Avalon’s Hilltop View Apts Officially Open in Dexter


Talisha Booker shares her story with the crowd. Photo by Doug Marrin.

By Doug Marrin, STN Reporter

Hilltop View Apartments held an open house for its new housing initiative in Dexter this past Thursday, June 7, 2022.

A hundred or so people from Avalon, Faith in Action, Dexter City Council, and other area groups gathered to open the new housing initiative in Dexter and welcome its residents.

Hilltop View Apts in Dexter. Photo by Doug Marrin.

Talisha Booker lived with her family in a homeless shelter before moving into a Hilltop View apartment. “I had a pretty rough time before getting here. I didn’t have food stamps. I didn’t qualify for a lot of things. I have kids with special needs and a deaf son. I also have two older kids who have asthma.”

Avalon Housing of Ann Arbor built Hilltop View Apartments. Avalon builds and manages inclusive, supportive housing communities as a long-term solution to homelessness. Beginning in 1992, Avalon now houses some 800 people, 25% of whom are children.

Dexter American Legion Auxiliary #557 assemble furnishings for a veteran apartment. Photo courtesy of Carol Burke.

Of the twenty-four units in Hilltop, six are designated for housing insecure veterans with supportive services provided by the Veteran’s Administration. Nine apartments are designated for housing insecure families with supportive services provided by Faith in Action (FIA). The remaining nine units are income-based affordable housing.

Area groups and individuals rose to the occasion to furnish the veteran and FIA apartments. Dexter resident and Air Force veteran Jim Dempsey organized community veterans to supply the six VA supported apartments.

Area veteran’s furnished the six veteran apartments. Photo courtesy of Carol Burke.

“We were honored and feel proud to have been involved in the furnishing of a Hilltop View apartment, in the building designated to veterans,” says Carol Burke, 1st Vice President of American Legion Auxiliary #557. “When Rotary member and American Legion Auxiliary member James Dempsey approached us, we saw this as another opportunity for the Dexter American Legion Family of Post 557 to fulfill a part of our mission, the continued devotion to our fellow servicemembers and veterans. descendants of veterans.”

Dexter Mayor Shawn Keough noted the pleasant aesthetics of the complex and added, “But it's more than just buildings. There's a lot more meaning here, and it's about people. I'd like to welcome everyone.”

Executive Director for Avalon Housing Aubrey Patino told attendees, “I also want to acknowledge that today we stand here in solidarity with all of our neighbors. That includes neighbors who have experienced homelessness, including veterans and parents who were sleeping in their car with their kids before they came to call this place home.”

FIA Food Pantry at Hilltop View. Photo by Doug Marrin.

Sheri Montoye, Executive Director for FIA, told the audience, “For more than 40 years, our mission has been to provide support to the community and work to alleviate the effects of hunger and poverty. I can tell you that the people here in Dexter know that community matters, and taking care of each other matters.”

Attendees were provided refreshments, a tour of the food pantry, and a tour of an apartment still waiting for its new occupant.

“I’m just glad to be here,” Talisha Booker told everyone. “And I’m glad this was built for us because I don’t know where I’d be right now.”

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