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Fundraising : Detroit Development News

93 Fundraising Articles | Page: | Show All

Fundraisers for Georgia Street Community Collective turn up the heat for new furnace

In the neighborhood that surrounds Georgia Street, on the East Side near Harper and Gratiot, Mark Covington successfully transformed what is now five empty lots near his grandmother's house into a community garden and meeting space, a place where neighborhood kids come after school to hang out.

"The garden was needed. People were choosing to buy food, or not to buy food, because they had to pay for prescription drugs or utilities," he says.

The garden features 37 different varieties of fruits and vegetables, and even a goat and chickens. It's also become a way for Covington to mentor as many as a dozen kids who live around Georgia Street.

"Hearing their stories, the stuff that they were going through at home and at school, I just wanted to be a mentor and to help any way I could. We started doing movie nights in the garden, backpack giveaways, and other activities. It was just a way to show them that we cared about them," he says.

His next idea? Rehabbing a building purchased through probate into a community center and offices for the Georgia Street Community Collective, which will also house a multi-purpose room, library and computer lab for residents. They're currently raising $4,000 online to buy a new furnace and fix ductwork in the building (click here to donate).

"It went from wanting to do stuff in the garden, to wanting to do it all year round, and getting the building rehabbed, so we can do it year round," Covington says.

Mark's been named a semi-finalist in the national Energizer Keep Going Hall of Fame contest. Click here to vote him in.

Source: Mark Covington, founder and president, Georgia Street Community Collective
Writer: Ashley C. Woods

Southwest Lending Solutions opens on West Vernor

Southwest Solutions has opened a new for-profit lending mortgage broker, Southwest Lending Solutions, with offices on Vernor east of Grand Blvd. They've hired Dave LeClerc, who has over 20 years lending experience, to get the new program off the ground.

SLS may be for-profit, but new lending officer Emily Doerr says the brokerage is similarly committed to the Southwest area.  "The profits for the mortgage will be reinvested into Southwest Detroit, rather than to the profit margins of a bank," she explains.

SLS currently has three banks backing them as lenders, and are doing conventional loans, regular FHA loans, FHA 203K loans for rehab assistance, and refinances. Doerr says they are targeting young professionals and families investing in the city, as well as anyone in the suburbs -- they will underwrite mortgages outside of Detroit.

Doerr says, "We have just as competitive rates as any other bank or lender, all the way down to closing costs." Affiliation with Southwest Solutions offers buyers access to credit repair and pre-purchase counseling classes.

And, rest assured, SLS won't be offering adjustable rate mortgages.

Contact Emily Doerr at (313) 670-0149 or email her.

Source: Emily Doerr, lending officer, Southwest Lending Solutions
Writer: Ashley C. Woods

Next phases of Riverwalk, Globe, Dequindre Cut net $34.4M

The Detroit Riverwalk is much-loved but non-contiguous. Currently, it stretches for about a mile from Joe Louis Arena to Rivard St. and then picks up again at Joseph Campau for another three-quarters of a mile to Mt. Elliott. Soon, those stretches could be joined with a recent funding announcement from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF).

$34.4 million dollars has been pledged to the Riverwalk for land acquisition that will connect the two segments to each other, expand Milliken State Park and construct a path along the Uniroyal site that currently divides the walkway from the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy's Gabriel Richard Park at the foot of the MacArthur Bridge to Belle Isle.

A portion of the money is pegged for redevelopment of the Globe Building ($9 million) and a 0.7-mile extension of the Dequindre Cut north to Mack Ave. ($375,000 for land acquisition).

The MNRTF Board of Trustees recommended a total of 117 recreation projects and land acquisitions totaling $102,098,400 be funded in 2011, the largest grant award since the fund was created in 1976, and Detroit's riverfront came away with a not-insignificant slice of the pie. "The Riverwalk has enough accomplishments on the ground to show that it is working and that the project is ready to receive the funding," says Nancy Krupiarz of the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance, an organization that advocates for a statewide system of trails and greenways.

Other Detroit parks saw some love as well: Balduck on the east side and Southwest's Patton each garnered $500,000 towards improvements.

The Trust Fund recommendations require the approval of the state legislature for the funds to be disbursed; that could happen as early as spring 2011, says Krupiarz.

Source: Nancy Krupiarz, MTGA
Writer: Kelli B. Kavanaugh

93 Fundraising Articles | Page: | Show All
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