By Christopher T. Matthews
Earlier this month, a Unity in the Community Initiative project and the Grace Community Center held its 2nd annual Unity in the Community Free Resource and Picnic event entitled Creating Community Partnerships.
Brenda Sawyers, who is with Old West End Community Initiative, explained that, they had invited various agencies to come out and share info on the services that they provide and that are available for community residence. “We also wanted to show appreciation to the residents of the community by having a free picnic. Our main aim is to find out what problems or issues that the residents have and we attempt to find a solution to their problems,” she said.
Free blood pressure checkups were provided by Pro-Medica, Blemish to Butterfly was giving information on Lupus, and the Green Space Project was building bird houses for the redevelopment of the lot on Central and Detroit, just to name a few of the resource providers that were present at the event.
Leslie Robinson, a member of the competition Corvette Club, as well as, a member of the Old West End Community Initiative said that, they came together, with the Cherry Street Legacy Project, to form the Unity in the Community initiative. She explained, “The purpose was to bring beautification back to the community in multiple ways, so to speak, and that our way of giving back to our neighborhoods.”
Some of the vendors were: Kewape of Kewape Fnterprises Creation, who has items from dashiki’s to small household appliances, Laura Schaffer, mobile food pantries, providing for those from any zip code, Charlie Johnson of the LCCCP Juvenile Division says this program is part of the community integration and training for employment; its a job program ran by the Juvenile Court System and we partner with anybody and everybody who will help us get the youth some work experience says I was invited to come out today and this is my second time being here, I really enjoy this type of event, it is very resourceful, and I look forward to more events of this caliber, because we need unity in the community to stop the violence, drugs, and sex trafficking.
Laura Schaffer with one of the several organizations says we operate a series of mobile food pantries in the area which are choice pantries meaning, patriots can pick which food they would like to consume, we also offer fresh produce, and it’s for anybody from any zip code.
Christopher Boone says we have been with the birdhouse program from day one, and today we are helping the children in the community paint some of the finished birdhouses.
Dwieht Hoskins says we also build butterfly houses as well, and as a part of doing these projects I secured a job working with Ernest Sawyers over the summer.
Charlie Johnson of the LCCCP Juvenile Division says this program is part of the community integration and training for employment; its a job program ran by the Juvenile Court System and we partner with anybody and everybody who will help us get the youth some work experience. Both of these fellas are in the summer job program and we were invited to come help out with this project and the work that they are doing is part of the Green Space Project on the corner of Central and Detroit.
If interested, every Tuesday, of each month at the Kent branch library they hold Unity in the Community meetings.