Detroit, Michigan

Detroit, MI

In the 2000 census, Detroit had a population of 951,270 residents, marking the first time since 1920 that the city's population had dipped below one million. By 2011, the city had 706,585 residents, whose racial composition was 82.7% African American, 10.6% White, 6.8% Hispanic, and 1.1% Asian. Detroit's population has fallen by more than 60 percent from the city's population of 1.85 million in 1950.

For more than four decades, many neighborhoods in Detroit have suffered immense population decline and related urban disinvestment and deterioration. This loss in population and jobs is a direct repercussion of the declining manufacturing base of the region, especially of the Big Three automakers and the even faster shrinkage of industry parts suppliers. The city's poverty rate in 2006 was 32.5 percent, the highest rate for any large (population of over 250,000) city in the country. Unemployment in Detroit is also high. In 2006, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated the annual unemployment rate in the city of Detroit to be 13.7 percent – except for post-Katrina New Orleans, this marked the highest rate, by far, of the United States' 50 most populous cities (Fresno, which ranked second highest, had an unemployment rate of 7.5 percent).

Despite the daunting task of working against the tide of automotive industry decline, community wealth building institutions in Detroit have had some significant successes. From 1991 through 2005, $9.5 million in loans and grants from Living Cities and additional support from Detroit LISC helped to generate $337 million worth of housing projects, resulting in 3,547 affordable housing units. The fruits of rebuilding efforts are visible in Corktown (where Tiger Stadium was located), Mexicantown (in southwest Detroit, near the Ambassador Bridge that links Detroit to Windsor, Canada), the Morningside neighborhood on Detroit's east side, and in parts of downtown Detroit.

Faced with the recent spate of manufacturing lay-offs, both the City of Detroit and the philanthropic community are stepping up their community building efforts. The City's program, labeled the NEXT Detroit Neighborhood Initiative, will spend $125 million of public funds over five years to implement six neighborhood plans that have been developed through a 15-month community planning process. The philanthropic community has pledged $100 million to create a “New Economy Initiative” fund that will “target companies and projects aimed at diversifying Michigan's ‘old economy'.” The Ford, Kresge and Kellogg foundations have each committed $25 million, with the remaining $25 million coming from the Knight, Hudson-Webber, Max and Marjorie Fisher, C.S. Mott, Skillman, the Community Foundation for Southeast Michicago, and the McGregor Fund.

An overview of community wealth building efforts follows:

Anchor Institutions

Community Foundation for Southeastern Michigan

Founded in 1984, the Community Foundation for Southeastern Michigan aims to enhance quality of life in southeast Michigan.  As of 2016, the foundation held over $800 million in total assets.  Its grantmaking, which disbursed $73 million through 3,800 grants in 2016, focuses on supporting initiatives that prioritize sustainability, have regional impact, can leverage additional dollars, and include collaboration.  In 2007, in response to the state’s deteriorating economy, the foundation catalyzed the New Economy Initiative (NEI), an effort that brought together 10 foundations to establish a $100 million fund to diversify the regional economy and stimulate entrepreneurial development.  Since 2009, NEI has awarded over $96 million to projects credited with creating 1,610 new companies and adding nearly 17,500 new jobs to the region.  To ensure NEI’s continuation, $33.25 million was added to the fund in 2013.

Ford Foundation

Incorporated in Detroit but headquartered in New York since 1953, the Ford Foundation has remained committed to its home city, investing more than $527 million in Detroit since its establishment in 1936.  Recent grants have supported community development work led by the Detroit Local Initiatives Support Corporation and the RiverWalk project, which has revitalized abandoned factory sites into a park and a three-mile promenade along the city’s riverfront.  In 2014, the foundation pledged $125 million over a 15-year period to the city's “Grand Bargain,” a partnership to help resolve Detroit’s bankruptcy.

Hudson-Webber Family Foundation

Created in 1984 through the merger of two family foundations with origins dating back to the late 1930s and early ‘40s, the Hudson-Webber Family Foundation concentrates its giving within the City of Detroit and has a particular interest in the revitalization of the urban core.  Since 1939, the foundation has invested over $193 million in a range of projects and programs aimed to improve the city’s quality of life.  The foundation currently has four grantmaking priorities:  1) physical revitalization, 2) economic development, 3) safety, and 4) the arts.

John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Headquartered in Miami, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is a national foundation with assets exceeding $2.4 billion focused on strengthening democracy by fostering informed and engaged communities.  Its grant making in Miami aims to nurture a “startup culture,” supportive of creatives, entrepreneurs, innovators, and other agents of change generating new ideas that could shape South Florida’s future.  Reflecting this, in 2017 grants have been awarded to support the NewME Accelerator (a business accelerator for minority start-ups) and FIU Miami’s Urban Future Initiative, which seeks to inform a strategy to grow a broader, more inclusive innovation economy by identifying Miami’s key economic, occupational, creative, and technological assets.

Kresge Foundation

Headquartered in the Detroit suburb of Troy, the Kresge Foundation is developing a multi-year five-part strategy to support the long-term health and stability of the Detroit region. The Detroit Program consists of five priorities: 1) neighborhood improvements, 2) economic development, 3) support for arts and cultural institutions, 4) downtown Detroit revitalization, and 5) enhancing the city's environment and natural resources. Kresge is also one of the three principal $25-million anchors to the $100-milion, multi-foundation Detroit “New Economy Initiative” fund. Read more about Kresge Foundation...

Midtown Detroit

Created in 2011 through the merger of the University Cultural Center Association and the New Center Council, Midtown Detroit (MDI) is a nonprofit planning and development organization focused on the physical maintenance and revitalization of the Midtown Detroit area.  Currently working to create stronger connections between the city and anchor institutions, MDI initiatives are credited with attracting over 1,456 anchor employees to area housing and shifting anchor procurement dollars to local food, facilities maintenance, and waste management and recycling businesses.

Skillman Foundation

Established in 1960, the Skillman Foundation supports quality education, economic opportunities, and equitable civic action for Detroit youth.  The foundation awards $15-17 million in grants on an annual basis.  To expand its support of resident-led community development projects, the foundation began a PRI (Program-related Investments) program in 2013.  The initiative is credited with supporting the expansion of a youth-operated bike shop and the creation of an aquaponic produce growing facility, among other projects.

Community Development Corporations (CDCs)

Abayomi Community Development Corporation

Founded in 1997, Abayomi is a faith-based nonprofit organization serving Northwest Detroit with origins in New St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church.  Aiming to improve socioeconomic conditions, strengthen families, and increase dignity and personal achievement, Abayomi—meaning a pleasant meeting place in the West African Yoruba tribe language—focuses on community and economic development, education, and recreation programs to area youth and families.  In 2015, its Center for Financial Advancement provided foreclosure counseling, homebuyer education, and financial counseling to over 400 residents, 55 of whom were able to purchase their first home.

Bagley Housing Association

Bagley Housing Association (BHA), a not-for-profit organization that provides resources for community development in the Hubbard Richard and Hubbard Farms districts (and other designated areas) of Detroit. BHA seeks to complement other efforts in the area to build a thriving, economically, ethnically and culturally diverse residential/business urban environment. Read more about Bagley Housing Association...

Cass Corridor Neighborhood Development Corporation

The Cass Corridor Neighborhood Development Corporation (CCNDC) was established in 1982. The group rehabilitates and builds decent, safe and affordable housing and manages eight multi-unit properties. The group also maintains a 3,000-square-foot community center which is rented out for a fee for private functions and at no cost for local nonprofit groups. Read more about Cass Corridor Neighborhood Development Corporation...

Eastside Community Network

The Eastside Community Network (formerly the Warren/Conner Development Coalition) aims to foster sustainable, positive change in the Lower Eastside of Detroit.  Since its establishment in 1984, the Eastside Community Network’s work has helped catalyze new community resources including four locally-owned restaurants, a community development bank, a credit union, two health clinics, and new green infrastructure.  Its commercial development efforts are now focused on the Mack Corridor, where it is working with a range of partners to: create a design plan for streetscape improvements and beautification; develop standards for signage and façade improvements; rehab and demolish abandoned properties; and support area businesses.

Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation

The Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation (GRDC) works to preserve and revitalize the Grandmont Rosedale communities of northwest Detroit. Through its Housing Development Program, the CDC purchases and renovates vacant homes, assists low-income homeowners with home repairs, and builds new housing on vacant lots.  To foster commercial development, GRDC has a pop-up retail space in which local entrepreneurs can test their business concepts.  In 2016, the space supported 3 enterprises, one of which has opened a permanent storefront.  The CDC also runs a co-working space, which currently houses 15 small businesses employing 24 people.  To encourage residents to support local businesses, GRDC coordinates several events throughout the year including a Shop Small Saturday, which brings more than 50 local entrepreneurs together as a grassroots alternative for holiday gift shopping.

Greater Corktown Development Corporation

Greater Corktown Development Corporation is the result of a merger between Corktown Consumer Housing Cooperative, founded in the 1960s, and Greater Corktown Economic Development Corporation, founded in 1976. The group is currently working on three residential infill projects with a total of roughly 50 units. Now that private investor capital is returning to the neighborhood, plans to shift its focus to supporting commercial and retail activity along Michigan Avenue, which straddles both historic Corktown and North Corktown. Read more about Greater Corktown Development Corporation...

Northwest Detroit Neighborhood Development

Northwest Detroit Neighborhood Development is a community-based neighborhood organization committed to building affordable housing for low and moderate-income residents in the city's Brightmoor community. To date, it has constructed roughly 300 affordable homes, about a third of which include supportive services for families with special needs, and has renovated 40 others. The CDC is now raising funds to build 90 affordable homes, renovate a building into community and nonprofit office space, and develop a mixed-use project with 200 units of housing and retail space.

Southwest Detroit Business Association

Founded in 1957, the Southwest Detroit Business Association pursues economic development to stimulate investment and grow community wealth in the Mexicantown and nearby areas of southwest Deroit. The group disburses grants for commercial real estate development, provides technical assistance (such as architectural assistance for historic renovation work), and assists with community planning and organizing. Read more about Southwest Detroit Business Association...

United Streets Networking and Planning: Building a Community (U-SNAP-BAC)

Founded in 1985 by a consortium of seven neighborhood organizations and four business associations, U-SNAP-BAC works to revitalize Detroit's east side. U-SNAP-BAC also owns a housing subsidiary, which operates a neighborhood home repair program. To date, U-SNAP-BAC has counseled over 900 families; aided in the development of over 100 block clubs; mentored numerous small businesses; facilitated dozens of workshops, meetings, community forums, and neighborhood cleanup efforts; planted more than100 trees; rehabilitated over 500 homes; and constructed over 130 new affordable homes. Read more about United Streets Networking and Planning: Building a Community (U-SNAP-BAC)...

Vanguard Community Development Corporation

Founded in 1994, Vanguard CDC aims to cultivate a vibrant and healthy Historic North End where people live, work, and play.  To date, the CDC has developed nearly 100 affordable housing units and renovated a vacant 10,000 square foot commercial space into the North End Career Center (where Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit now operates).  Through all of its work, Vanguard involves diverse community stakeholders in the planning processes to help ensure economic equity and racial justice.

Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs)

Invest Detroit

Invest Detroit is a CDFI established to support economic and community development in Detroit’s underserved communities.  Managing funds totaling $225 million, it finances and supports business development, real estate development, neighborhood retail projects, and high-tech companies.  One recent investment supported the development of Gateway Marketplace, a project that transformed a 36-acre brownfield site in a food desert into a retail center anchored by a national grocery—the first to open in Detroit in over 20 years.

Opportunity Resource Fund

Created in 2004 out of a merger of two community development funds that date back to the 1980s, the Opportunity Resource Fund (formerly named the Michigan Interfaith Trust Fund) offers a variety of loan products, and underwrites projects for affordable housing, economic development, pre-development, and mixed-use development throughout the state of Michigan. To date, the fund has lent $21.9 million for affordable housing, leveraging an additional $73.7 million, and has helped develop nearly 2,000 housing units. Read more about Opportunity Resource Fund...

Cooperatives (Co-ops)

Cooperative Optical Services, Inc.

Co-op Optical is the largest not-for-profit provider of vision care services in the state of Michigan. Formed in 1960, they pioneered prepaid vision programs in Michigan. As a cooperative, the group contributes to health care cost containment in eye care by providing funded program coverage at reasonable rates. Read more about Cooperative Optical Services, Inc....

Detroit Edison Credit Union

Organized in 1944 to provide financial services for Detroit Edison employees, Detroit Edison Credit Union has grown to provide loans and savings services to more than 28,000 members. As of September 2007, the assets of the credit union exceeded $485 million. Read more about Detroit Edison Credit Union...

Cross-Sectoral

Center for Community-Based Enterprise

Launched in 2006, the Center for Community-Based Enterprise (C2BE) seeks to build a network of mutually supportive cooperatives or worker-owned companies in Detroit, especially among members of historically underserved communities.  Focused on creating living-wage jobs through worker-ownership, the nonprofit provides legal help, technical assistance, and education to individuals interested in developing worker-owned cooperatives and other community-based enterprises. Most recently, its work has been credited with helping an Ann Arbor-based company, Arbor Assays, transition its ownership to its employees—becoming the first U.S. life sciences company to be 100 percent employee-owned.

City Connect Detroit

City Connect Detroit helps Detroit-area nonprofits and governments work together to solve local problems and mobilize funding to support their work.  To do so, the nonprofit provides four core services:  a) collaborative facilitation; b) incubation of innovation initiatives; c) fiscal and project management, accountability, and sub-granting support to grantmakers and other funding organizations; and d) training and technical assistance, especially around relationship building, collaboration, and fund development activities.  Since its establishment in 2001, City Connect Detroit has organized more than 40 community problem-solving initiatives and has helped raise more than $115 million.

Municipal Enterprise

Riverview Energy Systems

Located in Riverview, about 20 miles south of downtown Detroit, the Riverview gas recovery project is a city-owned enterprise that was constructed in 1987 and has been selling power to Detroit Edison since 1988. Power production from the gas brings in more than 40,000 megawatt-hours of electricity per year and reduces annual sulfur dioxide emissions by over 1,200 tons. Riverview's royalties covered the construction costs in its first two years of operation and now add to the city's cash flow. Read more about Riverview Energy Systems...

New State & Local Policies

NEXT Detroit Initiative

Launched by the City in 2006, the Next Detroit initiative is a five-year strategy designed to improve the quality of life in six neighborhoods-East English Village, Osborn, North End, Brightmoor, 7 Mile-Livernois, and Grand River-Greenfield-by coordinating city services around the neighborhood work plans and leveraging private investment in the targeted communities. The city has committed $125 million to the effort and aims to raise $100 million in matching corporate and philanthropic support. Read more about NEXT Detroit Initiative...

University & Community Partnerships

Detroit Community Partnership Center, School of Architecture, University of Michigan

The Detroit Community Partnership Center at Taubman College of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, supports student and faculty research that address community identified needs while meeting the College's educational mission. Issues addressed include quality of life, land use, economic development, and transportation. In one case, students and faculty have helped develop a plan for a retail district with three community-based organizations and have provided analysis to an organization ready to work for greater transportation equity. Read more about Detroit Community Partnership Center, School of Architecture, University of Michigan...

Institute of Detroit Studies, Marygrove College

The only institute of its kind, the Institute of Detroit Studies was founded by Marygrove College in 2001, at the time of the City of Detroit's tricentennial. The Institute builds on Marygrove College's mission to serve the people of metropolitan Detroit, on its location in the city, and on its strong relationship with different Detroit constituencies. Read more about Institute of Detroit Studies, Marygrove College...

Wayne State University Labor Studies Center

Wayne State University's Labor Studies Center is a comprehensive labor education center committed to strengthening the capacity of organized labor to represent workers, while at the same time expanding the university's research and teaching on labor and workplace issues. The Center's work includes training local union leaders as well as researching labor-community coalitions, community benefit agreements, and regional power building strategies.  Since its establishment in 1966, the school has graduated over 4,000 union and community activists.

Community Development Corporations (CDCs)

Abayomi Community Development Corporation

Founded in 1997, Abayomi is a faith-based nonprofit organization serving Northwest Detroit with origins in New St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church.  Aiming to improve socioeconomic conditions, strengthen families, and increase dignity and personal achievement, Abayomi—meaning a pleasant meeting place in the West African Yoruba tribe language—focuses on community and economic development, education, and recreation programs to area youth and families.  In 2015, its Center for Financial Advancement provided foreclosure counseling, homebuyer education, and financial counseling to over 400 residents, 55 of whom were able to purchase their first home.

Bagley Housing Association

Bagley Housing Association (BHA), a not-for-profit organization that provides resources for community development in the Hubbard Richard and Hubbard Farms districts (and other designated areas) of Detroit. BHA seeks to complement other efforts in the area to build a thriving, economically, ethnically and culturally diverse residential/business urban environment. Read more about Bagley Housing Association...

Cass Corridor Neighborhood Development Corporation

The Cass Corridor Neighborhood Development Corporation (CCNDC) was established in 1982. The group rehabilitates and builds decent, safe and affordable housing and manages eight multi-unit properties. The group also maintains a 3,000-square-foot community center which is rented out for a fee for private functions and at no cost for local nonprofit groups. Read more about Cass Corridor Neighborhood Development Corporation...

Eastside Community Network

The Eastside Community Network (formerly the Warren/Conner Development Coalition) aims to foster sustainable, positive change in the Lower Eastside of Detroit.  Since its establishment in 1984, the Eastside Community Network’s work has helped catalyze new community resources including four locally-owned restaurants, a community development bank, a credit union, two health clinics, and new green infrastructure.  Its commercial development efforts are now focused on the Mack Corridor, where it is working with a range of partners to: create a design plan for streetscape improvements and beautification; develop standards for signage and façade improvements; rehab and demolish abandoned properties; and support area businesses.

Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation

The Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation (GRDC) works to preserve and revitalize the Grandmont Rosedale communities of northwest Detroit. Through its Housing Development Program, the CDC purchases and renovates vacant homes, assists low-income homeowners with home repairs, and builds new housing on vacant lots.  To foster commercial development, GRDC has a pop-up retail space in which local entrepreneurs can test their business concepts.  In 2016, the space supported 3 enterprises, one of which has opened a permanent storefront.  The CDC also runs a co-working space, which currently houses 15 small businesses employing 24 people.  To encourage residents to support local businesses, GRDC coordinates several events throughout the year including a Shop Small Saturday, which brings more than 50 local entrepreneurs together as a grassroots alternative for holiday gift shopping.

Greater Corktown Development Corporation

Greater Corktown Development Corporation is the result of a merger between Corktown Consumer Housing Cooperative, founded in the 1960s, and Greater Corktown Economic Development Corporation, founded in 1976. The group is currently working on three residential infill projects with a total of roughly 50 units. Now that private investor capital is returning to the neighborhood, plans to shift its focus to supporting commercial and retail activity along Michigan Avenue, which straddles both historic Corktown and North Corktown. Read more about Greater Corktown Development Corporation...

Northwest Detroit Neighborhood Development

Northwest Detroit Neighborhood Development is a community-based neighborhood organization committed to building affordable housing for low and moderate-income residents in the city's Brightmoor community. To date, it has constructed roughly 300 affordable homes, about a third of which include supportive services for families with special needs, and has renovated 40 others. The CDC is now raising funds to build 90 affordable homes, renovate a building into community and nonprofit office space, and develop a mixed-use project with 200 units of housing and retail space.

Southwest Detroit Business Association

Founded in 1957, the Southwest Detroit Business Association pursues economic development to stimulate investment and grow community wealth in the Mexicantown and nearby areas of southwest Deroit. The group disburses grants for commercial real estate development, provides technical assistance (such as architectural assistance for historic renovation work), and assists with community planning and organizing. Read more about Southwest Detroit Business Association...

United Streets Networking and Planning: Building a Community (U-SNAP-BAC)

Founded in 1985 by a consortium of seven neighborhood organizations and four business associations, U-SNAP-BAC works to revitalize Detroit's east side. U-SNAP-BAC also owns a housing subsidiary, which operates a neighborhood home repair program. To date, U-SNAP-BAC has counseled over 900 families; aided in the development of over 100 block clubs; mentored numerous small businesses; facilitated dozens of workshops, meetings, community forums, and neighborhood cleanup efforts; planted more than100 trees; rehabilitated over 500 homes; and constructed over 130 new affordable homes. Read more about United Streets Networking and Planning: Building a Community (U-SNAP-BAC)...

Vanguard Community Development Corporation

Founded in 1994, Vanguard CDC aims to cultivate a vibrant and healthy Historic North End where people live, work, and play.  To date, the CDC has developed nearly 100 affordable housing units and renovated a vacant 10,000 square foot commercial space into the North End Career Center (where Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit now operates).  Through all of its work, Vanguard involves diverse community stakeholders in the planning processes to help ensure economic equity and racial justice.

Cross-Sectoral

Center for Community-Based Enterprise

Launched in 2006, the Center for Community-Based Enterprise (C2BE) seeks to build a network of mutually supportive cooperatives or worker-owned companies in Detroit, especially among members of historically underserved communities.  Focused on creating living-wage jobs through worker-ownership, the nonprofit provides legal help, technical assistance, and education to individuals interested in developing worker-owned cooperatives and other community-based enterprises. Most recently, its work has been credited with helping an Ann Arbor-based company, Arbor Assays, transition its ownership to its employees—becoming the first U.S. life sciences company to be 100 percent employee-owned.

City Connect Detroit

City Connect Detroit helps Detroit-area nonprofits and governments work together to solve local problems and mobilize funding to support their work.  To do so, the nonprofit provides four core services:  a) collaborative facilitation; b) incubation of innovation initiatives; c) fiscal and project management, accountability, and sub-granting support to grantmakers and other funding organizations; and d) training and technical assistance, especially around relationship building, collaboration, and fund development activities.  Since its establishment in 2001, City Connect Detroit has organized more than 40 community problem-solving initiatives and has helped raise more than $115 million.

Anchor Institutions

Community Foundation for Southeastern Michigan

Founded in 1984, the Community Foundation for Southeastern Michigan aims to enhance quality of life in southeast Michigan.  As of 2016, the foundation held over $800 million in total assets.  Its grantmaking, which disbursed $73 million through 3,800 grants in 2016, focuses on supporting initiatives that prioritize sustainability, have regional impact, can leverage additional dollars, and include collaboration.  In 2007, in response to the state’s deteriorating economy, the foundation catalyzed the New Economy Initiative (NEI), an effort that brought together 10 foundations to establish a $100 million fund to diversify the regional economy and stimulate entrepreneurial development.  Since 2009, NEI has awarded over $96 million to projects credited with creating 1,610 new companies and adding nearly 17,500 new jobs to the region.  To ensure NEI’s continuation, $33.25 million was added to the fund in 2013.

Ford Foundation

Incorporated in Detroit but headquartered in New York since 1953, the Ford Foundation has remained committed to its home city, investing more than $527 million in Detroit since its establishment in 1936.  Recent grants have supported community development work led by the Detroit Local Initiatives Support Corporation and the RiverWalk project, which has revitalized abandoned factory sites into a park and a three-mile promenade along the city’s riverfront.  In 2014, the foundation pledged $125 million over a 15-year period to the city's “Grand Bargain,” a partnership to help resolve Detroit’s bankruptcy.

Hudson-Webber Family Foundation

Created in 1984 through the merger of two family foundations with origins dating back to the late 1930s and early ‘40s, the Hudson-Webber Family Foundation concentrates its giving within the City of Detroit and has a particular interest in the revitalization of the urban core.  Since 1939, the foundation has invested over $193 million in a range of projects and programs aimed to improve the city’s quality of life.  The foundation currently has four grantmaking priorities:  1) physical revitalization, 2) economic development, 3) safety, and 4) the arts.

John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Headquartered in Miami, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is a national foundation with assets exceeding $2.4 billion focused on strengthening democracy by fostering informed and engaged communities.  Its grant making in Miami aims to nurture a “startup culture,” supportive of creatives, entrepreneurs, innovators, and other agents of change generating new ideas that could shape South Florida’s future.  Reflecting this, in 2017 grants have been awarded to support the NewME Accelerator (a business accelerator for minority start-ups) and FIU Miami’s Urban Future Initiative, which seeks to inform a strategy to grow a broader, more inclusive innovation economy by identifying Miami’s key economic, occupational, creative, and technological assets.

Kresge Foundation

Headquartered in the Detroit suburb of Troy, the Kresge Foundation is developing a multi-year five-part strategy to support the long-term health and stability of the Detroit region. The Detroit Program consists of five priorities: 1) neighborhood improvements, 2) economic development, 3) support for arts and cultural institutions, 4) downtown Detroit revitalization, and 5) enhancing the city's environment and natural resources. Kresge is also one of the three principal $25-million anchors to the $100-milion, multi-foundation Detroit “New Economy Initiative” fund. Read more about Kresge Foundation...

Midtown Detroit

Created in 2011 through the merger of the University Cultural Center Association and the New Center Council, Midtown Detroit (MDI) is a nonprofit planning and development organization focused on the physical maintenance and revitalization of the Midtown Detroit area.  Currently working to create stronger connections between the city and anchor institutions, MDI initiatives are credited with attracting over 1,456 anchor employees to area housing and shifting anchor procurement dollars to local food, facilities maintenance, and waste management and recycling businesses.

Skillman Foundation

Established in 1960, the Skillman Foundation supports quality education, economic opportunities, and equitable civic action for Detroit youth.  The foundation awards $15-17 million in grants on an annual basis.  To expand its support of resident-led community development projects, the foundation began a PRI (Program-related Investments) program in 2013.  The initiative is credited with supporting the expansion of a youth-operated bike shop and the creation of an aquaponic produce growing facility, among other projects.

Cooperatives (Co-ops)

Cooperative Optical Services, Inc.

Co-op Optical is the largest not-for-profit provider of vision care services in the state of Michigan. Formed in 1960, they pioneered prepaid vision programs in Michigan. As a cooperative, the group contributes to health care cost containment in eye care by providing funded program coverage at reasonable rates. Read more about Cooperative Optical Services, Inc....

Detroit Edison Credit Union

Organized in 1944 to provide financial services for Detroit Edison employees, Detroit Edison Credit Union has grown to provide loans and savings services to more than 28,000 members. As of September 2007, the assets of the credit union exceeded $485 million. Read more about Detroit Edison Credit Union...

University & Community Partnerships

Detroit Community Partnership Center, School of Architecture, University of Michigan

The Detroit Community Partnership Center at Taubman College of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, supports student and faculty research that address community identified needs while meeting the College's educational mission. Issues addressed include quality of life, land use, economic development, and transportation. In one case, students and faculty have helped develop a plan for a retail district with three community-based organizations and have provided analysis to an organization ready to work for greater transportation equity. Read more about Detroit Community Partnership Center, School of Architecture, University of Michigan...

Institute of Detroit Studies, Marygrove College

The only institute of its kind, the Institute of Detroit Studies was founded by Marygrove College in 2001, at the time of the City of Detroit's tricentennial. The Institute builds on Marygrove College's mission to serve the people of metropolitan Detroit, on its location in the city, and on its strong relationship with different Detroit constituencies. Read more about Institute of Detroit Studies, Marygrove College...

Wayne State University Labor Studies Center

Wayne State University's Labor Studies Center is a comprehensive labor education center committed to strengthening the capacity of organized labor to represent workers, while at the same time expanding the university's research and teaching on labor and workplace issues. The Center's work includes training local union leaders as well as researching labor-community coalitions, community benefit agreements, and regional power building strategies.  Since its establishment in 1966, the school has graduated over 4,000 union and community activists.

Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs)

Invest Detroit

Invest Detroit is a CDFI established to support economic and community development in Detroit’s underserved communities.  Managing funds totaling $225 million, it finances and supports business development, real estate development, neighborhood retail projects, and high-tech companies.  One recent investment supported the development of Gateway Marketplace, a project that transformed a 36-acre brownfield site in a food desert into a retail center anchored by a national grocery—the first to open in Detroit in over 20 years.

Opportunity Resource Fund

Created in 2004 out of a merger of two community development funds that date back to the 1980s, the Opportunity Resource Fund (formerly named the Michigan Interfaith Trust Fund) offers a variety of loan products, and underwrites projects for affordable housing, economic development, pre-development, and mixed-use development throughout the state of Michigan. To date, the fund has lent $21.9 million for affordable housing, leveraging an additional $73.7 million, and has helped develop nearly 2,000 housing units. Read more about Opportunity Resource Fund...

New State & Local Policies

NEXT Detroit Initiative

Launched by the City in 2006, the Next Detroit initiative is a five-year strategy designed to improve the quality of life in six neighborhoods-East English Village, Osborn, North End, Brightmoor, 7 Mile-Livernois, and Grand River-Greenfield-by coordinating city services around the neighborhood work plans and leveraging private investment in the targeted communities. The city has committed $125 million to the effort and aims to raise $100 million in matching corporate and philanthropic support. Read more about NEXT Detroit Initiative...

Municipal Enterprise

Riverview Energy Systems

Located in Riverview, about 20 miles south of downtown Detroit, the Riverview gas recovery project is a city-owned enterprise that was constructed in 1987 and has been selling power to Detroit Edison since 1988. Power production from the gas brings in more than 40,000 megawatt-hours of electricity per year and reduces annual sulfur dioxide emissions by over 1,200 tons. Riverview's royalties covered the construction costs in its first two years of operation and now add to the city's cash flow. Read more about Riverview Energy Systems...