Cornell was living in an abandoned nursing home on East Grand Blvd. The building, originally a large, beautiful house built for a wealthy family 100 years ago had been converted for commercial use. He was told he could buy the house from the city for a dollar so he was cleaning it up. I doubt that will ever happen as the back taxes owed on the building are probably in the thousands of dollars. In the meantime he has a roof over his head.
This house was a converted nursing home which must have housed several vet's as there were many patriotic murals painted on the walls throughout the house.
This abandoned house sits across from Jackie's, as well as two more on either side of her house. She organized the neighborhood kids to paint the houses with colorful depictions of ocean life and sunsets as a way of beautifying the street.
Every Sunday afternoon throughout the summer at the corner of St. Aubin and Frederick Street, an empty lot transforms itself into a lively and free music venue. Hundreds gather to spend the afternoon eating, drinking, dancing, and listening to live blues.
Billy collects pictures of fashionable, beautiful women from magazines to share with his girlfriend. A friend told Billy about an abandoned house that was in decent condition on the Eastside of town, and for the past four years Billy has made it his home. His house is the only one on the block so he cares for all the vacant properties on either side of his house and across the street by cutting the grass regularly and picking up trash. He had a kitchen fire a couple of years ago, but the fire department was able to extinguish the flames before the house was to badly damaged. The inside of the house has visible smoke and fire damage but the structure is sound.
Shad and Sara are new arrivals to Goldengate Street.
A mother with her daughter and grandson in the front yard of their house.
The Brightmoor neighborhood on the far Northwest side is Detroit's most blighted area. Long the center of attention due to the sheer amount of trash, discarded tires, and collapsed houses that riddled the area, recent efforts by volunteer groups, most notably the Detroit Blight Authority, have caught the attention of the news media. On this particular day over 400 volunteers, mostly from the metropolitan area, showed up to perform clean up duty on a fourteen square block area, making an amazing difference in the visual appearance of this neighborhood.
Miss Louise is a 42 year resident of the Brightmoor area, one of Detroit's most blighted neighborhoods. She said she still likes the neighborhood and she'll stay until the day she dies because as she puts it, "where else am I going to go". Always upbeat, she has a positive attitude about everything, in spite of the constant crime and slowly watching her neighborhood completely empty out.
Jay digs in the dirt of an abandoned scrapyard pulling out bits of metal for recycling. The scrapyard pays him about $.09 a pound for basic steel. On a good day he can make between 50 and 75 dollars.
Kyle supervises over a group of children who perform maintenance and build bikes for themselves. He is part of the Urban Neighborhood Initiatives Program (http://unidetroit.org), an organization dedicated to building vital neighborhoods. If the children volunteer 20 hours at UNI they can receive a bike for free from Kyle.
This skateboard park was built with a $30,000 grant from the Tony Hawk Foundation. The foundation seeks to foster lasting improvements in society, with an emphasis on supporting and empowering youth in disadvantaged communities.
Easy is trying to renovate an abandoned storefront on the corner of Woodward Avenue and Goldengate Street where he wants to open up a bike shop. Called "Smoke's Bike Shop", it will be a haven for neighborhood kids to learn about building and maintaining their bicycles as well as a place for social gatherings.
Cornell was living in an abandoned nursing home on East Grand Blvd. The building, originally a large, beautiful house built for a wealthy family, but had been converted many years ago. He told me he could buy the house from the city for a dollar so he was cleaning it up. I doubt that will ever happen as the back taxes owed on the building are probably in the thousands of dollars. In the meantime he has a roof over his head.
On a busy street, two mothers with their children improvise and play on a platform with a kiddy pool.