Harvest Christian Church is the catalyst behind Build It Detroit, a non-profit development corporation which in impacting the Five Points neighborhood in Northwest Detroit.
We have dubbed our action as creating a City in a City. How will we do this? We will create thriving vibrant communities starting in our corner of Northwest Detroit by engaging the Community, living lives of Integrity, learning continuous responsibility, expressing undying compassion, encouraging joy filled life, all tied in with strong education.
Families in need only continue to grow. We cannot achieve our goal of neighborhood stability and safety without your help.
We have 10 homes in the neighborhood that need to be demolished and 10s of 20s of homes that need to be repaired at the cost of $25,000 - $40,000 each.
Our neighborhood has seen a rapid decline over the last decade. For a while we seemed to be insulated from the overall decline that has plagued the greater majority of Detroit. Now the community is riddled with burned out homes, vacant properties and trash filled properties. Families have been given false hope by speculators and bottom feeders by selling them homes that have no furnaces, no plumbing, no electrical wiring, broken windows, and sometimes burned out rooms.
HCC & BID purchased 13 homes last year to begin combating the blight and speculation. In the immediate community of 184 properties over 120 of those properties are in distress. Unkempt, broken windows, leaking roofs, unable to pay property taxes, stripped of furnaces, plumbing, and electrical wiring. Numerous families are living in dangerous and untenable situations.
There is currently nothing in the community to rally around. Our dream is to work on rebuilding the community by rehabbing homes and constructing a community and recreation center for our immediate community to call a home for our children, youth, and adults. We can hear the laughter, the squeaking of the shoes on the basketball floor, the banging of weights in the gym, the clicking of keyboards in the computer lab, and the smell of hot cocoa coming from the café.
In March we were able to convince an absentee owner of a property to sell a property to us where a family was living in deplorable conditions. No furnace or hot water and intermittent electricity during a winter where temperatures had been sustained below freezing for weeks on end. Holes in the floor looking right into a continuously wet basement. Mold on the walls in the bedrooms. Peeling paint, all while a family with children were living there.
After acquiring the home, we were able to begin improving the situation immediately. Hot water, furnace, seal up windows, doors, repair the bathroom, wash and paint walls, stop the water from coming in the basement. Help the family with finding a great school for their children, and providing odd jobs for the father on some of the other properties while he works to obtain a full time job.
We are creating the experience of a small city within the City where neighbors will be able to help one another meet needs through community gardens, job and technical training, sports recreation, and places to improve the mind and body.
We are not able to do this without you. We are grateful for all support that you might give.