The Chaldean Community Foundation’s Sterling Heights headquarters has undergone a $5 million, 19,000-square-foot expansion, bringing the facility’s footprint to 30,000 square feet.
The foundation serves 35,000 individuals each year, and the new space includes a primary health clinic serving both insured and uninsured patients; a behavioral health clinic providing mental health services; a full-size gymnasium and life skills area to provide education and recreation programs for seniors, youth, and individuals with developmental and cognitive disabilities; and a new lobby. The new space had a grand opening today.
The facility serves anyone in need of its programs. About 20 percent of its clients are non-Chaldean.
“We were already seeing an increased need for our services prior to the pandemic, and we’ve now had a 30 percent increase since mid-March,” says Martin Manna, president of the foundation and president of the Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce. “Our mission was – and still is – to improve the stability, health, and wellness of those served through advocacy, acculturation, community development, and cultural preservation. This expanded facility will help us do just that.”
The foundation was launched in 2011 as the charitable arm of the Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce to assist the growing immigrant population after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, when about 35,000 Chaldean and Iraqi refugees moved to the region. Services provided by foundation staff are related to workforce development, immigration, housing, language learning, behavioral health, access to health care, and other basic needs.
Construction of the expansion temporarily stopped under the stay home order. Foundation staff transitioned to remote work while the need for services increased in the community. During the last four months, foundation staff have worked with more than 1,300 individuals who were unable to complete unemployment applications due to language barriers, assisted another 2,500 individuals obtain food and other basic needs, and helped with education initiatives for about 900 individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities.
“Our staff have worked tirelessly to meet the needs of the community during this crisis,” Manna says. “The impact they’ve made has been astounding.”
The facility expansion was designed be Saroki Architecture in Birmingham and built by Jonna Construction in Bloomfield Hills.
Major donors included Wireless Vision, Wild Bill’s, Level One Bank, Supercuts, the family of Thomas Denha, the Konja family, and the Children’s Foundation. The foundation also received a grant from the Consumers Energy Foundation for the project.