Good Neighborhoods Initiative

DETROIT - The Skillman Foundation will launch the Good Neighborhoods Initiative Saturday in which it will partner with families, leadership and organizations in specific neighborhoods to create positive change and choices for children and families.

The Foundation said it will host a community meeting at Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church in Southwest Detroit Saturday, January 28 at 9 a.m. to launch this major new initiative and also to announce that it has selected the Chadsey, Condon, and Vernor communities to officially roll out the initiative.

"We want to help create choices and hope for children and families," said Carol Goss, President and CEO of the Skillman Foundation. "By working with individual neighborhoods and partnering with them to create programs that deal with problems in that neighborhood, this program will provide a positive impact on young people in their own neighborhoods."

The initiative's goal is to transform Detroit's neighborhoods into healthy, safe and supportive environments for children, youth, and their families by working directly with concerned citizens and organizations in specific neighborhoods. To achieve this agenda, The Skillman Foundation has reorganized its grantmaking and has strategically selected six neighborhoods to concentrate resources.

Participants will engage in a planning process that consists of five meetings; the initial Jan. 28 meeting at Our Lady Queen of Angels which will introduce the initiative to the community. Three subsequent meetings to be held on Feb. 18, March 11, and April 1 will focus on goal setting, determining an action plan and deciding on the community goal. The final meeting on April 22 will be a community celebration at which the community goal will be announced. The goal identified through this process will provide the specific need on which the community and Skillman will focus their efforts.

"We think these Southwest Detroit neighborhoods are an excellent choice to begin this initiative because of the kids, their needs and their readiness for change," said Tonya
Allen, Program Director of The Skillman Foundation, "We are committed to making Southwest Detroit a great place for kids to live."

In addition to the Chadsey/Condon and Vernor communities, the communities of Cody/Rouge, Brightmoor, Central and Osborn have also been selected to take part in this new program.

More than 65,000 children live in the neighborhoods that have been chosen, which make up about 30% of the child population in the city. Of that percentage, 50% of them live in poverty.

"We have had tremendous success when we launched the Good Schools Initiative, helping our children school by school," said Carol Goss. "This time we hope to help our young people one neighborhood at a time."

Created in 1960, the Skillman Foundation is a private philanthropy committed to helping children in metropolitan Detroit by improving their homes, schools and neighborhoods. Skillman grantmaking support nonprofit organizations, schools, and agencies in Wayne, Macomb, Oakland Counties, with a special emphasis on organizations workings in the city of Detroit.