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Progress Dashboard

Where have we been?

Where have we been?

Where are we now?

Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3

Phase 1 (2016)

We recruited stakeholders to analyze the problem, created a beginning set of system elements, and began considering a framework for a Detroit community development system.

Phase 2 (2017-2018)

We formed an Advisory Council, conducted extensive research resulting in a specific set of challenges and created Task Forces to respond to those challenges and develop test-projects for most of the elements.

Phase 3 (2019-2020)

Stakeholders will champion elements of the system, working closely with CDOs and GROs, by “test-piloting” project ideas:

  • Coordination of Capacity Building Services
  • Community Development Career Navigation Model
  • Neighborhood Vitality Success Framework
  • Neighborhood Voice and Advocacy Framework
  • At least two city-CDO funded partnerships

Simultaneously we will:

  • Activate the System Capitalization element
  • Establish a governance/oversight structure
  • Develop a process to resolve CDO coverage for all neighborhoods
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Cass Corridor Neighborhood Development Corporation


When was it organized?

1982

Who is completing this survey? Name and role with organization:

Executive Director, Pat Dorn

Choose one category that best fits your organization:

Community Development Organization (not sponsored by a church or agency or company)

Does your organization have paid staff?

Yes

If yes, what is your FTE staff? Within that, what is full time and what is part time?

  • 3 full time employees staff; 1 part time employee
  • We hire a management agency for tax credit projects though and if you break it down that way it’s 14 FTE and 2PTE.  We have 1 FTE development consultant.

What is the annual budget of your organization?

Some years it’s 200,000 and some years 20 million.

Describe the streets or locations that define your organization’s overall focus area (north, south, east and/or west):

  • E — Woodward
  • W —  Lodge Freeway
  • S — Fisher
  • N — Forest

Describe in detail the work your organization does, within the role categories below, along with the specific geographic area in which the work is done. Refer to the definitions below of the community development roles we are inquiring about. Include any partner organizations you work with, and how the work is funded or otherwise resourced. Use extra pages if necessary. If your organization doesn’t do work in one or more of the role categories, just skip that portion of the survey.

Please describe the work your organization does in community development:

Convening/Facilitating/Collaborations: General Description

  • We’re a neighborhood organization that answers to a board of directors (9) made up of residents, members of building that we operate as well as some specialties like Marilyn Mulane, who has a specialty as a lawyer.
  • Our mission is to develop safe and clean affordable housing units in the Cass Corridor and improve quality of life of all members of the Cass Corridor. Our primary mission is to develop housing.
  • We’ve developed 350 affordable housing units. We’ve built or rehabbed 29 buildings.
  • When we have money to build an affordable housing unit, we collaborate with other entities. For example, with historical tax credits, we collaborate with federal, state and local government. With low income tax credits, we collaborate with investors and banks.

Our mission is to develop safe and clean affordable housing units in the Cass Corridor and improve quality of life of all members of the Cass Corridor. Our primary mission is to develop housing.

  • We collaborate with the City of Detroit for Home Funds.
  • We’ve applied for the Green Grant and the Federal Loan Home Bank.
  • We collaborated with 10 different sources for Cass Plaza.
  • To improve the quality of life for our residents, we do referrals. If tenants have problems with the housing commission, we refer them to Marilyn Mulane’s group or to different agencies that support tenants in trouble.
  • We provide facilities to help the main self‐assistance program.
  • We have a community center which neighbors can rent for $25. They can have weddings, funerals, birthday parties at the center.
  • We support the people that use our center like Hardcore Detroit (a hip‐hop dance troupe), karate classes and a wide range of other initiatives that need space.
  • We host social events like Halloween hayride parties. We get a couple hundred kids and a couple hundred pumpkins. This is one of the ways to bring the buildings together.
  • We do an annual Christmas party.
  • We rent to folks that are community oriented and provide free service for neighborhood resident. For example, we have Back Alley Bikes where you get trained as a mechanic for six Saturdays in a row and then you get bike. This cuts down on the thievery and builds camaraderie between the adults and youth.
  • We rent to Ocelot print shop that’s a co‐op where you can get training and go to classes. You can rent space to run your own business out of it. Residents have learned to make t‐shirts and sell them at Eastern Market
  • We provide space and support for The Hub — a for profit that supports the nonprofit bike shop. They hire residents to fix and sell bikes.
  • We lease space to an infant mental health group that helps pregnant women with everything from diapers to counseling.

Convening/Facilitating/Collaborations: Partner Organizations

  • The Hub
  • Ocelot
  • Back Alley Bikes
  • Residents
  • State Government
  • Local Government
  • Federal Government
  • Investors
  • Banks
  • Marilyn Mulane’s group
  • Hardcore Detroit
  • Midtown Business Association

Convening/Facilitating/Collaborations: Funders

  • Rent from buildings that we own
  • Development funds from buildings
  • Hudson Webber
  • Green Grant
  • Investors
  • Banks

Convening/Facilitating/Collaborations: Important Outcomes or Lessons

Outcomes:

  • A lot of people have housing.
  • We’ve stabilized people that are on the street and they have a safe, clean place to operate. They have support from their neighbors and the community to move and get better.

Lessons:

  • It’s frustrating. We’ve tried things that haven’t worked. I think that’s a live and learn; if you don’t fail, you’re not trying. We tried to develop a Chinese community and it didn’t work. We’ve had some kids and tots program that didn’t work.

Resident Engagement/Empowerment: General Description

  • We provide facilities to help the main self‐assistance program.
  • We have a community center which neighbors can rent for $25. They can have weddings, funerals, birthday parties at the center.
  • We host social events like the Halloween hayride parties. We get a couple hundred kids and a couple hundred pumpkins. This is one of the ways to bring the buildings together. We engage with the St Pat’s Senior Center for this event.

We rent to folks that are community oriented and provide free service for neighborhood resident. For example, we have Back Alley Bikes where you get trained as a mechanic for six Saturdays in a row and then you get bike. This cuts down on the thievery and builds camaraderie between the adults and youth.

  • We do an annual Christmas party.
  • We rent to folks that are community oriented and provide free service for neighborhood resident. For example, we have Back Alley Bikes where you get trained as a mechanic for six Saturdays in a row and then you get bike. This cuts down on the thievery and builds camaraderie between the adults and youth.
  • We rent to Ocelot print shop that’s a co‐op where you can get training and go to classes. You can rent space to run your own business out of it. Residents have learned to make t‐shirts and sell them at Eastern Market
  • We provide space and support for The Hub — a for profit that supports the nonprofit bike shop. They hire residents to fix and sell bikes.
  • We support the people that use our center like Hardcore Detroit (a hip‐hop dance troupe), karate classes and a wide range of other initiatives that need space.
  • There’s a resident council. We talk about things that would improve a building: at the last council, they decided that in one of our new buildings they wanted floor mats so they didn’t slip when they came in the door. There are basic reminders to fellow tenants that they shouldn’t buzz random people in.  There are also reminders on how to keep buildings clean on the part of residents and staff. We deal with any complaints that are arising.
  • The board is made up of people that live in the buildings so there’s good representation of residents.
  • Since I live here, I hear all the information about what can be done to improve the neighborhood as I walk the neighborhood.
  • We have a neighborhood group that meets once a month with law enforcement (Wayne State Police, Detroit Police and sometimes federal law enforcement). We have six different agencies that come when we have a particular drug problem. The police know our tenants by name, which helps support our community.

Resident Engagement/Empowerment: Partner Organizations

  • St Pat’s Senior Center
  • Local restaurants
  • Local bars
  • The Hub
  • Back Alley Bikes
  • Ocelot Print Shop
  • Hardcore Detroit
  • Wayne State Police
  • Detroit Police
  • Federal Law Enforcement

Resident Engagement/Empowerment: Funders

  • Rent
  • Development fees

Resident Engagement/Empowerment: Important Outcomes or Lessons

Outcomes:

  • There’s an improved quality of life. Residents have a safe and secure neighborhood.
  • We helped support the opening of a karate studio and Rocco’s Italian Deli.  We’re trying to get it developed so the staff can be paid from the properties that we own. For four years, we didn’t do this and we just about lost our organization.

Lessons:

  • Everyday you learn from engaging with your residents. You learn things like carpets and bifold doors don’t work.
  • You learn how to handle and deal with people.
  • You learn what products work in a building and what security you need. It’s a happy medium between making people feel secure and making people feel that they’re in prison.
  • Funders are getting more and more restrictive. Applying for grants almost costs as much as the grant itself.

Economic Development: General Description

  • We have done clean ups in the past, but our neighborhood is clean now. When we started out, we rented dumpsters and filled them on our clean up days. Now, you can take a little plastic bag and the clean up is done in two seconds.  Once you have an area clean, people keep it that way.
  • Over the years, we tend not to do stuff for people; we encourage people to do stuff for themselves and their neighbors.
  • We support Detroit Summer who’ve done murals on our walls.

It’s not for the faint of heart. You have to have a lot of persistence and perseverance. You have to look at things over a long period of time.

  • The buildings that have enough land have gardens in the back and residents have their own garden plot.
  • Our businesses hire residents.
  • Our neighborhood doubles by day and goes back down at night. We have all apartment buildings and no individual homes. It’s a whole different lifestyle and a different set of expectations.  Most of our residents want quick and efficient living spaces.

Economic Development: Partner Organizations

  • MSHDA
  • City of Detroit
  • Development Loan of Midtown Detroit
  • Residents
  • Local Businesses

Economic Development: Funders

  • Wayne County Grant
  • AHP Grant
  • Dearborn Savings Bank
  • Green Grant
  • United Housing Coalition
  • Great Lakes Capital
  • Invest Detroit Foundation
  • Detroit Development Fund
  • Opportunity Resource Fund ($500,000)
  • Federal Home Loan Bank

Economic Development: Important Outcomes or Lessons

Outcomes:

There are safe and clean neighborhoods. The more people you have in the neighborhood the safer it is. Meeting your neighbors also helps with safety.

Lessons:

It’s not for the faint of heart. You have to have a lot of persistence and perseverance. You have to look at things over a long period of time.


Resident Support: General Description

We don’t do trainings. If someone wants to do a training, they can use the community center for lessons on everything from safety to building relationships with cops in the community.

Resident Support: Partner Organizations

  • Housing Commission
  • DTE
  • Churches (have money for heat and the first months rent)
  • Midtown Detroit
  • Central City

Resident Support: Funders

  • Development fees
  • Rent
  • Grants

Resident Support: Important Outcomes or Lessons

Outcomes:

Residents are self‐sufficient.

Lessons:

We’re not in the business of doing for people as much as doing things for people that help them to grow and develop. We don’t want people to be dependent. I’m not interested in a cult. There’s a fine line between doing good and being a do‐gooder. If you’re a do‐gooder, you can do more damage than doing good.


Community Planning and Advocacy: General Description

Community Planning:

  • Our planning is to be part of a neighborhood, which means you have apartments that are affordable and market rate because you need a mix. You need workers and business owners. Our main function is to provide the affordable housing part.
  • We plan to keep on improving the neighborhood and the quality of life for the residents provide housing for the neighborhood where people see the need. Right now, that’s more affordable housing and senior housing. Wherever the needs are, we asses from what people are talking about.
  • We need to have a range of affordability. The Davenport is a large building that people have been living in for a long time and it was shut down. People came here to see if they could apply for apartments. Their income levels were too high for them to occupy our housing, but they couldn’t afford market rate.  There’s a gap between affordable and market rate and we’re looking to fill the gap between high end and affordable so people aren’t forced out of the neighborhood.
  • We have a building where we house people that are being pushed out, but that’s limited to 20 units.

Advocacy:

  • We advocate for our residents and wherever that takes us; whether it be affordable housing or safety is where we become advocates.

NSO is a do‐gooder type. It’s impossible to bring 2–300, ill people into one building with no services, only referrals. If you have that many people in crisis, no good can come out of it. It’s been very devastating to the community. It brings people in crisis from all over.

  • We hosted meetings for the stadium and advocated that the residents get priority for being hired.
  • NSO is a do‐gooder type. It’s impossible to bring 2–300, ill people into one building with no services, only referrals. If you have that many people in crisis, no good can come out of it. It’s been very devastating to the community. It brings people in crisis from all over.  If you drive down 3rd, you’ll see people all over.  If those people were dogs, there would be outrage.  I don’t think that should be removed; it should be eliminated. Don’t make false promises.  It’s not good for the clients, the workers or the neighborhood. We’ve had fights with them many times.  We’ve had fights with the Rescue Mission and COTS too, and they changed because they hadn’t looked at it from our point of view.

Community Planning and Advocacy: Partner Organizations

  • Midtown Business District
  • CDAD

Community Planning and Advocacy: Funders

  • Developer fees
  • Rent
  • Grants

Community Planning and Advocacy: Important Outcomes or Lessons

Outcomes:

  • It’s a much safer neighborhood.
  • A lot more people have good, clean neighborhoods and stability.
  • Residents know they’re not going to be moved out because of income.
  • Social agencies (such as COTS) are changing their tune and not being do‐gooders. We try to get the social agencies to see this as their neighborhood also and not a place where they come in to do things. We try to get them to work with the neighborhood.

Lessons:

  • We’ve learned to do things efficiently and you have to continue learn to do things better — whether it’s design, product development or actual organization development.

Finally, please rank each role 1 to 5, with 5 being the most frequent role, and 1 being the least frequent role carried out by the organization.

Convening/Facilitating/Collaborations: Frequency Rank

3

Resident Engagement/Empowerment: Frequency Rank

4

Economic Development: Frequency Rank

5

Resident Support: Frequency Rank

4

Community Planning and Advocacy: Frequency Rank

3

Can you please point us to other organizations in Detroit — especially in your immediate neighborhood — that are doing community development work? (Organization name, contact name, email, phone)

Other Information:

Karen McCloud started Cass Corridor Neighborhood Development Corporation organization, she worked with Maggie DeSantis for years. She brought me on as a community resource person then I  became president of the board and finally become the Executive Director.  I grew into the job.

This information is current as of  11/3/17


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