Initiative Sets Goal for SW Detroit

DETROIT -The Skillman Foundation will continue its Good Neighborhoods Initiative designed to partner with families, leadership and organizations in specific neighborhoods to create positive change and choices for children and families.

The Foundation will host the fourth of its five community meetings at Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church in Southwest Detroit on Saturday, April 1, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., to develop strategy to achieve the new community goal for Southwest Detroit.

The goal, determined at the March 11th meeting by the community, is to provide youth with positive development opportunities in their homes and schools.

“We have a goal that the community can rally around,” said Carol Goss, President and CEO of the Skillman Foundation, “now the real work begins to develop a plan of action.”

The initiative’s objective 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.

“We are one step closer to creating positive change in this community and one community closer to creating a better, safer city for our young people,” said Goss.

The initial launch was at a January 28 meeting that introduced the initiative to the community. Two subsequent meetings were held on February 18 and March 11. The April 1 meeting will determine an action plan and develop strategy for reaching the goal.

The final meeting on April 22 will be a community celebration at which the community goal will be formally announced. The goal identified through this process will provide the specific need on which the community and Skillman will focus their efforts.

“We are excited that we have made considerable progress toward implementing a community goal that will improve the lives of our young people,” said Tonya Allen, Program Director of The Skillman Foundation.

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.

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.