Learning From Detroit


Recently, Healthy Homes staff Paul Haan, Jennifer Spiller, and Hannah Gilliam took a trip to Detroit to visit CLEARCorps/Detroit.  CLEARCorps is partnering with Wayne State University's Center for Urban Studies and practices a community service very similar to the Healthy Homes Coalition.  This service provides homeowners and renters with environmental interventions such as home security items while also checking for lead hazards, installing fire alarms and mounting carbon monoxide detectors.  

During the trip, Hannah connected with a group of five team members who were all wearing bright yellow shirts that purposely stood out from any crowd.  These bright yellow shirts allowed community members to recognize the team as they canvassed the surrounding neighborhoods of Detroit.

Hannah and the team walked past vacant lots where houses and playgrounds once stood that were now removed while some homes were burned down and completely vacant.  Despite the economic climate of the city, many residents still remain grounded in their community.  The team was welcomed into homes gratefully as they worked quickly to equip the residents with supplies and perform lead testing.  

Hannah said, "I looked around at the team members and witnessed a determination I could easily relate to.  There was common goal of not only wanting to help, but also to remain involved in uplifting our fellow neighbors." That is the very same goal that Jennifer and Hannah continuously aim for in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Being a part of the Detroit team's unique service for the day reflected a certain gratitude that can only be experienced by helping others. 

While Hannah was off with the Wayne State team, Paul and Jennifer were learning firsthand how Thomas Gilchrist from CLEARCorps conducts healthy housing assessments, learning lessons that will help Healthy Homes improve it's service to the community.

Healthy Homes gives a special shout out to another hard working team that reaches beyond in order to achieve - our distant partners at CLEARCorps/Detroit and Wayne State!