Life Remodeled, a Detroit-based nonprofit that invests labor and resources into Detroit neighborhoods, today announced it will stay in the same neighborhood for the next year or two. Typically, Life Remodeled invests $5 million in cash, labor, and materials into a single Detroit neighborhood every year, but their current project will work on the same blocks, going beyond blight removal.
Life Remodeled completed this year’s Six Day Project (July 31-Aug.5), in which 11,032 volunteers worked on the neighborhood surrounding Central High School and the former Durfee Middle School (Durfee students will attend Central in the fall).
The volunteers removed blight on 367 city blocks and boarded up 534 vacant houses. They continued to perform critical repairs for 53 homeowners as well. Volunteers also began to transform the Durfee building, a historic 143,000 square-foot school built in 1927, into a community innovation center.
More than 1,000 volunteers worked inside the community innovation center, which will be focused on entrepreneurship, education, and community. The center will operate in collaboration with Central High School and the Detroit Public Schools Community District.
Going forward, entrepreneurs will be invited to guest lecture in the center’s classrooms and students will have the opportunity to learn about math and finance from real examples of business ventures taking place within the center. The resources and space will be open to all community members to learn about entrepreneurship and how to start and grow a business.
The Durfee building is still in need of help from volunteers. Those interested can help any weekday (8a.m. – 4:30p.m.), but must register online. Volunteer activities include cleaning the building, prepping and painting walls, sanding and staining wood, building furniture, and cutting grass.
Life Remodeled is also in need of skilled professionals to help with electrical, plumbing, flooring, painting, concrete repair, drywall installation, wood refinishing, glass installation, gutter repair, and carpentry. They will also be performing beautification projects in the neighborhood including planting thousands of trees and perennials, setting up rain gardens, building park benches, and installing bus stops.
Phase one of Life Remodeled’s commitment to Central High School and the surrounding neighborhood is scheduled to be completed in December. Their 2018 Six Day Project will take place Oct. 1-6.