We spent all last week (July 29-Aug 4) in Detroit—specifically in the “New Center North” area—to help, pro bono, the non-profit “Life Remodeled” with executing their planned “makeover” of a 48-block neighborhood. We were responsible for all the media and public relations, the design and production of all the promotional materials and signage, and capturing the week-long ‘project’ photographically. We also helped procure the well-deserved “Spirit of Detroit” award given to an organization being honored for an outstanding achievement in service to the citizens of Detroit.
Their goals were to build a brand-new house, renovate 24 other houses (new roofs, new siding, replacing windows and stairs, etc.), board up 150 vacant houses, and “beautify” 48 city blocks (remove blight, trim trees, cut grass, plant flowers, etc.)—all in SIX DAYS! On the seventh day, Sunday, August 4, 2013, at their celebration, they noted that they exceeded all of their goals: The house received the “certificate of occupancy”; they renovated 36 houses; boarded up over 200 houses; and beautified 65 blocks!—an unbelievable effort performed by over 5,300 volunteers.
The following are a representation of the over 4,000 photos we took to capture all of the activities:
Life Remodeled is similar to “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” where the house is built in six days—but, they take a more ‘holistic’ approach. What good is a free new home if you can’t maintain the lifestyle necessary to keep it? So, Life Remodeled counsels all families in personal money management, careers, spiritual guidance, and psychological issues for a period of three years—after which, if the family has paid their property taxes and utilities on time, and has kept the house in good repair, they are allowed to purchase the house for just one dollar!
In addition to the house, volunteers ‘extend’ the makeover concept by helping the surrounding neighbors with needs they have—general house repairs, painting, roofing, building wheelchair ramps and repairing stairs, tree trimming, debris removal, landscaping, gardening, and general beautification to ‘remodel’ the entire neighborhood! In the past two years, Life Remodeled has successfully completed five other brand new houses, and given them to deserving families.
If you are also interested in more information, or supporting, this great non-profit, click one of the links below, or contact Mark Besh at Visual Impact Systems [ 248-548-7000 ].