Mack Avenue Community Church Community Development Corporation (MACC)
When was it organized?
Who is completing this survey? Name and role with organization:
Ezekiel Harris, Executive Director
Choose one category that best fits your organization:
Community Development Organization (sponsored by a church or agency)
We were started by a church and we still have a relationship with the church.
Does your organization have paid staff?
If yes, how many?
What is the annual budget of your organization?
Describe the streets or locations that define your organization’s overall focus area (north, south, east and/or west):
- Warren — N
- Jefferson — S
- Grand Blvd — E
- St Jean — 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. Five Community Development Roles (Based on the Census Working Definition from Phase One of the “Building the Engine of Community Development Process”)
Please describe the work your organization does in community development:
Convening/Facilitating/Collaborations: General Description
- Our work is complementary with other organizations since it’s a broad area and they’re doing specific work within that space. It’s beneficial to have Genesis HOPE and Villages CDC because we can’t have a presence everywhere. We touch different audiences — Genesis HOPE works with high school aged students and MACC works with middle school aged youth.
You have to get feedback on projects and gain knowledge about what’s happening in the community.
- Our community engagement includes being present at all neighborhood organization meetings that take place. We have an understanding of what’s going on at the neighborhood level. We go to meetings because we don’t have a space to meet in, but once we do have the building, we’ll be able to host meetings as well as have urban consulate-esque conversations in our space (whether it be about water or housing).
- We’re opening a coffee shop and laundromat on the bottom floor of our new building and the top will have offices and conference space.
- The Mack Avenue corridor plan brought together different businesses, nonprofits, churches and community groups to develop a plan for Grand Blvd to Fisher (which is 13 blocks). Genesis HOPE is a node in our plan; this plan spurred Genesis HOPE to look at Grand Blvd.
Convening/Facilitating/Collaborations: Partner Organizations
- Pingree Park Association
- Parker St Block Club
- Charlevoix Village Association
- West Village
- Indian Village Association
- Genesis HOPE
- Mack Alive
- Villages CDC
- There’s no special funding; it comes from general operating funds.
Convening/Facilitating/Collaborations: Important Outcomes or Lessons
- Understanding where people are and what they want is the biggest thing that we need to work on.
- You have to get feedback on projects and gain knowledge about what’s happening in the community.
- We have a large scale sports activity.
- We activated of Pingree Park (Mack to Warren and Van Dyke to Fisher).
- There wouldn’t be new economic businesses coming to Mack Ave.
- We’re an outlet for people and a huge community resource. People go to MACC to get information from Edythe.
- The church bought a building on Mack and Harding so now they’ll have a larger presence. People are starting to move closer to the church and are trying to learn more about the neighborhood around it. Block by block there is variation in the neighborhoods. If you join the church, you have to live in the neighborhood and 90% of staff lives in the neighborhood as well. It’s a unique tool as the church draws people and makes residents invested.
- Twenty people have bought homes in Pingree Park.
Resident Engagement/Empowerment: General Description
- We engaged residents for the Mack Avenue corridor plan.
- We engaged residents for the Mack Lot Project, which consisted of turning vacant space into a community park. We asked residents what do they think should happen in the space. They said a sports programs. Before we started, the church surveyed the neighborhood and they asked what sport they wanted and the residents chose soccer.
Resident engagement led to three priorities: youth/education, economic development, housing and blight.
- Because staff lives in the neighborhood, there is a natural ability to neighbor and get to know each other.
- All the board members except one are residents. It’s good to have an outside perspective on the board though.
- A benefit of having ties to the church is that we can pull a lot of people from the church.
Resident Engagement/Empowerment: Partner Organizations
- City Form Detroit (urban planning)
- Giffels Webster (engineering firm that helped to look at the streetscape)
- Made Studio (Ann Arbor landscape architecture firm)
Resident Engagement/Empowerment: Funders
- Program fees
- Mission teams
- General operating support
Resident Engagement/Empowerment: Important Outcomes or Lessons
- We’re shaping the design of Mack Lot (Grand to Fisher).
- We’re shaping the business idea of “The Commons.”
- Resident engagement led to three priorities: youth/education, economic development, housing and blight.
There’s a lot of talent in the zip code.
Economic Development: General Description
- We used the Mack Ave corridor plan as a development tool to bring businesses.
- We’re looking at green infrastructure, transportation, placemaking and creating a neighborhood center.
Sometimes you need to catch the vision and help people see something different from their everyday.
- We’re building relationships with businesses in the area and trying to attract more towards the neighborhood center.
- We renovated of 12,000 square foot building and launched “The Commons.”
- We’re planning to create retail spaces and move D and D storage up.
- We’re doing a garden district, opening a cafe and creating a grocery store.
- Mack and Beals is the Neighborhood Center-area.
- Mission teams volunteer (15–25) that come in for weeks at a time and do blight removal.
Economic Development: Partner Organizations
- Tap Root Investments
- D and D Storage
- Mission teams
Economic Development: Funders
- Johnson Foundation
- Motor City Match
Economic Development: Important Outcomes or Lessons
- We renovated a 12,000 square foot building.
- We’ve invested 1.5 million in the whole neighborhood.
- We’ve created 5–7 jobs being from new business.
- Mack Lot is an outdoor space.
- We rehabbed homes in Pingree Park (in partnership with Tap Root Investments).
- Forty people bought and renovated homes for an investment totalling over 2 million dollars.
- The blight reduction partners with over 30 or so individuals throughout the summer.
- Sometimes you need to catch the vision and help people see something different from their everyday.
- People who live in these communities still have hope. Making the work ultimately about people — because it guarantees that the success will be more likely
Resident Support: General Description
Do programs with not to the residents. This is especially legitimate when you live in the neighborhood.
- We have sports programs.
- We have literacy programs.
- We run a legal clinic every other Saturday.
- We have a rental agreement with child protective services.
Resident Support: Partner Organizations
- Salvation Army’s legal service
- Other attorneys
- Meet Up and Eat Up (United Way — for summer camp)
- Urban Farms (in the process)
- Kimberly Buffington
- Jefferson Ave Presbyterian Church
- Building Better Blocks
Resident Support: Funders
- Fees for mission
- Fees for soccer
Resident Support: Important Outcomes or Lessons
- We have 100 + kids playing in sports program.
- In our literacy program — students’ (25–30 youth) reading levels increase two grade levels if they stay for a year.
- Our legal clinic services 50 people a year.
- Sometimes people need help and are afraid to ask for it; we’ve learned that we insure that people have dignity in everything they do. We’re not making people feel bad, but saying this is a service we’re providing.
- People paying for programs means that we can hold them accountable. Community has ownership in what’s going on.
- Do programs with not to the residents. This is especially legitimate when you live in the neighborhood.
Community Planning and Advocacy: General Description
- There is a RFP process that’s happening.
- We did plans for the Mack lot corridor.
- We did plans for the “The Commons.”
- We advocate for seeing plans through ultimately we want to get to implementation. You need to carry things out to get people to trust you.
The biggest things will get you caught up (i.e. the big picture), but you need to also acknowledge the small things (i.e. a leaking roof). You need balance.
- We do Individual level.
- We’re trying to find our advocate voice in the bigger community picture (i.e. in education and development). We’re trying to decide if we want to take a strong stand or if we just want to hold conversations with the community.
Community Planning and Advocacy: Partner Organizations
- Mack Avenue Community Church
- City Form Detroit (urban planning)
- Giffels Webster (for streetscape)
- Made Studio
Community Planning and Advocacy: Funders
- We don’t get specific funding for planning and advocacy. We use general operating funds.
- Community Planning and Advocacy: Important Outcomes or Lessons
- Individual needs are being met as much as we have the capacity.
- Organizationally, we’re setting MACC development up to be successful so that people think to come to us and really engage in our process.
- Through the RFP process, we learned when to be part of and give people the platform to express their needs and making sure we hear enough before speaking on behalf of residents.
- The biggest things will get you caught up (i.e. the big picture), but you need to also acknowledge the small things (i.e. a leaking roof). You need balance.
- We need to figure out how to mitigate those new people coming into the neighborhood and avoid gentrification.
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
Resident Engagement/Empowerment: Frequency Rank
Economic Development: Frequency Rank
Resident Support: Frequency Rank
Community Planning and Advocacy: Frequency Rank
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)
Edythe Ford for contact information. Fisher Street Block Club
This information is current as of 5/1/17