The Kresge Foundation in Troy, Michigan, has announced the first round of grants awarded through its Kresge Innovative Projects: Detroit initiative, a three-year, $5 million effort to strengthen neighborhoods in the city.
Grants totaling $1.6 million — including eleven implementation grants of between $100,000 and $150,000 and seven planning grants of between $20,000 and $25,000 — will enable eighteen nonprofit organizations to begin work on or plan a neighborhood revitalization project. The implementation grants support at least one project in every City Council district and will fund, among other things, the renovation of a vacant church in Southwest Detroit as a community center, the conversion of an abandoned home near the Detroit-Hamtramck border into a prototype greenhouse, the redevelopment of a blighted three-quarter-mile stretch of Mack Avenue into a productive greenway, and the creation of a half-acre market garden in Chaldean Town. The planning phase of projects supported by planning grants must be completed by the end of August, in time for the groups that received grants to apply for an implementation grant in the next round of funding, which is planned for the fall.
"With this program, we set out to quickly light up the map of Detroit with the reality of positive change," said Kresge Foundation president and CEO Rip Rapson. "Nonprofits throughout the city are actively working for its transformation, and we're proud to be able to stand with them to amplify their energy and understanding of what needs to be done."