DETROIT (WJBK) - More than 10,000 volunteers will be cleaning up 300 blocks around what used to be Durfee Elementary over the next week or so.
"This is a junior in high school at a Detroit Public School who didn't go to school until the sun came up at any point in the year because she was afraid of two-legged and four legged dogs," said Adam Hollier. "She was afraid she was going to get raped, pulled into one of these vacant homes and she wasn't going to make it to school."
That's the reality of blight, it’s not something abstract, getting rid of it changes lives.
The organization "Life Remodeled" is certain their boots on the ground next week would change that young Detroiter's life.
"It means not just that the neighborhood looks better, it means people will feel safer going to school," Hollier said.
The old Durfee Elementary is this non-profit's base. They've already spent $2.7 million rehabbing it into a center for public and private groups. And they'll do a bit more work on it October 1st through 6th with their huge week of service.
But the real work is out here in the 300 blocks surrounding Durfee.
"If there is an abandoned garage we want people to be able to see in it," said Chris Covets, volunteer. "We don't want anything bad to happen."
That's actually how it works, there will be 10,000 volunteers, clearing brush like what Chris was getting a head start on when FOX 2 spoke to him.
"When somebody can flag us down, wave us down, smile, if they have a tree in their backyard, and we can't see it - we can't cut it," he said.
Life Remodeled says the proof is in the pudding.
"It also engages the community, we work with them," said Mike Stovak, VP Barton Malow. "So we have an ongoing improvement."