Southwest Solutions

Southwest Solutions was founded in 1970 by Monsignor Clement Kern (1907-1983), the legendary pastor of Most Holy Trinity in southwest Detroit. Kern was known as the “conscience of Detroit” because of his passionate commitment to helping the poor and disenfranchised.


Clem Kern’s deep passion still animates the organization.  Southwest Solutions began as a mental health agency. In the wake deinstitutionalization, Southwest’s mission was to help the mentally ill live in the community by providing psychiatric counseling and medication.


John Van Camp has been with Southwest Solutions since its beginning. He started as an administrative assistant and became head of the organization in 1981, a position he still holds. John advocated expanding the vision of Southwest Solutions. He believed that reintegrating the mentally ill and homeless into the community also required providing decent, affordable housing and support services, and actively participating in neighborhood revitalization and economic development.

John’s broad vision delineated the future of the organization.  Their programs help those who were at the margins of society turn the page and write new chapters of resilience and purpose. These countless stories of renewed hope are the living history of Southwest Solutions.


Southwest Counseling Solutions encompasses a broad range of programs for children, youth, adults and families. All these programs provide services that enable and empower individuals and families to change their lives toward a healthier and more hopeful future. In each of these Centers of Excellence - Adult Counseling Services; Early Childhood & Family Literacy; Children, Youth and Families; and Supportive Housing - Southwest Counseling Solutions is recognized as an experienced leader, delivering proven and effective results.


Adult Counseling Services

Mental illness can affect anyone, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, age or income level. Our quality health services for adults with mental illness make it possible for those we serve to recover and become productive members of the community. They work, attend school, socialize and become self-sufficient. We provide a system of support driven by our guiding principles: respect, responsibility and recovery. We believe that the mentally ill can recover, and their success stories, which are often dramatic, are the reason for our being.


Early Childhood & Family Literacy

Our family literacy programs are designed to help children and parents improve their reading, writing and language skills. At the same time, our early childhood programs teach parents and childcare providers to become full partners in educating their children. The programs are bilingual and serve low-income families. Our mission is to empower families to better their lives and to pass along to their children the importance of education and lifelong learning, so that their children can achieve the success their parents dream for them.


Children, Youth and Families

Our family-centered programs serve children and youth who have a severe emotional disturbance, have been adjudicated by the juvenile court, or are at risk of being placed out of the community due to behavioral problems. Our mission is to help children and youth change their lives so that they will make decisions in the best interests of their future and wellbeing. We use a Wraparound Approach to create a plan of care that is tailored and well-suited for each child or youth we serve. We partner with the young person's family and engage the agencies and support services needed to help the child or youth succeed.


Supportive Housing

Our supportive housing program serves individuals and families who were once homeless by providing permanent housing and a full range of support services to deter the cycle of homelessness they have experienced in the past. Supportive housing brings together the Housing and Counseling sides of Southwest Solutions to create an innovative strategy for ending homelessness that is nationally recognized by advocates for the homeless as a model of excellence and effectiveness. We are deeply committed to the principle that homelessness can be resolved. 



Southwest Housing Solutions began in 1979 and is a leader in the planning, development and management of affordable housing and commercial property in southwest Detroit. Our mission is to revitalize our community through collaborative, innovative and high-quality projects, and by promoting homeownership. We provide housing to low and moderate-income residents, including persons with mental illness and the homeless. We stimulate commercial and cultural development through mixed-use projects. We also develop and implement Neighborhood Preservation initiatives.


Housing Opportunity Center

Southwest Housing Solutions’ Housing Opportunity Center (HOC) began in 2004. Its mission is to promote and preserve homeownership and advance financial literacy in the community. HOC’s professional, bilingual and HUD-certified counselors provide financial fitness and credit counseling, homebuyer education, home repair loans and foreclosure prevention counseling. We can help you make good economic choices, avoid harmful debt and predatory lenders, gain wealth and the dream of homeownership, access income supports, and develop educational and employment opportunities. Our services are free for eligible individuals and families.


Apartments for rent 

Experience the richness of Southwest Housing Solutions, living in communities designed with you in mind. Southwest Housing has been revitalizing southwest Detroit neighborhoods by rehabilitating hundreds of apartments, townhomes and homes since 1997. Recognized as a leader in providing multifamily rental homes and apartments, Southwest Housing makes resident satisfaction its priority. Our homes are managed by an experienced and bilingual team of specialists. Come see our homes for yourself by completing our short apartment inquiry form.<o:p></o:p>


Real Estate Development 

Southwest Housing Solutions is a nationally recognized leader in the planning and implementing of a comprehensive and innovative neighborhood revitalization strategy. This strategy involves rehabilitating buildings to provide hundreds of affordable and supportive housing units, eliminating blight, building new construction, and creating and leasing space for commercial, cultural and community use.



For more information on Southwest Solutions, contact their Administrative Office located at: 5716 Michigan Avenue, Detroit, Michigan 48210, 313-481-3100.  Or visit their website at: