The idea of SAY Detroit’s Working Homes/Working Families is simple: Detroit has too many empty or abandoned houses. It also has too many families who lack adequate housing. By encouraging the donation of homes that would otherwise go unused, then utilizing the efforts of volunteers to refurbish those homes, needy working families can be given a decent, clean place to live.
Since 2011, SAY Detroit has been renovating and refurbishing vacant houses in the city and awarding them mortgage-and-rent free to working families through social services partners. With the stability of a home, families can invest more in their family’s health and education, all contributors to economic mobility.
More than 50 families have received houses since the inception of the program, eliminating neighborhood blight and strengthening communities.
Clyde & Michelle and their 3 children alternated between their car and hotel after losing their apartment in a confluence of maintenance issues, health problems, and a job loss. In their new home, kids have their own rooms and a yard. Secure housing became the catalyst for what feels like a whole new life, including better employment and better health and wellbeing.