Skillman neighborhood grants hit $4 million mark

DETROIT - The Skillman Foundation has invested more than $4 million in four Detroit neighborhoods and over 100 community organizations involved in its 10-year neighborhood redevelopment initiative. The initiative is beginning its second year.

"We are delighted that the initiative is steadily building momentum," said Skillman's Program Director, Tonya Allen. "It's great to see so many nonprofit organizations and citizens working together with the Foundation in this important work."

The Good Neighborhoods Initiative, launched in January 2006, provides full-scale support to six city neighborhoods where many children live. The six neighborhoods involved are: Brightmoor, Central, Cody/Rouge, Osborn and Southwest Detroit, which includes two neighborhoods, Vernor and Chadsey/Condon. More than 65,000 children, or roughly 30 percent of the child population in Detroit, live in the six neighborhoods. Half of the children in these neighborhoods live in poverty.

The Brightmoor, Osborn and Southwest Detroit neighborhoods have completed the planning process and are entering the readiness, or implementation, phase. Work in the Central and Cody/Rouge neighborhoods is expected to being in the fall of 2007.

To date, nonprofit organizations, churches and school-community partnerships in Brightmoor have received $1,703,109; Osborn, $1,054,428; and Southwest Detroit, $1,668,300.

Recently approved grants include:

Brightmoor -- Poverty and Social Reform Institute, for the creation of a Family Resource Center that will provide education and outreach for parents of preschoolers and assist in establishing a universal pre-K in this neighborhood, $1,082,000 over three years.

Osborn -- Black Family Development, Inc., to organize and support block clubs and provide leadership training for Osborn residents, $250,000 over two years.

Southwest Detroit -- Neighborhood Centers, Inc., , to support the Springwells Village Development Collaborative's efforts to organize youth development activities and create child-friendly spaces to support them, $125,000 for one year.

A complete list of grants and a detailed GNI map is available at www.skillman.org.

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 supports nonprofit organizations, schools and agencies in Wayne, Macomb and Oakland Counties, with a special emphasis on organizations working in the city of Detroit.