What: Project Detroit Rebuild
Where: Detroit, Michigan, USA
When: January 2015 – January 2016 (for rebuild phase only)
Disaster: Flooding, August 11, 2014
Project Director: Reuben Grandon
Overview: In the afternoon of August 11, 2014, a large storm system moved across parts of southeastern Michigan. The system produced record one-day rainfall totals, flooding over 128,000 homes across the greater Detroit area. The Detroit flood was declared by FEMA as the worst disaster of 2014 and damaged more than 129,000 homes throughout the city. Since the flood did not receive much media attention, the residents of Detroit never experienced the swell of support that is so needed to help a community get back on its feet post-disaster. But All Hands Volunteers was in Detroit just days after the flooding and made the decision to stay the course, working tirelessly over the past 18 months to help high risk single mothers, those with medical concerns and others most in need by gutting and sanitizing their flood damaged homes, rebuilding basements and renewing hope along the way.
Updates on Project Detroit
Project Detroit officially closed in January 2016 after 18 months, successfully engaging close to 1000 volunteers who have donated over 27,000 hours of free service to realize the following incredible results:
- Gutting and sanitizing 478 homes
- Rebuilding 5 child care centers
- Repairing 47 flood damaged homes
- Partnering with Motor City Blight Busters on a “blight removal” project (demolishing abandoned houses) in the Brightmoor neighborhood where all but one house was abandoned
ALL HANDS ON DETROIT
On November 19, 2015, volunteer numbers were nearing an all time low. At the same time, a new study was released by Wayne State University revealing that over 3000 high risk families were still in need of basic muck and gut and mold remediation services, even 17 months after the flood. This meant that these families had been living in homes with mold for almost a year and a half. So, All Hands Volunteers, in partnership with the Northwest Detroit Flood Recovery Project, launched a massive marketing campaign to attract locals to come and volunteer one day of their time during a 12 day period, culminating on Giving Tuesday (December 1). As a result, we saw 143 unique volunteers show up from groups like the Muslim Student Alliance, the Detroit Seminoles, and the Wayne State Girls Track Team. Together, they constituted an almost 50% increase in unique volunteers from the previous 6 months combined and over 50 more homes were made safe for families as a result.
Our fearless Project Director, Reuben Grandon, was featured on NewsTalk 760 on WJR talking about the incredible work the team has done in Detroit!
RECOGNITION BY MAYOR DUGGAN
The Director, Management Coordinator and Planning Specialist from the City of Detroit Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management stopped by to say goodbye, thank you, and wish our Project Detroit Staff well on their new adventures – the cherry being a Certificate of Appreciation, signed by none other than Mayor Duggan, with which the team were then presented!
PARTNERSHIPS ON THE DETROIT PROJECT
In order to help as many folks recover and rebuild after disaster as possible, the All Hands Volunteers model includes building many important local partnerships to help us get the right work done. Project Detroit excelled in this regard, forming numerous critical partnerships with local organizations that made our work in Detroit possible. They include:
- Northwest Detroit Flood Recovery Project
- United Way of Southeast Michigan
- 5th/3rd Bank and Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis Disaster Relief Program
- Mennonite Disaster Services
- Presbyterian Disaster Assistance
- Presbytery of Detroit Hands On Mission
- Islamic Circle of North America ICNA (Arif)
- City of Detroit
- Wayne Metro Community Action Agency
- Development Centers, Inc