Hope and Encouragement for My Detroiters Who Keep Holding On By Chellyz View
One of those Sweet Sunday Drives turns Bitterly Sad
So I was in one of my moods. You know, when you are overly emotional for no apparent reason. Maybe I did have a reason. It was a Sunday mid-morning, and I just dropped my mom off at home after attending an amazing service at Kingdom (church). My spirit was full, but my heart was on empty just like my gas tank. However, that didn’t stop me from driving through my old neighborhood for a few minutes.
At some point, I knew it was time to take the drive home. I took the familiar road towards the Davison Freeway instead of Seven Mile Road, and that’s when I had the ultimate flashback memory. As a child, my aunt would travel on Ryan Road between McNichols (aka Six Mile) and Davison to hop on the Freeway. Whenever she headed this way on a destination, I knew 85% of the time we would be traveling on the Davison to connect to the Lodge or Chrysler Expressway or stopping through Hamtramck. On this Sunday, I felt sadder than usual while driving down Ryan. The changes on this particular block were imprinted in my brain like a fingerprint etched on my fingertip. In my childhood, this section of Ryan was filled with homes. During that time the houses were so close in proximity you could literally shake a neighbor’s hand or pass a cup of sugar through the windows. Yeah, this Sunday the sweet memories turned bitter.
This vibrant block is now a bleak stretch of blight. You can count the number of houses left on both sides of the street. Often times as I drive through various neighborhoods, I see the recurring theme: “The Homes are Missing and the People have Left.” However, I listen to the news and my ears are ringing with the resounding message, “Detroit is the Comeback City.” I believe in the comeback, but as I stated previously, let the Love and Promises of Progress take place in every nook and cranny of the 313.
Keep Fighting if You Want to Hold On
Some of the prime reasons neighborhoods crumbled are, because seniors, families, and dedicated homeowners lost the battle of saving their homes to overwhelming property taxes, predatory lending, and trying to keep up with the rat race of everyday life. We all know this is nothing profound, but it’s the honest truth. There are various programs available that offer relief to homeowners, but sometimes the guidelines aren’t feasible, there is a long waiting list, or funding has exhausted. I remember being caught up in the game of win, lose, or draw. Our household took advantage of the Michigan First Step Program to save our home. It took several months of phone calls, submitting and resubmitting verifications, frustration, and a few tears, but finally, we were approved. The process wasn’t for the faint of heart. For many homeowners, a decision must be made to let go or keep holding on.
The main purpose of this post is to offer encouragement to those who are not quite ready to let go and want to stay in Detroit. We need the people to rebuild and save the city without worrying about losing their homes. Empty houses start the process of creating abandoned blocks and broken neighborhoods. Thieves find unoccupied homes as an invitation to steal items such as hot water tanks, furnaces, and pipes which leads to the devastation of the infrastructure of solid houses. At times the empty vessels are transformed into trap houses and depressing views for people left on the block. My biggest plea is for the “Powers that Be” to design laws, and programs that work with the people who have the desire to save their homes. Everyone loves the Comeback, but who cares if the people are losing and decide they ain’t never coming back.
List of Resources:
The following numbers and websites were found on www.waynecounty.com:
http://www.stepforwardmichigan.org / (866) 946-4732
Michigan Veterans Trust Fund (Wayne County) 313-224-5045
Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS) 313-842-7010
City of Detroit Human Services Department Central Operations Division 313-852-5634 (Only for Detroit Homeowners)
City of Detroit Planning Commission 313-224-7887
Wayne County Treasurer 313-224-5990
Free Counseling and Legal Aid
United Community Housing Coalition 313-963-3310 (Detroit Residents Only)
Michigan Legal Services 313-964-4130 (Wayne County Residents)
Green Path Financial Wellness 313-964-4700 (Wayne County Residents)
Detroit Blight Busters 313-255-4355
Detroit Housing Grants | Pocket Sense
-Let your heart be full of new ventures that will lead you to the possibilities of limitless conversations!