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Courtesy of LifeBuilders

Detroit’s LifeBuilders works to empower youth, reduce blight and abandonment, and build a strong community through resident engagement. The faith-based organization works in the Regent Park neighborhood in northeast Detroit. Its youth programming serves 200 young people and offers education support, life skills, community sport leagues, summer day camps, overnight camp retreats, arts offerings, and employment opportunities. About 20 percent, or 600 of the 3,000 homes in the neighborhood, have fallen into disrepair, been abandoned or torn down, or are occupied by drug dealers or squatters. In response, the organization plans to retore 100 homes by 2022. It is working with the University of Michigan’s School of Urban Planning and has acquired and restored 50 homes and 16 apartment units, converted an abandoned elementary school block into a recreation and play space and early childhood education center, and created community gardens and green spaces. To strengthen the community, it has created senior citizen programming, repurposed parks, opened an annual Christmas store, and more. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization is working to meet residents’ physical needs and is using video calls and text messages to stay in contact with youth and their families.


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