a room as part of his benefits, The guys have participated in some gardening projects, lawn mowing, and general beautification.

We now have new compacted stone walkways in the front and back yards. Hopefully, the new paths will decrease tracking dirt into the home.

Power washing the duplex and garage floor has been completed thanks to Bay Spray – they gave us a big discount.

Recently one of our previous residents was killed. We are grieving the loss of Tommy. He was liked by everyone. Unfortunately, cycles of violence occur in this population all too frequently. Alcohol and mental illness are big factors.

We are hoping with the lifting of restrictions the guys can get out more… maybe a park or time at the beach.

We are planning an open house in September. Stay posted for details. We are excited to show off Dann’s House.

Brenda Bartz

February Dann’s House News 2021 – Letter from the President

Winter has set in Traverse City with zero temps and considerable snowfall. Here at Dann’s House the residents have a warm, comfortable house. They have remained safe during this pandemic. Hoping residents will be able to get vaccinated soon. 

Our regular snow plow guy, due to a decline in his health, was unable to plow for us this year. We were left in a lurch when we had our first big snowfall and desperately needed to be plowed. Ben just happened to be driving by in his yellow plow truck and asked if he could help. He agreed to be our new plow guy for a reduced price of $20 a plow… that includes both driveways. That first big job was free! See “our supporters” on the Home page for details on his business. Thank-you Ben Adams.

I posted on the “Spark in the Dark” Facebook Group seeking a nighttime employee. We ended up with a huge spike in people checking our website. One lady delivered farm fresh eggs to us. If you have not checked out that website, do- it is a wonderful service to assist folks in need.

One of our residents who had really been struggling went to detox and then into a sober living house. We all wish him the best for what the future holds for this young man as he rebuilds his life.

I would like to recognize Bob Bevier, one of our board members, who leads a “House Meeting” support group every Wednesday. Bob starts out asking each person present for the meeting to say something they are thankful for and how they have made progress towards a goal. Case workers and the occasional board member may attend. Recently they have adopted a” talking stick.” The only person who should be talking is the person with the stick. This has cut down on some of the cross talking… let us just say there is still the occasional free for all 😊.

Julie and Sue also had a Valentines gathering for the guys with sloppy Joes, baked beans and homemade Heart cookies.  

All of us at Dann’s House appreciate your support in whatever way comes naturally for you!

Brenda Bartz

January Dann’s House News 2021 – Letter from the President

Happy New Year friends of Dann’s House!

We have continued to stay safe at the House. The residents had a nice Holiday. Santa Sandy, AKA House Manager, had huge stockings filled with goodies. See the pictures. The Board also purchased requested needed gifts, such as boots, long underwear, even some art supplies and grooming items.

Adult men living in community isn’t without its challenges. NMSH case workers, Jason and Paul continue to work with the residents on various issues. Board member, Bob Bevier, holds a “House Meeting” every Wednesday. These services help the guys learn to sort out their differences and live in this unique living arrangement.

The garage has been totally transformed into an awesome space! Staton Lorenz, Board member extraordinaire, engineered the project and did 75% of the work. Thanks to Harry Hubbell, Board Member, The garage has heat! No hauling propane canisters this winter 😊.

The basement transformation in the north end duplex is complete. We have 2 new rooms which will house 2 men in each room. It was a labor of love and hard work – Staton and Karl easily put in 1000 hours into this project….many more. We made a decision to pay Karl…his hourly charge $5.00! Julie Falconer and myself helped with some painting. Check out the paint color. Staton’s choice. We love it now. We are in process of obtaining furnishing for the rooms.

We are in the process of seeking the right person to be the overnight assistant manager. Requirements include: sober and able to provide a stable presence at the house. Drivers License would be a bonus. We would provide a private room and a salary. Please contact me with potential leads.

Thank You for your support of Dann’s House


Brenda Bartz
Board President

An Update from the President of Dann’s House

We finally purchased the duplex on Veterans Drive the end of 2019. Since then we’ve accomplished SO much. Adding residents. Hiring a full time House Manager. Prioritizing house repairs. 

This summer we purchased a used van. The van has provided transportation to appointments, outings, and trips to the store. 

The house had drainage problems that resulted in water in the basement. Water was diverted by digging up and replacing the old drainage system. New roof and gutters with leaf filters were installed. I’m happy to report that problem has been resolved!

Additional bedrooms are being added to the north end of the duplex. This will increase our ability to house up to 4 additional men. 

The big project this fall has been converting the garage into a space the guys can be together and hang out. They play pool and other card games. Insulation and paneling was added to the walls and ceiling. A new insulated garage door was installed. Yet to be finished is installing natural gas heating in the garage. 

There are many layers to operating a house such as Dann’s House. With every new resident that is added to the house there is an adjustment period. Each guy brings new challenges. Trust is a major factor. These guys have been on the street a long time. They have been used to having personal items stolen. They have been assaulted. Their case workers from NMSH (Northern Michigan Supportive Housing) assist them in dealing with their feelings and working through their issues. Staff, Board members and case workers work together to see each guy succeeds. 

This past summer we had 2 deaths at the House- both unexpected. We all grieved. A memorial tree with attached leather tags of the residents that have passed, that previously resided at the house, has been planted. 

Dann’s House is more than a roof over their heads…it is a home where they learning to live in community.

Brenda Bartz