One block at a time.
The problems many cities across the country face are the same, the cost of commercial and residential blight removal, lack of of a trained work force and under employment of youth and veterans.
The solution is to partner veterans job training and reintegration programs with young adults mentor programs to economically attack the blight in their communities.
Develop Blight Buster Corps by expanding effective community volunteer blight removal projects with a trained management force of veterans to foster good work ethics as mentors for young adults in the maintenance and operation of the tools and equipment necessary to accomplish the missions of blight removal.
Proposed pilot project partners:
Nationally recruit veterans for training in transportation and operation of heavy equipment and maintenance, logistical management with FEMA & OSHA certifications.
United Peace Relief, INC Combined 30 years of scaling volunteer training programs, logistics, work site management & safety for volunteer disaster response and rebuilding efforts. (Program development, managing community goals, resources and partnerships)
Motor City Blight Busters of Detroit, INC, 27 years of volunteer recruitment and development of effective community service projects for youth and young adults in Detroit, MI.
Superheros are not born, they are made by the forces that encourage support of the most vulnerable .
Veterans are often called hero and thanked for their service but return feeling confused or depressed by it.
By giving veterans a chance to continue their service at home helping younger adults rebuild after natural or man made disasters provides the veterans with positive experiences that requires their expertise in an otherwise depressing situation, while giving the youth mentors to follow into adulthood.
How can this be done?
Teams of veterans trained and certified in heavy equipment operations, maintenance, FEMA disaster response, with HAZMAT and OHSA construction site safety can manage young adults from the community to deconstruct abandoned and burned one and two story homes.
Current state of block neighborhood associations, community youth and adult service groups?
While Detroit has one of the largest footprints of any city in the US the community has bee splintered by amount of homes left abandoned or burned Fast numbers of blocks separate one population from another leaving communities members isolated and organizations stretched thin to provide opportunities for improvement.
Catalyst of Change.
Where some have tried and failed, some have tried and failed, tried and failed ,again and again until they figured out how to sustain their efforts and the communities they serve. This is true of Motor City Blight Busters of Detroit. For 27 years they have been addressing blight head on with a never give up attitude even after losing property and financial support over the last 6 years which speaks volumes about their commitment to the community and each other.
Goals beyond the blight?
Once the abandoned and burned out buildings along with the financial and physical security risks they produce are removed opportunities return by definition.
But to look at the blight as a obstacle to opportunity is to miss the most important opportunities of all. The chance for groups and individuals in the community to make a difference and achieve their personal, professional cultural goals.
Combining national recruitment, training and deployment with a boot camp for pilot program planing that fosters teams of responders within each community, city, county, state and region makes the most sense to go from pilot to national programs.