Every year, the Palmer Woods Association provides charitable contributions to an impressive group of local nonprofits, using a portion of the proceeds earned through special events such as Music In Homes, the Home Tour and the Garden Tour. The donations are not paid out of dues revenue – dues revenue is used for neighborhood services such as snow removal, security and neighborhood beautification.
Organizations are selected based on their proven and unique impact on Detroit families and communities, with care taken to cover a spectrum of services, this year including substance abuse treatment, housing for the homeless, parks & recreation and economic & community development.
Each of the five organizations carefully chosen by the Palmer Woods Board received a check of $700 from the Association.
New this year were Mariner’s Inn and University of Detroit Mercy’s Detroit Collaborative Design Center, while repeat awardees included Coalition on Temporary Shelter (COTS), People for Palmer Park and Woodward Avenue Action Coalition. Below is a brief description of each. Please take the time to review their websites, visit their programs and maybe even make a donation or volunteer your services.
The Mariners Inn was founded in 1925 by the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan. Located at Cass and Ledyard, Mariners provides compassionate and professional substance abuse treatment services to men in an effort to help restore their dignity, self-respect and independence, under the belief that recovery is real and possible. It supplements traditional treatment therapies (a combination of 12-step principles, cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing and evidence-based alternatives) with alternative therapies such as art, gardening and choir. Of the 477 men served last year, 50% were struggling with substance abuse and mental health issues better known as “co-occurring disorders,” 53% successfully completed the program, and, whether completing the program or not, 85% left with the same or more financial resources than when they entered and 84% left for a positive housing destination.
The Detroit Collaborative Design Center (DCDC) is a multi-disciplinary, nonprofit architecture and urban design firm at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture dedicated to creating sustainable spaces and communities through quality design and the collaborative process. The DCDC works with community-based development organizations, local governments, residents, private developers, students and local design professionals to design projects that respond to locally defined concerns, while empowering residents. Projects include the interior design for the Mercy Education Project, The Alley Project, Livernois Community Storefront and more. The Livernois Community Storefront project, a one year “pop-up” community hub that recently concluded, worked in tandem with the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation’s Revolve program to kick start the revitalization of the Avenue of Fashion. Revolve brought new stores such as Love Travels Imports, Detroit Fiber Works and Good Cakes and Bakes, while DCDC programmed the storefront to promote a sense of community & a connection to places with events like Light Up Livernois, Livernois SOUP and numerous special events as described in the last issue of the Post.
Founded in 1982, Coalition On Temporary Shelter (COTS) has a mission to alleviate homelessness by providing an array of services which enable people to achieve self-sufficiency and obtain quality affordable housing. COTS provides 40,000 nights of emergency shelter for more than 2,000 men, women and children annually. COTS’ Permanent Supportive Housing provides subsidized housing and direct access to support services that address specific needs and tackle the underlying issues that cause repeat episodes of homelessness. But COTS offers more than beds — it offers HOPE. COTS’ programs include childcare, life-skill education, employment services, relapse prevention services, transitional services for domestic violence victims, primary and mental health care assistance, and financial literacy training.
With the threat of park closings and budget cuts by the city, the People for Palmer Park (PFPP) arose from members of the community who love Palmer Park for the gem it was, is, and can be. Its vision is to create an urban oasis, regional destination and daily recreation site to promote an active and healthy community. Now four years old, the all-volunteer organization has already brought weekly yoga, tai-chi, group bike rides, Little League baseball, tennis and story time to the park as well as special annual events such as Log Cabin Day, Winter Fest and an architectural tour of the Palmer Park Historic Apartment District. It has also planted 900 apple trees in the park, secured a Lear Corporation grant to build a Splash Park and is raising funds for other physical improvements according to a restoration plan developed by a private urban planning firm in partnership with the City of Detroit and input from the community.
Formed in 1993, the Woodward Avenue Action Association (WA3) works to bring business people, residents, community leaders, elected officials and other stakeholders together to identify opportunities to strengthen the economic and historic potential along Woodward’s 27 miles. It has obtained historic designation for the Avenue, which has not only helped to raise its profile nationally but also opened up unique funding opportunities through MDOT and others. This has resulted in tree plantings and other street enhancements and the potential creation of an automotive welcome center and visitor attraction at the historic Highland Park complex where Henry Ford’s moving assembly line was born 100 years ago this October.