Volunteers join Life Remodeled to clean up blight in Detroit's Denby Neighborhood

Posted at 5:37 PM, Aug 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-01 18:39:52-04

Beginning today thousands of volunteers are descending on one neighborhood in Detroit, working to rehab and rebuild the city a block at a time.

For the next week the Denby Neighborhood is headquarters for the Life Remodeled project.

Thousands of people are focused on three areas - debris removal, boarding up blighted homes and constructing a brand new state of the art public space at Skinner Park.

During the next week 10,000 volunteers from across Detroit will call it a day at the office.

The group Life Remodeled brought them in to rehab the community while construction crews build a focal point - a brand new community park.

The blue prints for the park were inspired by Hakeem Weatherspoon – a Michigan State Spartan who was a Denby High School senior when he first proposed the idea. Three years later the basketball courts are in and the once vacant field is in the beginning stages of a transformation.

The work expands beyond Skinner Park as volunteers spread out across 300 city blocks.
Crews are boarding up hundreds of homes, clearing miles of overgrown brush and even helping homeowners who need help rehabbing.

"Detroit can't come back with government doing everything,” says Mayor Mike Duggan. “It's got to be the community and the city together and to see the thousands of volunteers from Life a Remodeled, FCA and BSAF. And of course huge numbers of young people from this neighborhood and other neighborhoods in the city working side by side with the suburban volunteers is pretty inspiring."

Community activists for this neighborhood are already on board and ready to keep the neighborhood clean and safe after the volunteers pack up.

More than one thousand businesses, organizations and churches are lending volunteers for this effort.
We've been speaking with a few Fiat Chrysler employees who tell me there are so many people from the branding division volunteering today, that there is no one in the office today.