PO Box 1711
Traverse City, MI 49685
Phone: 231-709-2704

Letters from the President

Year-end thoughts from the Chair:

It’s been mostly a good year for us at Dann’s House. Like many organization, we have had our share of ups and downs, but our dedicated Board of Directors continues to soldiering through as we provide housing to those that need it most. We currently provide permanent housing for 7 men (soon to be 8) who more than likely would be living in the Pines without Dann’s House, providing them a permanent home. It’s not sexy or easy work but is very much needed in our community. Especially with the mounting housing crisis we are facing locally.

In late 2022 and during 2023, we lost a few past tenant’s. Rich Tomey, Anthony Ciccone and David Houseman had all graduated from Dann’s House and were living independently in housing that was less structured than Dann’s House. We commend each one of them for overcoming the darkest side of addiction while working to manage some independency in their lives. Our thoughts go out to their families. They will all be remembered and missed for their individual traits and abilities as we keep their memory in our hearts, knowing they tried the best that could all while struggling with addiction issues. Rest in Peace!

Dann’s House also lost (retirement from the DH board) an amazing board member, Glenda Andrews and her husband Ken. For years Glenda worked with Jubilee House helping those experiencing homelessness. She brought a wealth of knowledge and professional experience to Dann’s House after she left Jubilee House. She help facilitate our weekly group meetings with our tenants and used her professional experience to help develop systems to better run the DH programing. Her husband Ken helped to fix just about everything at the house. His handy work was a wonderful gift to us. Glenda and Ken’s passion and selfless support for our homeless community is unmatched and they both will be greatly missed! Thank you so much for giving us your support!

In 2023 we accomplished a great deal of general maintenance on the property. With the guys help, we constructed a new fence to provide more privacy to our kind and supportive neighbors. An ADA accessible ramp was added to the the northside unit to help tenants access the facility better. We replaced refrigerators through kind donations, added a new hot water heater and the AC unit will be replaced in spring. The southside bathroom was upgraded and a street water erosion issue was resolved, (hopefully). The guys continue to manage a garden, cut the grass and rake the leaves. In winter, they blow the snow and clear the walkways while all year long they help with maintaining/cleaning the common spaces at the house. Some times we need to light a fire under them to get them to help but with Sandy’s help (our house manager), most projects get completed. Thank you Sandy for all that you do! Our guys very much appreciate all that you give them and regularly call you their mother, in a good way.

I would also like to give a big shout out to our regular volunteers Julie, Sue and Luana for coming to the houses with food, taking the guys on field trips and just being there for them. Our guys get such a kick out of this and we thank you for providing the social support they need.

Dann’s House is a Housing First/Harm Reduction housing model, that is working. We are helping to house some of our most challenging citizens by helping them to over come the fears that come with chronic alcohol use disorder and homelessness. We want to thank our partner organizations, Northwest Michigan Supportive Housing (NMSH), Goodwill Street Outreach, Safe Harbor, Father Fred, Northern Michigan Community Action Agency, and the Traverse Health Clinic. The Traverse City community is lucky to have so many people and organizations helping those that are less fortunate.

All this said, we need your support. Though we operate this program on a shoe-string budget, we still need your financial help. Donations can be made at the website or mailed directly to us. We can always use household products like kitchenware, pots and pans, plates, flatware, cleaning supplies, toilet paper, paper towels, toiletries such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, shampoo, etc. Returnable soda/pop/beer cans are always accepted, which help to purchase extra supplies the guys may need. One of our greatest needs is a newer Minivan. We provide transportation to doctors appointments and regular trips for supplies and our current van is literally being held together with duck tape. A tax deductible donation of a late model van, in reasonable condition, would be hugely appreciated!

In closing I would like to thank the hard working Board of Directors at Dann’s House for keeping this program together. I would also like to encourage anyone out there interested in our program to contact us and consider joining the board. We need more citizen support. Staton, Bob, Tim, Harry and Jeff, none of this could happen without your dedicated support. Housing the homeless is the first step for helping to end our housing crisis and we are doing our part at Dann’s House, the best we can. Thank you to everyone (past and present) who keep this important program going. And thank you to our sponsors (listed on this website).

Happy Holidays with PEACE & HAPPINESS to all in the coming year!

Jim Carruthers
Board Chair

December Dann’s House News 2022 – Letter From the President

Brenda Bartz

Brenda Bartz

As 2022 come to a close so too does the leadership of one our Dann’s House board members. Brenda Bartz, our long time Board Chair and compassionate supporter (Den Mother), is stepping off our board. Brenda has been with us since 2014 and has dedicated her professionalism to this important cause. As a nurse she was able to problem solve when our guys need support. As an all around good person, she would roll up her sleeves, no questions asked, and do the grunt work around the house when needed. Brenda’s dedication is unmatched and she will be missed by everyone. With that said, Brenda has asked me if I would step into her roll as Board Chair. I have agreed to do so. I have big shoes to fill, as they say, and by no means can I replace someone like Brenda, but I will try my best to walk in her shoes. Brenda, thank you for your compassionate and dedicated support to this house and to our community. You are the BEST!

It’s been mostly a good year for us at Dann’s House. We have managed to keep this important Housing First program going for another year. Covid has been hard on us and regular grant funds are beginning to dwindle but we keep soldiering through so that we can keep our doors open and beds filled. So far we have been able to manage the house keeping our guys warm, safe and off the streets.

Many thanks go out to our EXTREMELY dedicated and hands-on Board of Directors. Brenda, Staton, Bob, Tim, Harry and Jeff, thank you for sticking with us! We could not do this work without everyone’s dedication to this important program. I would also like to give a big shout-out to our regular volunteers Julie, Sue and Barb who provide meals for the guys, take them on field trips and support them with compassion and loving support. It’s touching knowing we have such great women willing to support our guys.

I would finally like to thank our donors. We could not do this important work without your generous contributions to Dann’s House! We thank you for supporting us and for donating to support this sometimes forgotten group of men.

As the only local housing provider that supports homeless men with alcohol use disorder, our nonjudgmental and dedicated board work to keep our doors open, our bills paid and help to manage independent living for 8 men. At Dann’s House we do not judge and we do what we can to help our guys live in a home year-round and off the cold streets of Traverse City in the winter time.

With the close of this most challenging year, we not only want to share in our success but also mourn our losses.

Doug Wilson

Doug Wilson
Back in January we lost one of our longest residents Doug Wilson. Dougie was a Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indian tribal member. He had a jovial spirit and was liked by all. He always had a smile on his face and filled the room with laughter. He is greatly missed at the House and by many in this community.

Brandon Reed

Brandon Reed
Brandon left Dann’s House in September of 2021 to make a new life for himself in California. Sadly in March, Brandon passed away in Los Angeles. He was well liked at the house and we celebrate him for working to make a go of it on the west coast. Rest in peace Brandon.

David Horseman

David Houseman
Just a few weeks ago we lost David Houseman. David was a gentle man. He came to us in a time of great need and after lots of soul searching, he managed sobriety for several months at the house. He had done so well that he decided to move on to more permanent living arrangement and was looking to get back to work. He roomed with Marvin who was also a DH resident that graduated to a more permanent sober living housing opportunity. I often saw him riding his bike around downtown and I smiled to myself knowing he was on a path to recovery. Sadly David passed away in his apartment. David’s quiet and gentle soul will be greatly missed.

Rudy Lopez Jr

Rudy Lopez Jr.
I will close on a more positive note. Long time resident Rudy Lopez Jr has reunited with his family and has moved downstate to be closer to them. We are so thankful that he was able to rekindle his family ties. If Rudy was not eating he was joking around just being Rudy. Always friendly and pleasant to be around. Regularly the guys are in contact with him over the phone and the friendships they hold continue to be strong. He will be missed around the the house.

Dann’s House has helped to house over 40 men since our doors opened in 2013. We quietly provide transitional and supportive housing opportunities to many men that are overlooked and who need our support. Thank you to our past leaders who helped start this important Housing First program and thank you to those who continue to support us. One thing I’ve learned in my public and nonprofit involvement here is that you meet some of the best people who are willing to do this hard work to support others. We are lucky in Traverse City to have so many wonderful people willing to help.

If you would like to join us as a board member, please reach out to us. We would be happy to introduce you to this very important and viable program. If you are interested in a hands-on experience working with our guys, we would welcome your involvement. Please consider joining us.

Happy New Year and lets all work together to be prosperous, fulfilled and to house those that need the housing the most in 2023. Peace to all in the New Year!

Jim Carruthers
Board 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

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