Friday, January 8, 2010

Deeeeeeeeeetroit.

Day 08 → A photo that makes you angry/sad



This is just one picture that represents street after street of houses JUST like this in Detroit. I love this city with my whole heart, and see the good things happening every single day. However, the poverty saddens me so very much. Unless you live here, you really don't know quite how bad it is. I drive by open lots scattered with homeless people (even families) living in the bitter cold of winter. I know there are so many people working to help them, but I wish we could do more. To get them out of the parks and abandoned houses and get them into shelters and give them the resources they need. I wish this economy would pick back up and give people their jobs back. I wish those who are SO naive to what is happening would come and spend a day on the East side of Detroit, see the faces of these people who are living on the streets.

An example of good? Check this out: http://www.southwestdetroittimebank.org/. Taken from their website:

"A Timebank is a volunteer membership organization. It is a community of people who support each other.When you spend an hour to do something for an individual or group, with Timebanking, you will earn one Timebank hour. Then you can use that Timebank hour to receive one hour of a neighbor’s time or engage in a group activity offered by a neighbor.With Timebanking, you work with a group of individuals who are joined together for the common good. Timebanking brings out the best in people because, as a system, it connects needs with resources and skills.In this simple way, Timebanking builds relationships and community. You get to know your neighbors and build an extended family of people who take care of each other."

How cool is that? I signed up for it. I'm also reading a book right now on restoring values that talks a lot about the economic crisis, specifically in Detroit. It's an awesome book and helping me but my year of service into perspective.

I couldn't be happier about being placed in Detroit this year. This city is truly special, and I get sick to my stomach when people poke fun at it. I literally read somewhere that "if the terrorist really had blown up Detroit on Christmas Day, no one would have cared."

Seriously? SERIOUSLY? Thanks.

1 comment:

Dean said... Add Reply

Thanks for sharing. If I may share (briefly) the other side of the coin:

Not only do the bad/rough things get overlooked, but the good things get neglected as well. Too often people focus on pictures of the Packard Plant (closed in the 1950s) or the train station (closed in the 1980s) as "current" issues in Detroit, while Midtown is thriving, there is life in Woodbridge, Corktown, greater Southwest, and parts of the Northwest as well.

It is also frustrating when people within a neighborhood would prefer to "do it themselves" rather than work with other neighborhoods, so it is really exciting to me that the Timebank is here and I'm hoping that it can make a huge difference.