Homelessness Initiatives


City Manager's Office


(231) 922-4440

Caring for the Unhoused

In response to the urgent need to address homelessness within the community, the City of Traverse City is embarking on a series of initiatives aimed at addressing this complex issue. Recognizing the diverse challenges faced by individuals experiencing homelessness, the city is committed to implementing comprehensive strategies that encompass both short-term interventions and long-term solutions. Through collaboration with community organizations, local businesses, and government agencies, Traverse City seeks to create a more inclusive and supportive environment where all residents have access to safe and stable housing. By prioritizing compassion, innovation, and partnership, the city aims to make meaningful progress in reducing homelessness and enhancing the well-being of its residents.

Creation of an Embedded Police Social Worker

The Quick Response Team (QRT) has emerged as a vital component of the Traverse City Police Department's community policing strategy. Launched in late 2022 with substantial support, including a $150,000 grant from the Michigan State Police's Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Program (COSSAP) and $60,000 from Rotary Charities, the QRT introduced a pioneering role for a law-embedded community social worker, known as the Police Social Worker (PSW) Coordinator.

The PSW Coordinator collaborates with the crisis intervention team on overdose prevention programs and establishes connections with vulnerable people in the community. Since its inception, the QRT has fostered extensive collaboration with the community's human service providers. Setting itself apart from other programs that primarily focus on overdose response, the QRT goes the extra mile by engaging with individuals most susceptible to crises related to substance use, mental health, and homelessness

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Exploring Year-Round Emergency Shelter through and MOU

At their Tuesday, January 16, 2024 meeting the City Commission adopted a joint resolution and Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the City of Traverse City, Safe Harbor of Grand Traverse, and The Northwest Michigan Coalition to End Homelessness.

The ongoing preliminary discussions between the involved parties reflect a shared recognition of the pressing need to address unsheltered homelessness within the region. Through collaborative efforts, a consensus has emerged that establishing a year-round overnight shelter is a vital and strategic component in tackling this complex issue. Recognizing the multifaceted challenges faced by individuals experiencing homelessness, the proposed joint resolution and MOU commit the parties to continued collaboration on this topic with a three pronged approach:

  • Develop a proposed plan to keep Safe Harbor open for year-round overnight shelter, effective in 2024.
  • Develop cost estimates, funding strategies, and an operating plan for year-round overnight shelter operations.
  • Develop proposed roles and responsibilities and necessary agreements to memorialize the same, for consideration of their respective governing bodies.

Any agreements beyond the commitment to collaborate will be subject to review and approval by the City Commission and other partner governing bodies. The consideration of the initial resolution and MOU will serve as a formal affirmation of the ongoing support from the respective governing bodies, solidifying a collective dedication to advancing a regional effort collaboratively.

February 12, 2024 Presentation