A Partnership to Revitalize Communities in Michigan


August 2, 2012

Reinventing Michigan doesn't mean talking about taking action, it means working together to actually get things done for our state and our cities. Today, the City of Detroit saw significant action when Governor Rick Snyder joined with leaders from the city, county, businesses and the local community to kick off a pilot program to revitalize neighborhoods and improve life for the people of Michigan.

The pilot program -- which is centered around the Clark Elementary school in the Morningside neighborhood of east Detroit -- will help stabilize the community and improve the quality of life for those living in the community surrounding the school. Under the pilot project, more than 200 blighted houses will be demolished and dozens more will be rehabilitated in a ten-block radius surrounding Clark, thereby creating a safer path for children to go to school. The program will be expanded to include neighborhoods near eight other Detroit schools, as well.

But that's not all.

Under the new Pathways to Potential program, the Michigan Department of Human Services has created a Family Resource Center within Clark Elementary to support the neighborhood stabilization effort. Social workers there will support the neighborhood's families with job placement assistance and connections to both public and non-profit resources. The Family Resource Center will become a central hub of the neighborhood through its extensive partnerships with organizations that have committed to supporting the needs of the community. The program is a collaboration among the Governor's Office, the City of Detroit, Detroit Public Schools, and many other public and private partners.

This pilot program is just the beginning, and the effort will be repeated across the city and the state. It is paid for with funds from a $97 million national settlement regarding banks and improper foreclosures. Of that amount, $10 million will go toward fighting blight in Detroit, which was hurt particularly hard by the foreclosure crisis. In addition, $15 million will be targeted toward other communities throughout the state.

by Mike Brownfield
Director of Social Media
Office of Governor Rick Snyder