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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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Georgia Street Community Collective


When was it organized?

November 2008

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

Mark Covington, Founder, President, Director and Urban Farmer

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?

No, but Mark gets a stipend.

What is the annual budget of your organization?

Whatever comes in, but about $50–60,000.

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

  • Grinell — N
  • Harper — S
  • Gratiot — E
  • Van Dyke — W

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 don’t have a membership.
  • Our fiduciaries (Aunty Nay’s and Eastside Riders) bring in more money than we do. We sponsor small grants like the one we did for Belleshare Community Garden and City Girl Soap.
  • Aunty Nay’s are doing the same thing that we’re doing but they’re not a nonprofit. Last year, we were able to buy three lots for them, but the city counted it against us so that’s why we’re only able to get six lots instead of nine lots now.

People need to learn how to work together — both organizations and individuals.

  • We’re partners with City Airport Resident Association. Our name is on the I94 Industrial Park and Community Advisory committee.
  • We hold meetings in our primary location.
  • US Ecology Coalition meets here for free.
  • We’re the bee clubhouse for Sweet on Detroit” through Keep Growing Detroit. For the past three years, for six saturdays, they hold a class for beginning beekeepers. Other beekeepers come here to harvest.
  • We’re the Eastside hub for the gardens for Keep Growing Detroit.

Convening/Facilitating/Collaborations: Partner Organizations

  • CARA
  • Coalition Against the Expansion of US Ecology (a hazardous waste facility)
  • A.L. Holmes Blended Learning Academy
  • Keep Growing Detroit

Convening/Facilitating/Collaborations: Funders

We don’t have specific funding.

Convening/Facilitating/Collaborations: Important Outcomes or Lessons

Outcomes:

  • We’ve gotten DTE to do different programs in the neighborhood.
  • We work with A.L. Holmes Blended Learning Academy.
  • We provide space free space for meetings.

Lessons:

  • People need to learn how to work together — both organizations and individuals.
  • I had to learn about politics which is something that I didn’t want to get involved with.
  • A lot of the politicians are not for the people (re: community benefits ordinance).

Resident Engagement/Empowerment: General Description

  • We try to get people to be more engaged and informed about what’s going on in this area.
  • We facilitate meetings about US Ecology, Link Logistics, Flex‐N‐Gate.
  • Residents help in the garden/farm. Residents don’t tear up anything or steal.

There are a lot of people that need a lot of help. People have their vices such as drugs and alcohol, but there are people working that need help. If someone makes $100,000, who are we to say how they’re spending it, so they still need help.

  • Our riding mowers have been down for the whole spring and residents haven’t offered to cut the grass, but I don’t complain because they watch out for us and leave the garden alone.
  • Residents will tell people from other neighborhoods to check out the garden.
  • I would love for the place to be open 24 hours a day.
  • There are residents on the board. Four board members are residents (me [Mark Covington], Lorraine Covington, Percell Jordan, Peggy Thomas) plus Judy Locke, Khristine Hahn, Phillip Laurie.
  • We have an Easter egg hunt.
  • We feed 150 people for the Christmas dinner.

Resident Engagement/Empowerment: Partner Organizations

  • CARA
  • Better Made
  • Hat’s Galore
  • Farmer John’s Market
  • Recycle Here (green — biodegradable plates)

Resident Engagement/Empowerment: Funders

  • Donations
  • Small Foundation
  • Funders are mixed. Our events are funded by donations from 90% private donors and the other funds come from a small foundation that doesn’t want to be named.

Resident Engagement/Empowerment: Important Outcomes or Lessons

Outcomes:

  • Kids and adults are getting exposure to mentors. They’re around me and getting exposure to positive people.
  • We give out free school supplies, which help kids to complete class assignments.
  • We help out with DTE bills and people come here for water (bottled and from the spigot).
  • We have a coat giveaway. If the coat is for kids, we don’t ask about income.
  • Eighty kids attended the Easter egg hunt.
  • We feed 150 people for the Christmas dinner.

Lessons:

  • There are a lot of people that need a lot of help. People have their vices such as drugs and alcohol, but there are people working that need help. If someone makes $100,000, who are we to say how they’re spending it, so they still need help.
  • There need to be more home economic type classes.

Economic Development: General Description

  • We’re trying to get people to come in and farm and make some money. We put in a grant proposal for a hoop house so we can extend the growing season. If we get the hoop house, we can grow close to all year long. We have applied to Kresge and Ford and the majority say that we’re not in their geographical funding area but now that we’re fiscal sponsors for people in those areas it can change.
  • We want to raise money to turn the kitchen into a commercial kitchen. We want to teach kids and adults that they can create value add products. We want to make the kitchen a demonstration kitchen and put the videos on youtube.\

We want to raise money to turn the kitchen into a commercial kitchen. We want to teach kids and adults that they can create value add products. We want to make the kitchen a demonstration kitchen and put the videos on youtube.

  • Things are opening up like GSCC is able to buy land. Before there was a plan for Chrysler to get 400 acres and they were going to sell it to airport and this neighborhood, which is why there were holds on the land. This goes back to politics — when you’re sitting at the table with them, they forget that you don’t really work with them. Why wouldn’t they tell community members what was going on so that they can prepare? I wouldn’t have put so much effort into this if they were going to move me out. I don’t want to do it anywhere else. I got offered a park and I refused because if I can’t do it here, I don’t want to do it. I94 Industrial Park still has a plan to come to Gratiot. They’re prepping for it. The money has been here all this time and they are the influencers. I have had people that wanted to get buildings and rehab them and they couldn’t do it. People want to redevelop their neighborhood and the city says no and won’t tell us why.
  • The state did a $699,000 assessment with us and Del Rey about being a logistics hub because of the airport and the railway and the city did one as well. Mt. Elliott Industrial Corridor is supposed to include I94 Industrial Park. A company interviewed me to see where do we want to see truck traffic, etc. and that’s how I found out about Industrial Park expanding.
  • We sell the honey and eggs from our farm.
  • We own this building, the building across the street and six lots.
  • Goats go to the alley to do the green maintenance.
  • We want to do a basketball court on one of the lots.

Economic Development: Partner Organizations

  • Keith Parker
  • Keep Growing Detroit
  • Economic Development: Funders
  • We fund the economic development work.

Economic Development: Important Outcomes or Lessons

Outcomes:

  • We have a community center.
  • We started minimally rehabbing the house across the street.
  • We only grow on 12 lots; but, if you count the building, it’s 14.
  • We have 11 more lots that we want to do something on.
  • Goats clear the alley ways.
  • We average two hives a year producing seven gallons of honey.
  • We sell honey around the school supply giveaway. We make between $500–1,000 and then in the spring the money goes toward maintenance. The way we earn the money for the economic development work is through the eggs and the honey. One pint is $15 and 8 ounces is $8. When we announce that we have honey, we sell out in three days or less.
  • We did a yellow sculpture with Keith Parker and a bench with a grant through Detroit Future City. We’re helping to maintain it. He’s currently working on a BUS” sculpture. He works on commission.

Lessons:

  • There’s a lot of money out here and we’re just tapping into it wrong.
  • The City of Detroit bought a bunch of acres from Conrail to complete the green loop.
  • Also, the street cleaning was a play on people’s feelings to see street sweepers again.
  • We need to hire more police.
  • People need to clean in front of their own streets too.

Resident Support: General Description

  • We try to put residents in touch with resources to help pay the light and gas bills.

A lot of people need help. When we show that we’re here to help, people are more apt to open up about what’s going on with them.

  • We give away water and vegetables and fruits are free.
  • We give away 250 backpacks.
  • Eighty kids participated in the Easter egg hunt.
  • We feed 150 people at the Christmas dinner.
  • Twenty‐five people attended the Super Bowl Party.

Resident Support: Partner Organizations

None

Resident Support: Funders

We fund the work.

Resident Support: Important Outcomes or Lessons

Outcomes:

  • We try to put residents in touch with resources to help pay the light and gas bills.
  • We give away water and vegetables and fruits are free.
  • We give away 250 backpacks.
  • Eighty kids attended the Easter egg hunt.
  • We feed 150 people at the Christmas dinner.
  • Twenty‐five people attended the Super Bowl Party.

Lessons:

  • A lot of people need help. When we show that we’re here to help, people are more apt to open up about what’s going on with them.
  • When we first opened up, we paid one light bill in particular and we were getting ready to pay a lady’s rent, but the landlord wouldn’t accept the money. We got friends together that did property management and got her an apartment where she didn’t have to pay any rent. My home was filled with pillows, blankets and food. We found out that she was a professional renter. I didn’t want people to move out of the neighborhood so I helped her. Now, I don’t get involved. I just try to put them in touch with certain people so that they can help themselves. I don’t ask our supporters to get involved.

Community Planning and Advocacy: General Description

Community Planning:

  • My mother and I do the plans for the gardens, but we ask what people want. We’re always asking for feedback. Like for school supplies, we ask what school supplies they need. We try to get a sense of what’s most needed.
  • We want to do a remote‐control race car track on the paved lots in the back so that kids can learn how to design them and make them faster. This is a grant that we can get once we come up with the plan with Hitachi automotive.

People have grand ideas, but don’t know how to put them into service — me included.

  • We have a plan to make a pollination garden. It would be a key hole in the middle of the lot coming in from the street with butterfly gardens in the corners with a beehive in the middle. We would plant lavender, sunflowers and native Michigan wildflowers.
  • We want to do a basketball court on one of the lots.

Advocacy:

  • We advocate with US Ecology.
  • We just got involved with the incinerator.
  • We got involved with the people’s water board — Proposal A.
  • We’re involved with community benefits agreement.
  • I liked the Flex‐N‐Gate experience because they’ve done everything that they said that they’re going to do. They got a 10 year tax abatement from the city and 12 for the state or vice versa.

Community Planning and Advocacy: Partner Organizations

  • My mother
  • Residents
  • Community Planning and Advocacy: Funders
  • We fund the community planning and advocacy work.

Community Planning and Advocacy: Important Outcomes or Lessons

Outcomes:

  • We know what the people want. We have animals and if the residents didn’t want them, especially the close neighbors, we wouldn’t have them.
  • We ask the residents what they want to see.

Lessons:

People have grand ideas, but don’t know how to put them into service — me included.


Convening/Facilitating/Collaborations: Frequency Rank

3

Resident Engagement/Empowerment: Frequency Rank

5

Economic Development: Frequency Rank

4

Resident Support: Frequency Rank

5

Community Planning and Advocacy: Frequency Rank

4


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)

City Airport Renaissance Association, Keep Alive Village, Keep Growing Detroit

Mailing Address:

8902 Vinton St Detroit, MI 48213

Legal Admin Structure [e.g. 501© (3), 501© (4), unincorporated, etc.]:

501 (C ) (3)

Number of board members:

7

This information is current as of  6/23/17


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