DETROIT--By donating more than $3.2 million to 40 Detroit area non-profit groups in 2010, Chase is helping accelerate work to stabilize and improve Detroit neighborhoods, reaching out to help families avoid foreclosure and offering the city’s youth better job and educational opportunities.
“Through our philanthropy, Chase encourages non-profits to collaborate on projects, especially in Detroit’s North End and Southwest neighborhoods. Together, we are making tangible improvements”
“Through our philanthropy, Chase encourages non-profits to collaborate on projects, especially in Detroit’s North End and Southwest neighborhoods. Together, we are making tangible improvements,” said Sarah McClelland, president of Chase in Michigan. “It’s important to strengthen the Woodward corridor because it’s Detroit’s Main Street. We also need to improve Southwest Detroit, which is a key gateway to the city.”
An excellent example of Chase’s efforts is a $235,000 grant to allow Vanguard Community Development Corporation to restore some grandeur to six blocks of East Grand Boulevard between Woodward Avenue and Interstate 75. The grant will help Vanguard promote beautification and business stabilization efforts.
Under the beautification plan, Vanguard CDC plans several streetscape improvements:
Maintain and improve the East Grand Boulevard median by acquiring lawn-care equipment and training a crew for landscape upkeep in the six-block area
Large outdoor murals designed by local artists and painted by local youth to improve the area’s aesthetics
Vanguard CDC also will develop a co-operative business services plan to attract and retain small businesses. Six AmeriCorps members will join the staff to support the organization’s additional work.
“Chase’s grant will be the driving force behind the East Grand Boulevard Transformation Project,” said Scott Alan Davis, executive director of Vanguard CDC. “We are very excited about the partnership with Chase because we will create visible signs of transformation in less than a year. This grant also allows us to help residents acquire skills and experience as ambassadors to their community.”
Vanguard CDC will commission four artists to design a dozen large outdoor murals for the North End neighborhood. Nearly 30 neighborhood teens will help the artists create murals—including a design to decorate the I-75 underpass--through a summer youth employment program funded by the Chase grant.
“The Chase grants for the North End complement nearby improvement projects by Living Cities and the University Cultural Center Association in Midtown and Henry Ford Health System around the New Center,” McClelland said.
The JPMorgan Chase Foundation also will make grants of:
$230,000 to Southwest Housing Solutions to provide foreclosure mitigation counseling to more than 1,200 Detroit residents. Counselors will focus on the North End and Southwest neighborhoods.
$200,000 to Goodwill Industries for workforce training for unemployed young men and women in Detroit’s North End.
$200,000 to Teach for America to identify and recruit 11 teachers to work in Detroit Public Schools; half will work in the North End and Southwest neighborhoods.
Among the Detroit nonprofits receiving funding from Chase are:
Community Legal Resources of Detroit: North End and Southwest Detroit residents receive technical and legal assistance and educational services and the neighborhoods are supported through a mini-grant program for improvement projects.
Bridging Communities, Inc.: Partners with Detroit Local Initiatives Support Corp., Southwest Solutions and WARM Training Center to rehabilitate 10 Springwells Village homes-- making energy-efficient improvements -- and train prospective homeowners.
Southwest Detroit Business Association: Funds a pilot program to address blight by cleaning up a seven-block area and providing small grants for property repairs in the neighborhood’s main business district.
Michigan Opera Theatre: Detroit International Academy high school students will study dance and language arts in a two-week, artist-led program and attend an Alvin Ailey dance company performance.
Inside Out Literary Arts Project: More than 400 Detroit International Academy high school students attend in-school writing clinics; teachers also receive training. Poet and writer Jimmy Santiago Baca will conduct a writing workshop.
Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History: Fifteen low- and moderate-income Detroit residents ages 18-24 learn workforce skills through year-long, paid internships.
Michigan Housing Trust Fund: North End and Southwest Detroit housing and economic development groups can tap a loan pool for affordable housing and economic development projects
Additional grant recipients include:
Accounting Aid Society
Business Leaders for Michigan
Center for Empowerment and Economic Development
Central Detroit Christian Community Development Corp.
Central Michigan University Upward Bound
City Year Detroit
Detroit Parent Network
The Greening of Detroit
Henry Ford Health System Foundation
United Way for Southeastern Michigan
WARM Training Center