A Place for Men To Get Clean in Midtown

A new residence hall for men rehabbing from drug and alcohol addiction looks to be shaping up in Midtown. Designed by Roesler Architects, the 4-story, 26,000-sq.-ft. building will hold 64 efficiency units meant to house 2 men at a time; each unit, according Roesler, will have a microwave, refrigerator, built-in desk, and a coffee bar. There will also be what Roesler describes as a “Linear Courtyard” — a fenced-in landscaping feature, presumably — that will be accessible from the dayroom on the first floor. The new building is located at the corner of Alabama and San Jacinto, east of the Men’s Center headquarters across Main St. from the construction of Broadstone 3800, the 5-story apartment complex facing the light rail line on Main.


Images: Roesler Architects (rendering); Allyn West (photo)

27 Comment

  • Shouldn’t things like this be hidden in the undesirable areas in the middle of industrial complexes somewhere, like east of Downtown and/or north of I10? Seems very financially inefficient to put it in Midtown that’s on it’s way up.

  • What could possibly go wrong?

  • A midrise for high guys. I doubt the locals will be thrilled with the idea of freshly clean drug users wandering around possibly looking for something to take and convert into quick cash.

  • Great, just what this area needs…more of this crap.

  • @commonsense, I think the idea is to NOT stick them out of the way of transportation, amenities, and in a food desert.

  • I hope this place is going to have ground floor retail with a nice cocktail bar.

  • This area should be renamed HoReHo–the Houston rehabilitation and homeless district.

  • Wow! Nice of everyone to judge the residents before the building is even finished. When I lived in Montrose the halfway house guys were the nicest neighbors I had, it was the NIMBY tools that drove me away.

  • Nice. Close to the students going to HCC

  • Every city seems to have its down-and-out district; Skid Row, Tenderloin, the Bowery. Houston seems to have two; Midtown and EaDo. And soon rail will connect both.

  • why move it, they should fit in just fine with all the borderline alcoholic yuppies in the area now.

  • Sadly, as the above responses show, Swamplot is slowly deteriorating into an opinion exchange between misanthropes.

    Midtown, on the other hand, is becoming a real urban center. I like!

  • Drug addicts are already plentiful in the downtown/midtown area. The only new thing that this project injects is drug addicts who are in the process of getting clean.

  • Right you are Larry, and adding to this people who don’t know diddly ’bout squat while so shallow to begin with. The Men’s Center has already been there for ages in various old structures immediately surrounding. This new clean structure will be a visual asset to the area compared to what they are current use. It’s my understanding that eventually they’ll tear down more once moved to new building and build additional dorm(s). The deceased owner of New Orleans Poboy bought the land developed this idea and even employed some of those in recovery. He was a wonderful man helping those in need.

  • I guess it’s great to see such a facility being introduced… just sad that there’s a need for one at all.

  • Commonsense – they demolished something old and built something new – it should be right up your alley, right? New is always better than old?
    Larry and Alan: the million dollar question here is: do you live in Midtown? If not, would you welcome this project in your own neighborhood? If the answer to either of those questions is ‘no,’ then aren’t you as much a misanthrope as the commenters you criticized?

  • If you guys hate the idea of this building, why don’t you buy them out instead if they’re sitting on such prime property?

  • Good to see people helping other people. Maintaining this facility in an urban location is vital to its success. Quite often the interaction with not only others recovering like themselves, but every day positive, engaging people in society make lasting recovery more likely for these men. Midtown provides a central location for these men to find help, find a job, and make friends with those who will lead them down the path to recovery.
    To all those NIMBYs out there today, in any well built city you are going to have a myriad of uses juxtaposed together. There will be offices next to single family houses down the street from liquor stores across from parks bordered by apartments around the corner from grocery stores near schools sharing parking lots with churches on the same block as movie theaters located right by homeless shelters. The fabric of all these units together is what makes a great community and a great city.
    What do you propose instead, a recovering drug and alcohol addict district where all such places should be built?

  • No, Thomas – I want the non-profits that run these places to move their offices to the same neighborhoods as their facilities. Ideally the person in charge of the non profit should live there, too. It should be about more than just helping addicts from an arm’s length. It should also be about putting value and consideration into the city in which you live and work.
    Peter Buffet, philanthropist and son of Warren Buffet, wrote an excellent Op Ed for the New York Times: “The Charitable-Industrial Complex” in which he calls for a radical new Approach to charitable donations. I’d like to think this could be it.

  • @ZAW, my joy comes from every time a Shitgalow is demolished and a couple new modern and clean townhomes are built in it’s underutilized space.
    This article is about use of space issue not the structure itself, so nice try.

  • This group has been in this area running group homes for 30 years.Kinda seems like they were there first.They own most of the surrounding property.Plans are for a medical clinic and more residental housing. They only need to buy one more property to have enough land.

  • Quitters never win…

  • Wow, what a sad comment thread. Some of you should go back and re-read the comments you wrote and the hope you’re never in need of anything.

  • This is the price of living in the “city” part of the city. The Men’s Center is a Houston institution. They’ve helped save more lives than any hipster loft or luxury six-plex townhome development. For many, this organization is the “last house on the block” and they have been doing this work in this part of town for more than sixty years. If you don’t want to get urban “dirty”, maybe the city is not the place for you.

  • Yes, to whomever, I live not far from there in MT and love it. Surbaban self righteous baggers … just not gonna get it. People trying to improve their situation in life I will always welcome in my hoood!!

  • To Zaw:

    There are literally hundreds of halfway houses in Houston where the “owners” live on the property so they can exploit their clients in any number of ways. Half-way houses work only to keep the Recovery-Industrial-Complex machine operating because its only purpose to exist is to survive. There is no empirical data which shows that so-called rehab actually works, but its propaganda and its devotees love to sing its praises, and that’s convincing enough to the ill-informed. There nothing empirical about recovery at all. Its just willpower dressed up as something else. What those in the Recovery Industry never like to talk about however is the amazingly high “relaps” rates that infect their clients and, the communities where their housing facilities are located. That should concern anyone living near such a facility. P.S. I owned, ran and lived in one, so I speak from experience. I left the business, disgusted with being part of such an insane scam.

  • Looks good. I lived in the area years ago–the group already had facilities. (One in an old Evans-Monical space; the other “old Evans-Monical” is now a Tiki Bar across the street from the Continental Club.

    Now I take light rail from work (Med Ctr) to the Greater Heights Area. So I often stop off in Midtown. Happy Hour at Reef, shopping at Spec’s, etc. Let the bitchers bitch–they live in the distant ‘burbs, anyway.

    Most busy cities have some troubled folks in the crowd. But they also have lots of other city dwellers (or visitors), brave enough to venture outside their comfort zones…