Monday, November 16, 2009

Ice House Detroit Locates a House to Freeze/ Helps Family Move Into Foreclosed House

I have just returned from Detroit and I have to say it might have been the best time in Detroit I have ever had.

So many interesting new faces in the city. If the best time I had wasn't the engaging entrepreneurial conversations had with
Charles Sorel or Gary Schoeniger over an elaborate charcuterie presentation, it would surely have to be the Farnsworth Communities Harvest Meal under a big moon, followed up by an amazing performance by Lac La belle at the Yes farm. Listening to Jennie Knaggs yodel lost honky tonk at the Yes Farm had me imagining the long gone stomping ground communities in Southern Appalachia.

This neighborhood for me is much more than the future of Detroit.
Seeing piles of laughing folk on hay rides, through over grown abandoned lots in Detroit (now home to pheasants) had me in awe. They pretty much have an open door policy which is extended to all of the neighborhood children. These people are sharing everything from hand saws to chocolate venison chili.

I can only imagine what these forward thinking children from diverse backgrounds will achieve someday... You just don't see this in too many places.

Aside from all of the cultural sampling of positive forces in Detroit I had work to take care of myself. I met with Khalilah Burt, the Development Specialist at the Michigan Land Bank. We have come up with a pretty nice partnership which has now taken the Ice House Detroit project into an entirely new trajectory. We selected an Ice house for our project this winter, which the State has agreed to let us use.

The State of Michigan Land Bank partnership involves utilizing a brand new program which trains early release prisoners in the new occupation of urban deconstructionism. This is very different process from the old ways of demolishing a house. The mission of the Architectural Salvage Warehouse Detroit is three fold, promoting:
environmental sustainability, job creation and training, and preservation and conservation.

In exchange for the use of an abandoned house we have offered to pay the back taxes on a foreclosed house, allowing a local Detroit family to move in to it. I had a wonderful introduction to Laveda Hoskins, the recipient of our gift. The community work she does as a single mom for other single mothers in Detroit... It was the perfect surprise for us!

Gregory Holm

The Meeting
Laveda Hoskins, Gregory Holm, Khalilah Burt, Philip Cooley

Lac La belle

Monday, November 2, 2009

We are ecstatic about the recent nationwide and international press that the Ice House Detroit project has been getting in the last week based on an interview we did with the Associated Press. We have faith that this widespread coverage will move us closer to our goals. But that's not all -- we have even more exciting news!
As a result of many discussions with local groups and government agencies, we will soon be announcing a partnership which will allow us to grow our initial concept into a much larger initiative. Through this partnership we will be putting money directly into the hands of local Detroiters who need it most. Gregory will be traveling to Detroit to iron out the final details in the next week, and we will soon share the details of these new developments. Stay tuned!