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Detroit Is It: Detroit Regional Chamber and General Motors Announce NeighborHUB Grant Winners

Dec. 14, 2020

Detroit Is It

By John Bozick

With COVID-19, election madness, and economic woes, it’s important to remember some of the happier matters taking place in Detroit. One instance is the awarding of “NeighborHUB” grants, PPE and other supplies to various Detroit nonprofits as part of a partnership between General Motors and the Detroit Regional Chamber.

“On behalf of everyone at GM, we are proud to support the visionary organizations driving measurable progress in their communities,” shared Terry Rhatigan, executive director of Corporate Giving at General Motors. “NeighborHUB was born out of a desire to take a residents-first approach to progress in the Detroit region, and it is a privilege to be able to continue to help bring these impactful projects to life.”

The nonprofits that will receive NeighborHUB grants, PPE, and other support from the Chamber and GM are the following:

What’s to Come From Those Receiving a NeighborHUB Grant:

The NeighborHUB grants will be put to good use by the non-profits, with some using the funds to introduce new programs, while others will be using the money to expand and improve new additions to their facility.

This year has been a hard year for everyone, especially communities of color, small businesses, nonprofits, and artists because of the COVID-19 pandemic. During this pandemic, Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation’s (DHDC) 28,000-square-foot-facility has sat as a virtually empty, underutilized space, that is still a cost to the organization, said Lex Zavala, director of DHDC, in a press release put out by the city.

“We settled on the concept of a Ghost Food Hall/Market, which will be named ‘Fantazma Market.’ Utilizing our outdoor and underutilized indoor spaces, restaurants and small businesses will be able to safely deliver their food or sell their merchandise in our space, all while artists perform, helping to expand their customer base. This is a great opportunity where nonprofit, community and small businesses can come together to help each other during this crisis, helping DHDC regain lost funds while supporting struggling local businesses and artists,” Zavala added.

In Detroit’s Durfee/Central neighborhood, Life Remodeled will have the opportunity to introduce new programs to the Durfee Innovation Society while also further improving the former elementary school.

“We were honored to be among the awesome Detroit nonprofits selected by General Motors and the Detroit Regional Chamber to win a NeighborHUB grant! This grant will greatly impact the kids in our Durfee-Central community who need expanded educational opportunities now more than ever due to setbacks brought on by COVID-19,” shared Chris Lambert, CEO and Founder of Life Remodeled.

We will use the NeighborHUB grant money to create a state-of-the-art robotics lab within the Durfee Innovation Society (DIS). The DIS is a hub of opportunity offering something for people of all ages, from free diapers and baby formula to job placement services to supplementary educational programs,” added Lambert. “This space will serve as the home practice lab for the Durfee Elementary-Middle School FIRST Robotics team and will eventually act as a robotics lab for additional school teams nearby the DIS. The goal of the program is to improve math and English test scores and, eventually, increase college readiness and provide a workforce development opportunity for Durfee students.

Alex Allen, President, and CEO of the Chandler Park Conservancy was thrilled about the grant awards. The Conservancy has plans to expand growing facilities while also working with those in the surrounding community to teach individuals about the importance of growing their own food.

“A few years ago, we went through the planning process to plan a community garden and the grant will help us with the development plan, shared Allen. “We’re going to be building a hoop house so you can grow food all year round and we will be able to teach young people how to grow food. It will really be a place for the community to come together.”

For this year’s winners, work on their respective projects will begin this month and continue through fall 2021. Learn more about the projects and program at testportal.detroitchamber.com/neighborhub.

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