This Saturday, Jefferson East Inc. and the Concord Block Club will work with team members from Wayne State University's Americorps Urban Safety Project (AMUS) to board up buildings in the east side neighborhood. The volunteer project, part of a two-day neighborhood improvement event, takes place Saturday from 8 am - 1 pm. Jefferson East says they still need volunteers to help with the board ups, which were planned around the routes neighborhood kids take when they walk to school at Marcus Garvey Academy. The academy, a Detroit Public School, recently underwent a $2.1 million renovation by local construction firm Walbridge, and now includes a dance studio and audio visual center designed with the facility's African-centered curriculum in mind.
Jefferson Inc says that the homes to be boarded up this weekend were identified as especially troublesome by a recent safe routes to school audit. Some of the structures include an abandoned home and a vacant storefront close to Marcus Garvey Academy. In addition to the board up, the event organizers are hosting a kids mural painting party Friday at 1 pm. Kids will paint the boards to be used on the abandoned buildings to give them a less forbidding feel.
The mural party takes place at The Family Center, 7377 Kercheval. Volunteers for Saturday's board up are asked to assemble at Detroit Funk Inc., 2240 Mt. Elliott. AMUS representative Vachal Moore says that the project is essential, both from a safety standpoint and as part of neighborhood-building. "We are so happy to be able to identify and improve these hardest hit areas around local schools," Moore said, adding "We also think that engaging local youth is a great way to ignite volunteerism in the area."
·Board Up and Mural Painting [Jefferson East Inc]
·Marcus Garvey Renovations [Walbridge]
·Safe Routes to School in Michigan [Safe Routes to School National Partnership]
·Marcus Garvey Academy [Detroit Public Schools]
·Finding Safer Routes to School [Detroit Public Schools]