God answers prayer! We believe it!

For that reason, we have been consistently asking people, this past year, to pray that the Lord would send us help.  One church committed to praying for us for the entire month last April.  The results were evident! That month was the beginning of major breakthroughs on several fronts in our work here in Regent Park. 

If you have been following us on Facebook or receive our e-newsletter, you are well aware of the many, great things that happened in 2018. We are grateful. Late in the year, we received some significant help from an Eastern Michigan University marketing class to help us to be more consistent in event posting, neighborhood news, etc. We now have a U of M class that is working to help us increase the awareness of our work and build our support base going into 2020 and beyond. God answers prayer!

To date we have more interest in volunteering than in any other time in our history. We began this year knowing that we needed help in coordinating volunteer events here in the community. This role is particularly important as our work uniquely engages volunteers in ways that are both memorable and transformative. A volunteer coordinator would ensure that we are intentional in our efforts to make sure that the transformative nature of our work is understood by our volunteers. One of our church partners recognized this need, and extended a hand in this area, providing one of their church members who is especially gifted in this regard! If you’re thinking of participating in one of our volunteer events this year, you will be pleased to know that we have a streamlined process of getting folks on board with our work. That’s because God answers prayer!

In the past 90 days, we have sold 4 homes! It is so exciting welcoming new families to Regent Park! It is really catching on that there are great things happening here! In fact, have you heard about the Ford Motor Company’s “30 under 30” program? In it, their young talent has the opportunity to apply design thinking to a select group of non-profits each year, with the purpose of taking an idea and making it transformative in nature over a period of 8 months.  We were selected as 1 of 5 non-profits to participate this year.  We feel really honored, and are excited to see what these young talented people come up with over the next 8 months!

Now is the time when we begin thinking and planning for our summer camping season, events for seniors, neighborhood beautification, youth employment and so much more.  It’s a time when we see our neighbors more frequently and engage regularly. We can’t express how excited we are! And we are also prayerful; prayerful that God will continue to provide the needed partners and resources to see this work to completion.

Perhaps you can pray with us. Even more, you might pray how God might direct your heart to partner with us in some significant way. 

Happy Hints & Good News for the New Year!

WHERE AM I? You’ve heard about the work that we’ve done, reclaiming the abandoned Tracy McGregor Elementary campus, converting that space into community recreational space, and partnering with a great organization to bring early education opportunities to residents in our community. Well, it seems that the story has attracted some serious attention!

This great new service to our community has caught the attention of public television, and we were featured in an exclusive interview on how this opportunity will #InfluenceDetroit. Check out the interview here.

(click on the image) ->


PARTNERING BEYOND BORDERS: We were so excited to announce our education initiative, this summer. Maranatha Conference Center, along with a host of individuals, businesses, and ministries jumped on board for this opportunity to help us Empower the Youth by sponsoring eight students from Regent Park to attend Parkway Christian School. Our kids are LOVING this journey! They each finished this semester STRONG! They are performing exceptionally well, academically, and socially! Our goal is to expand this initiative to 20 students by 2020! Partnerships like yours is making this possible! We just can’t thank you enough!

DSCN3045B30-min.jpg
unspecified.jpeg

DO YOU HEAR WHAT I HEAR? Well, if you’ve been anywhere near The Branch, you would hear it! We are so thankful for our corporate, ministry, and individual partners who came together to make the holiday seasons joyful here in Regent Park! From a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration, to an abundantly joyful Community Christmas Store, we did things this season that we could not do without your partnership!

These outreaches are all about Communitas or us! Our goal is to never labor and serve in this community without preserving the integrity and dignity of our residents! THAT is what gives you a testimony in a community for over a decade!


GOOD NEWS FOR THE NEW YEAR!

Reclaiming, empowering, and building JUST GETS BETTER in 2019! So much to share, but here are some snapshot! (Stay tuned for our January eblast for more details)

RECLAIMING THE NEIGHBORHOOD

  • Thanks to a sizable award from the city of Detroit’s Housing & Revitalization Department, we will begin work on 6 homes in the community, starting February 1st. This is the first of 3 phases of revitalization that the city is committed to in our community. How exciting!!! And that’s just the START… we’re also incredibly excited to announce… (Wait. We can’t tell you EVERYTHING now!).

EMPOWERING THE YOUTH

  • Thanks to a partnership with Slow Roll Detroit, we made some great connections that have positioned us for some exciting events early next year! Shhh… we can’t tell you EVERYTHING, but let’s just say a whole lot of kids in Regent Park will be ‘on a roll!’ Stay tuned.

BUILDING COMMUNITAS

  • People often speak of the ‘innovative’ ways that LifeBUILDERS has approached community revitalization - well, we’re about to get a LOT more innovative! We are exploring some exciting ways to build communitas! Meeting with new partners, and other great organizations to discover more exciting opportunities to Regent Park… More to come!

We are encouraged by the response of our partners, both individual and corporate, who have committed to helping us #InfluenceDetroit in some great ways this coming year. As we bring this year to a close, won't you consider how you can #InfluenceDetroit in some generous way?

Screen Shot 2018-12-20 at 10.44.36 PM.png

You can give, you can forward this page about our work with others, and you can follow us on facebook!

Back to school!

We love our summers here at LifeBUILDERS! Kids day camp, youth internships, sharing the LifeBUILDERS story in churches, and before company boards of directors, supervising volunteer work crews helping us reclaim the neighborhood… there’s never a dull moment. But, it is also exciting watching the transition from summer to fall.

It seems like, overnight, we look out our office window and see Kelly Road teeming with students coming and going from Chandler Park Academy. Many students are also at the bus stop, waiting to head to a different local school. Every year, we are reminded that our job doesn’t stop at Labor Day. The fall greets us with another opportunity to Empower our students, and what better way to empower, than to equip students with the supplies they need to start the school year off right?

Thanks to the donations of many caring individuals, ministries, and organizations, we were able to personally distribute over 175 designer backpacks to students in our community. Not only did they receive backpacks, but your donations allowed us to fill those backpacks with the top items on the standard back-to-school list. This includes, paper, pencils, erasers, rulers, clue, hand sanitizer, and more. We want to say THANK YOU! But, who are we kidding… these smiles say it all!

Education initiative

Eight students are enjoying a quality Christian education at Parkway!

This summer, LifeBUILDERS was the featured mission group during one of Maranatha’s family camp weeks. We had the opportunity to introduce our new education initiative, in which we have partnered with Parkway Christian School to provide a quality Christian education to children in the Regent Park community. Our goal is to have twenty students enrolled by 2020. To get things started, we successfully enrolled eight fully sponsored students for the 2018/2019 school year.

See the video below to hear from some of the people already involved in this initiative - from Parkway staff, to parents and currently enrolled students.

Our Early Childhood Education facility has officially opened!

When we first set our eyes on the abandoned McGregor Elementary School building, we just knew that God had plans for this campus. From brick to boulder, we wanted to see this property reclaimed to provide another venue of hope, light, and community. First, we cut the grass, and did some other necessary landscaping to provide a great outdoor space for recreation and sports for our youth. We partnered with many churches, individuals, and even organizations, such as Nike, and Kresge, and for the past several years, have been able to host our sports programs here at Boulder Park, as it is known to our community. We have also hosted our annual Tent Week here in this beautiful space.

But what about the abandoned building?

Once riddled with extensive water damage, vandalism, graffiti, and corrosion, we worked with construction professionals and architects to see just how much of this building we could Reclaim. We ripped away what was beyond repair, and fortified that which was redeemable. We met with education professionals to find who might be the perfect partner for us to provide a quality early childhood learning experience to families in Regent Park. This place is state of the art! Perhaps the finest facility of its kind in the area, we are so excited that this will be open exclusively to Regent Park residents, including a parent’s hub, with a computer and wifi where parents can conduct job searches, develop resumes, and check email.

Thank you for partnering with us financially! Opportunities like this don’t come to this community without help from great people like you who long to see hope restored here!