The start, the future

Sandy's Fairway.jpeg

The first house in Traverse City for adults with developmental disabled opened in 1978 as state hospitals were closing and spewing out thousands of people struggling with these and other challenges.

But there is a need for more and changes in government regulations and funding sources made it a rollercoaster ride to make it a reality. In 2012, carrying on in the tradition of his mother, local ReMax realtor Bob Brick started the ball rolling mentioning BrickWays’ dream of more housing for special-needs adults to a wealthy, grieving, curmudgeonly, man who had recently lost his wife. Bob was helping him evaluate and sell a home located on 600’ of waterfront filled with memories. After contemplating the matter, man was moved to donate proceeds from the sale of his wife’s property.

“The check came in on my mother’s birthday,” said Bob. That was Dec 17, 2012. The client called again just a few weeks later, the day Mary Jean had died, Christmas Eve morn, and told Bob he was writing another check.

That allowed BrickWays to purchase property on Rennie Street. In-kind donations from other community partners and two previous Siwngshift fundraisers have helped bring the dream of 3-6 multiplexes closer to reality.

Planned to serve a variety of housing needs, BrickWays’ clients will top the preference list followed by persons with disabilities, veterans, and older adults. There’s also hopes to make it affordable to low-to-moderate income young professions and working families without the need for government assistance.

Your help is needed to make it a reality. Join Brickways as founder MaryJean Brick’s daughter-in-law BB Brick dances December 15 to help raise money for the project in High Impact Productions Swingshift and the Stars Million Dollar Challenge. 

Susan Onan