Troy’s Kresge Foundation Provides $1.5M for 18 Detroit Community Projects

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The Kresge Foundation in Troy today announced $1.5 million in grants for 18 new projects and planning efforts in Detroit’s neighborhoods. The grants are the first to be awarded as part of a $6 million, three-year relaunch of Kresge Innovative Projects: Detroit.

“Detroit’s true revitalization means the broad revitalization of its neighborhoods,” says Rip Rapson, president of the Kresge Foundation. “That requires a multiplicity of tools and interlinked strategies.

“This relaunch of Kresge Innovative Projects: Detroit is rooted in the same principles as our recently announced support for the mayor’s Strategic Neighborhood Fund, our operating support for community development organizations, our Hope Starts Here partnership with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to make Detroit a city that puts children and families first, and the full suite of our work in the city. We will continue to work with partners to make this broad revitalization a reality.”

The relaunch builds on a three-year, $5 million pilot phase that supported more than 50 planning and implementation efforts. The pilot phase ended last year, and the new application round was announced in January.

“These latest projects were chosen from a record 178 applications that reflect the imagination and dedication of neighborhood-based organizations,” says Wendy Lewis Jackson, managing director of Kresge’s Detroit Program. “They know the strengths and the challenges of their streets and blocks. They know the geographies and they know the people. Their ideas are shaped by their neighbors, and we’re proud to provide them with financial and technical support.”

One of the project involves turning vacant lots into a new park with picnic tables and play equipment in Detroit’s Virginia Park neighborhood. In southwest Detroit, a new retail space will be built that was designed by youth, artists, and entrepreneurs. The sports, health, and wellness facilities of North Rosedale Park will be renovated and updated. In the North End, a former speak easy and shoe shine shop will become a place for grassroots retail, community events, and performances.

In addition to these and other projects, the grants will support community engagement and planning for efforts including the renovation of an iconic former jazz club as a westside community hub, a wheelchair-friendly community education center in Jefferson Chalmers on the east side, and strategies to bring immigrants, refugees, and native Detroiters together to envision neighborhood integration and revitalization on the west side.

Planning grants are for up to $35,000 and implementation grants are for up to $150,000. Organizations can add funds from other sources to implement projects. This was the same in the pilot phase.

One of the key changes in the initiative relaunch is a commitment of $500,000 a year to provide technical support for the grantees, as well as to build them into a network to share with and support each other.

Kresge is partnering with Michigan Community Resources to provide support for grantees to implement and sustain their projects, and to build a network of grantees across the city that elevate resident priorities.

The initiative looked for projects that would draw community members into planning and implementation, says Bryan Hogle, program officer of Kresge Detroit.

“Through the pilot phase, we saw time and time again that the involvement of area residents provided insights that were instrumental to the success of projects. It is critical that we support these projects that are shaped and led by members of the community,” says Hogle.

Click here for more information and a complete list of projects.

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