Neighborhood Rising Summit 2014 Workshop Notes, Tips and Advice Download Report Here


10:45 P.M TO 12 NOON

ENTREPRENEURSHIP: How to develop neighborhood business, qualify for neighborhood business programs, obtain promotion, marketing and resource support.

ORGANZING/PLANNING: How to form block clubs, develop neighborhood strategies, build coalitions among community stakeholders.

URBAN FARMING/FARMER’S MARKETS: How to develop urban farming/garden programs. How to create a farmer’s market for fresh fruit and vegetable program in your neighborhood.

FIGHTING BLIGHT:  How to develop programs and strategies to remove blight, vacant homes, abandoned lots, etc.

PUBLIC SAFETY:  How to develop a successful crime-fighting strategy, CB patrols, and other crime deterrents, working with law enforcement and neighborhood groups.

GRANTMAKING: How to secure grants for community programs, learn what projects foundations are funding in Your neighborhood.



1:45 P.M.-3 P.M.

HOME AUCTION WORKSHOP:  How to acquire homes and vacant lots through the city auction program, Wayne County treasurer’s office and more.

BLUE/GREEN INFRASTRUCUTURE/RECYCLING:  How to utilize techniques such as planting trees, rain barrels and other techniques to promote a better neighborhood environment. How to utilize recycling programs.

STUDENT LEADERSHIP/PUBLIC SERVICE: How to inspire young people and students to be leaders and do community service programs in schools and community organizations.

FAITH-BASED NEIGHBORHOOD DEVELOPMENT: How churches and faith-based groups can apply for grants and form collaborations to improve the community.

PARTNERSHIPS FOR COMMUNITY CHANGE: How to develop collaborations with other groups, develop a volunteer base to build resources for community projects.

PUBLIC  ART FOR COMMUNITY BUILDING: How to use community art projects to enhance and build neighborhood pride.







Community Crime Intervention Tips

Public Safety

Director: Brian Fountain, Detroit Police Department

Speakers & Topics:

  1. Derek BlackmonCrime Prevention, Black Family Development
  • Communicate: Good neighboring starts with constant communicating before, and when you see something suspicious.
  • Block Clubs: Best practice model that unite and connects neighbors on their block.
  • Awareness: Crimes of opportunity MUST be avoided. (letting mail and papers pile up on porches; high shrubbery; no alarms; open doors and windows; appearance that no one is home.)
  • People feel the most safe when “Angels Night is in effect.
  • This time in Detroit is the most unique because of the renaissance mode is in effect.
  • We can now reach out to the Detroit police department
  • The things in our community have more value when we feel safe and secure with our surroundings.
  • People throughout the community have mapped out “safe” & “unsafe” routes to school for our children inside the community.
  • Security: Alarms; secure doors; heavy duty locks; strike plates; sliding doors; garages; basement windows; cameras; alarm signage.
  • Lighting: Strategic lighting is a must for safety.
  • Police: Get to know your local precinct officers and Law Enforcement Leaders. Make sure to share your contact information and call them regularly. Get your community crime alerts in effect to  indicate crime trends in your community.
  • Attend: Be present at your neighborhood Block Club Meeting to stay aware of what’s going on inside your community.
  • Ask Questions: In the event that someone on your block is violated by criminal activity, discuss what happened and how it could have been prevented, then share it with the block club.
  • Recheck: Points of entry; lights; Community Crime Alerts; Check with Neighbors; Create Home Safety Checklist; and follow it regularly.
  • Evaluate: Get a police or a safety professional to assess your home for safety concerns.


  1. Phillis Judkins, North End Patrol, – General Information


  • Created a place for men who have no shelter to stay.
  • You have to have time and endurance to help people inside the community of Detroit.
  • Providing information to the community to help them make basic day-to-day decisions.
  • Started a journalism class for the you on the North-End of Detroit.
  • With her journalism Class the kids of Detroit interview people around the city and then create their own newsletters.
  • The students go door to door and attend block club meeting so that they can report the news inside of their personal newspapers.
  • Created a business for the students to work in through the journalism program where the students will form a bank account from working inside the “PutPut” newspaper business she has created.
  • Putting a “business mind” inside the local children in the community.


Ingrid White- Detroit Future City, Gas Station Safety


Why do we think that there aren’t many people in this room to learn about Public Safety?

  1. Late night with Halloween and children.
  2. A lot of people don’t think Detroit is worth saving.
  3. Many people don’t have hope in the city anymore.
  4. People are feeling discouraged about how the city has turned out and the things that take place. (car and home break-ins)
  5. Apathy.
  6. Angels Night.
  7. Disrespect from the police and lack of respect.
  8. They are upset about the police & their roles in the community.


  • There are over 360 gas stations in Detroit.
  • People are tracking the gas station addresses and the most common crimes they are known for.
  • Many gas stations that are closest together only have one common out of the bunch that are constantly being tracked for crimes.
  • Many crimes happen at gas stations are due to what is being sold inside them.
  • Gas station owners need to train their employees to know what to do when negative things are being done on the premises
  • Beginning a project with local safety leaders to have dialogue for the real reasons that things are happening inside the community. (Meeting have been scheduled and will be in effect very soon.)
  • There is a gas station that Ms. Phillis mentioned that tracks when teens and younger children are allowed to enter (before and during school)
  • People have been abducted, raped and killed at gas stations.
  • We need to be more particular in our choices of where to stop for gas.


Lee Tilson- General Information, Woodbridge Community

  • Shared a story about how he has a friend who used dog poop and grease. The person used general knowledge to keep crime starters away from his home.
  • Use general knowledge to keep yourself safe. The little things do count.
  • The goal for many people is to prevent crime not to get more police officers on the street.
  • Going to make 10 concrete presentations to keep our streets safe.
  • Detroit does have the best problem solvers and we don’t utilize them, and their brains, enough.
  • go to https://www.detroitcrimeproposals.com for more information on safety and proposals from Lee Tilson
  • Try encouraging the police department to share and investigate with the community.
  • If you go to the police department website there is a MOST WANTED page.
  • or go to www.1800crimestoppers.com


Dale Brown- General Information, Threat Management

  • Stop violence before it starts.
  • Law Enforcement is a call and response system.
  • The key is not letting crime happen.
  • Detroit is stereotyped as a negative place.
  • There are families in the city that need safety and protection.
  • To deal with these inner-city problems you need to first understand psychology.
  • We live in a place where safety isn’t expected.+


  1. The abilities of block clubs to create green spaces in their neighborhoods
  2. What kind of change can be put in place citywide without support from the mayor’s office?
    1. Important to remember how small communities can make change in their own neighborhood
    2. The “quality of life” might be more important to stress than the conservationist reasons


  1. Organizations like the Greening of Detroit and the Sierra Club are working to make Detroit greener and to make its residents more involved in these actions.




Each panelist spoke briefly about the organization they are representing and how they decide who receives grants. The following panelists were:


Wendy Jackson- Kresge Foundation

  • Main focus for Kresge Foundation is Urban Planning with regards to neighborhoods, arts, education, and culture.
  • Newest initiative is the Kresge Foundation Grant which is directed towards neighborhoods that wish to transform or use vacant land.


Katy Locker- Knight Foundation

  • Knight Cities Challenge: grant focused on talent, opportunity, and youth engagement.
  • Knight Art Challenge: $9 million committed to this project.
    • Asks question “What’s your best idea for art in the city?”
  • Knight Cities Challenge: grant focused on talent, opportunity, and youth engagement. Closes November 14th
  • Knight Art Challenge: $9 million committed to this project.
    • Asks question “What’s your best idea for art in the city?”


Robert Thornton- Skillman Foundation

  • Organization focuses on youth, safety, education, young boys of color, and community leadership, and specifically within the neighborhoods of Osborn, Central Woodward, Cody Rouge, Brightmoor, Midtown, Vernier, Chadsey, Condon.
  • $17 million grant budget
  • Has worked on Safe Routes for students to walk to school safely
  • Blight reduction
  • Embedded law enforcement
    • Com stamp
  • Community Organizing
    • block clubs
    • safe routes
  • Group must be a 501C3 to receive grant
  • Doesn’t fund start up organizations
  • Grants get reviews March, June, September, and December




Each panelist spoke briefly about how partnerships positively affected their community involvement


Jordan Twardy- 8 Mile Boulevard Association

  • Funded by the Big 4 in 1993
  • Their focus is to clean the area along 8 Mile road
  • Partnerships were important to them during their project Newsden Park where a private investor discovered what they were doing and donated $20,000

Contact Information: Jordan@eightmileforchange.org


Carl Zerweck- Rippling Hope

  • Organization has had over 2500 volunteers over the past 3 years
  • Block clubs are key to revitalization of Detroit
  • Volunteer based organization
  • Home Rehab
  • Lot clean-ups
  • Boarding up vacant houses/buildings
  • Important aspect to organization
    • Must be member of block club
    • Regular Communication


Elois Moore- Binder Street Block Club

  • Community Gardens
  • Swagger group- started healthy living club
  • Getting out, meeting people, growing relationships all key to organization

Contact Information: www.binderstreet.com



Sandra Cobb- Habitat for Humanity of Detroit

  • To qualify for homes, unaffordable/unsafe home and must maintain mortgage
  • Habitat Hope- counselor to help with finances

Contact Information: Scobb@habitatdetroit.org

313-521-6691 ex. 907


Lisa Johanan- Central Detroit Christian Community Development Corporation

  • Volunteer based
  • Partnerships between volunteers keeps organization running



  • Patt Taylor Braxton
  • O’Hair Park Community Association
  • The neighborhood didn’t have a name—the importance of a name
  • gave her a perspective on neighborhoods, moved back to Detroit in 2005, stunned to see the changes from 1988 to 2005
  • Sadness that people were apologetic to live in Detroit
  • Grew up in the city amongst good people who wanted a good and decent quality of life—and that has not changed.
  • Sick and tired of the media for negative stereotype (pathological terms)
  • Saw the potential of the people in her neighborhood, wants to go against the alienation of America
  • Communities don’t exist anymore, and it has been replaced by technology and fear of guns
  • People are afraid to get involved because all that we hear are negative results
  • Not looking to the politicians, to city hall, we must do for us what needs to be done
  • Building relationships with your neighbors is necessary.
  • Necessary to act as a collective
  • O’Hair Park is an 80 acre park, totally surrounded by residents, neglected up until a couple years ago, they organized and planned clean ups, got people helping out, companies and organizations as well as community members,
  • GM interns refurbished playgrounds; interns are seniors at DPS high schools
  • Started out with 2 working blocks clubs, now they are up to 7
  • Canvassing at 2 blocks at a time, know the name of every person in every house, the importance of greeting people by their name and saying hello to build community
  • Neighborhood clean ups
  • Black History Month celebrations,
  • Meet 6 times a year as an association and they give an award for the Good Citizen Award—Importance of recognizing the leadership.
  • We are who we are waiting for.
  • If Detroit goes down, Michigan is going to go down as well
  • Information is not capital to be kept to yourself
  • Using technology and promoting business who donate on their websites
  • Using technology such as Nextdoor.com to communicate with neighbors
  • Networking with other organizations in the area
  • Alisha Opperman
  • Michigan Community Resources
  • Serves the organizations of non-profit community groups and low income communities. Primarily in Detroit. Legal and Policy, Planning and technical and education and outreach
  • 2015 Neighborhood Exchange—Platform and hub for sharing and connecting resources of block clubs and groups—online and face to face, and a written publication with tips and strategies.
  • Worked closely with Lower East Side Action Plan
  • Sarida Scott, moderator, Community Development Advocates for Detroit, CDAD
  • Community development and neighborhood improvement organizations—advocate, be a voice, block clubs can join in order to be supported in their work
  • Public policy and advocacy, education and advocacy.
  • Errol Jennings
  • Hisotric Russell Woods—organized since 1958.
  • Defending law suits against people who want to build in community things that are not conducive.
  • Livernois and Davison. District 7—Deteriorating neighborhoods, blight, aging population in association, how do we shed the apathy?
  • 1200 homes in neighborhood, largest historic district in the city, how do we get more people involved?
  • Using current technology. Acting as a group opposed to individuals. Voting as blocks. Rewarding local businesses, opposed to those who don’t keep up stores i.e. deteriorate neighborhood. How do we do that?
  • He was elected president in September.
  • He is an entrepreneur, worked for Chrysler and Ford, he got downsized and then came back into his old neighborhood, seeing the difference between then and today. Looking at how the money is dispersed? How did other noeghborhoods get money and they didn’t?
  • The other folks got money because they are really organized i.e. 150 on CB patrol, they got more money.
  • Under Russell Woods Sullivan area Association 30 blocks clubs.
  • Hard work leads to good participation—knocking on doors, ground work.
  • Kevin Bryant
  • Black family Development
  • Providing services to children and families for 36 years.
  • Engage community. Cody-Rouge community. West part of district 7.
  • Strategy is block club development—grant from Skillman foundation.
  • Started in crime prevention and advice to people in the Osborn area.
  • Replication the program in Osborn in the Cody-Rouge area through Friendship, Fellowship, Relationship
  • Strategy to find all of the natural leaders that already exist.
  • We have to work together, not in silos.
  • Networking for Change in Cody Rouge—where to start, where to begin?
  • Environmental scan, from the outside, who lives where, what is abandoned, etc.
  • The difference between knowing neighbors and having relationships with neighbors
  • Organization in necessary in neighborhoods, the importance of knowing your neighbors well, to build community.
  • Natural leaders are waiting to be asked in the community to lead.
  • A lot of programming for the young people and senior citizens on the block
  • Networking for Change and Black Family Development—Restorative practices, to help build community and reduce school suspensions, working with people instead of to them.
  • The importance of celebrating even the small accomplishments. Celebrating three people in the block club
  • Luncheon every third Saturday of the month, focus is to celebrate block club development and the encouragement to sustain
  • About 100 people come out every month
  • Celebrate who is in the room, not who is not in the room
  • Planning and development based on what the community wants—so the community needs to get more organized. People at session are involved in many different block clubs.
  • The importance of moving back to the old neighborhood, the beauty of knowing neighbors in Detroit—the bond that they have. Being in love with your neighborhood and your neighbors.
  • Working together as a community makes the larger community listen—i.e. local government, getting the 501c3 status, the neighbors are taking more notice, as things grow and more people come together.
  • A “light house” all houses must have a light on, if they don’t then the neighbors know that something is going wrong and they will knock on your door and call the police if necessary.
  • Connect block clubs by an over-arching organization for example, O’Hair Park Community Associations, is comprised of a multitude of block clubs in the area.
  • Utilizing Districts, one person to be held accountable.
  • Living and working in the neighborhood.
  • 501c4 can be political while 501c3 cannot, pros and cons of getting neighborhood organizations of choosing between them
  • District 7 owns its own community center. All communities are stakeholders; therefore the community is more involved in the center and its future. Power plays on the building making it difficult to maneuver though
  • How to get those engaged in the neighborhoods (especially with youth)
  • Building relationships with the youth—developing relationships with the schools. Supplement what they need i.e. community service hours on their block, in school, they want to help.
  • What to do in neighborhoods where the schools have closed and they don’t go to school in the neighborhood. Some neighborhoods shrunk because people moved out to move to places where children could walk to schools safely.
  • Abandoned neighborhood because people moved out, overgrown grass and stretched of abandoned houses.
  • LEAP engages different organizations, working with adjacent areas and community organizations. Start small. First step is going out to meet people and seeing what other people are doing. Bring your children because children are part of the community too.




Marcus Harris, moderator, ARISE Detroit!

April Boyle: BUILD Director of small businesses

Network of grasswork programs that get people what they need to get their ideas up and running. BUILD Social, which is there for social minded business owners. Various programs for those who attend the program

Herb Drayton: Wayne State Goldman Sachs 10,000 small business Detroit

Helping businesses grow and get to the next level. Its in 18 cities and launched in Detroit a year ago. The methodology stands the test of time and they are currently in their 3rd cohort of groups of businesses they work with.

Bonnie R. Fahoome: SWOT City Portfolio Manager

Brings tech towns business support into the neighborhood and they identify businesses that want to start a business and highlight their Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities and Threats. Also represents BisGrid gives you resources based on the level of planning you are in your business. On the side he also has a startup that teaches businesses how to market with the technical focus.

Kimberly Faison: ProsperUs Detroit Southwest Solutions- Director

Training, micro-lending and a 20 week class that provides all kinds of information with legal, IT, business etc. Startups can apply for up to 15,000. They work in low income, minority and immigrant communities. They also provide services in Spanish.

Kyle Polk: Detroit Future City

Economic platform for rising ideas


Q: What is step one if I have a great idea?

Boyle: Take the BUILD class, it’s the best way to get started. Look at the locations Faison offers and if not apply for BUILD. Simple application form. BUILDinstitute.org. $200-$500 cost on a sliding scale based on income. If you cannot pay then you can barter a service for the class. 12-15 other students in each class. Experts in each week class. Lots of collaboration and networking after you graduate the 8 week program. Lots of marketing opportunity. Get a BizGrid!


Faison: We have nine different classes happening across the city, 100 people right now are taking the class. For your business to take advantage of the microlending or the IT support you do need to be in a specific Detroit area. Everyone that goes through the program gets a scholarship so everyone who goes through pays $75-$125 for 11 classroom sessions. Lots of one on one coaching, lots of resource allocation and support for all ranges of people as well as barrier removal with the one on one coaching time. You will not be turned away pretty much


Fahoome: If youre not 100% sure then there are shorter seminars put out in the city such as SCORE which is put on by the state. These are shorter maybe around 3 hours with information about how to write a business plan. Most are free or for low cost. Mel.org- a free business gateway with databases with information about your competitors, potential customers and industry. Lots of research information to make intentional business decisions. FREE


Drayton: DO YOUR RESEARCH!!!!!!! Find out more about your topic and the get some training. Check out the BizGrid. Then get to networking, get to know people, make yourself known to these organizations. Get plugged. Be cautious about rushing and spending money. Get a plan and access your plan get training get plugged in and then get started.


Polk: Drayton and Faison’s programs actually have capital opportunities for your program. While Build and Swot City are based on training and networking. BUILD sees itself as a feeder organization for the next stage of business development and getting access to loans. All four of these programs are working as a network and you need to find out where there is a place to go.


Q: When it is a social enterprise and you’re stuck between getting grant money or wanting your own money what do you do?


Harris: If you have a social mission with a business model then first ask yourself will people buy this and who is my customer. Why will they buy this product? what benefit does this customer get from buying my product? Will I be able to get enough people to buy my product consistently? If you think your product will get enough earned income then go social enterprise route. If not then go non profit.

L3C- Low profit limited liability company- for profit company so yes we are a for profit but we have a social mission.

LLC- limited liability company

Skillman Foundation and Kresge Foundation are providing Program Related Investment- the IRA will allow them to give some of their money to give investment for for-profit companies and the L3C is the safe avenue that will allow that. The IRA will hopefully figure out the PRI loan/investment in the next 3 years. They have not seen it in the form of equity investment yet. Where the foundation is investing in your company and then expect an exchange of control in your company.


Fahoome: You can have a social business and still be a for profit business. (Obtaining) grant money is  exhausting and time consuming. Attend pitch competitions and do crowd funding.

Crowd funding: www.kiva.org/detroit


Every time you sell something track the grassroots sales you’ve made at small places.

Detroit SOUP: Business pitch competition


Conclusion: choose the legal structure of your business that will bring the most resources to your business.

Q: To Ms. Faison, will you keep spaces for ProsperUS grads to have popups

A: So the grant was for organizations to get approved for popups and not entrepreneurs however it was not approved. If your business is in our areas then you can apply for all of our resources- specifically to grads.


Q: If you’re a kid how do you start a small business?


Fahoome: None of the organizations here do target young people however there are organizations that do target young people and please get in contact with us to get those resources.

“Kidpreneur Detroit”, New Detroit also has summer programs for youth business minded ideas.


www. Lemonadedaydetroit.org

Mount Elliot Maker Space- how to make and sell things


Q: Can you elaborate why it’s important to get legal counsel when you start a business?


Drayton: Your access to legal assistance will be greatly increased by these programs. ProsperUS has a pro bono legal program to help with those who qualify. Legal counsel is SOOOO important. Pure Michigan Business connect- PMBC.org

If you are an existing business, you can apply for all of these services, legal IT etc


Resources: Wayne State Law School (Professor Eric Williams, Small Business Legal Clinic, wayne.edu/law


Fahoome: Wayne state law school has a legal clinic for small businesses and you can get general questions answered.


Harris:  Get yourself a lawyer, get yourself a banker, get yourself an accountant in that order.


Q: For Mr. Drayton can you give me a method on how to motivate a group of people who say they want to get involved in the community but you can’t get that started?


Fahoome: If they see you setting that example of community success, they will follow suit.


Polk: 2 blocks from here there is a church group that works on community development


Q: How did you keep the balance of having a day job and pursuing your business ideas?


Faison: Be prepared for a lot of sleepless nights. You should not quit your day job until you’re getting enough money to sustain yourself.


Boyle: So I work and am a partner in a restaurant and run the build program and have 3 boys. I work on my own terms and I am the master of my fate. That is the beauty and the beast of being the CEO of your life. You need a support system!


Drayton: Once you’re an established business these resources don’t stop. You are the CEO of your business. Work on the business instead of in the business. Be prepared to work 16 hours a day.


Harris: Whatever your side hustle is in addition to your 9-5 day job. As a part time guy, you have to be passionate about it! You will have 16-18 hour days.


Q: I’ve been through some training and seminars and the end there are no funds left etc. What are the chances that I will get funding?


Faison:  We are a lot more risk tolerant than most places however it’s a long process, so most people don’t come ready to the lending committee. You have to be ready to think about taxes, your financial projections, holes in your business plan etc. If you want money but proceed before you’re ready then you will do more harm than good.


  • John George, Motor City Blight Busters

o Raised and spent $20 million.

o Creates ownership of buildings for the people living in the homes.

o Cleaning up blight on every Saturday in the winter. More days during the week in the spring, summer and fall.

o Works on building community assets instead of liabilities.

  • Motorcity mapping

o City wide survey on community conditions.

o Surveys all counties to find where the most impact will be made.

o Mobile app allows individuals to input pictures for places that need help.

  • Tracy Perry, East side unity association

o Working to stop blight AND crime in the communities.

o Heavy police involvement and putting up cameras for surveillance.

o The organization has 40 people right now and looking to grow.

o Aim is to revitalize the community.

  • Grandmont Rosedale development Corp.

o Offers free supplies to organizations working to clean up houses.

  • Only available on Saturday and Sunday.

o Vacant Property tax force

  • Meets each month for the past 6 years to go over ways to help northwest Detroit.
  • Clean-ups, prevention work (auctioning off houses for sale) and providing information for everyone to use.
  • Marshall Bullock, Detroit Department of Neighborhoods (District 7 representative)

o Working with resident complaints.

o Eliminating blight while dealing with a lack of resources.

o Meets with community groups to figure out what help is needed.

o Police need to be trained (new law put into place recently) so time is needed before we see a change.

  • Keys to keeping volunteers coming back

o Always make them feel appreciated.



o Make sure there are enough tools to go around so people can do something.

o Have a variety of jobs that people can work on.

o Have pizza.


Partnerships for Neighborhood change

  • Eight Mile Boulevard Association

o Coordinates to revitalize 8 mile. Eight mile is the border for many counties.

o Clean the D is during the first week of May.

o Partners with small groups to make a big difference.

o Park at 8 mile and 75. Revitalizing started with the city and led to a major project once more partnerships were introduced.

  • Rippling Hope

o Been in Detroit for 4 years and has a base in Texas as well.

o Rehab for houses (similar to habitat for humanity). Relies heavily on volunteers.

o 1100 homes and 500 lot clean-ups so far.

o 1500 volunteers.

  • Building Street Block Club

o 100 feet by 100 feet community garden.

o Key: Go out to seek help. Don’t wait for people to come to you.

o Network with people to find skills that you and your organization don’t currently have.

  • Habitat for Humanity

o Have the “what do I have to offer” mindset. Not the “what can you give me” mindset.

o Partners with ANYONE, independent of personal beliefs.

o Works with families on a 20 year interest free loan. Hosts workshops for families to help get them back on track.

o Everyone does what they can to help.

  • Central district Christian

o Lot of work from volunteers in the community.

o Put in perspective of how much work volunteers give if you values their time.

o Works with volunteer partnerships to clean up houses and stop blight.