Arise Detroit celebrates 10th anniversary of cleaning up Motor City
DETROIT (WJBK) - This year Arise Detroit celebrates 10 years of making Detroit a cleaner, safer place to live.
Its founder -- Detroit native Luther Keith -- is a former award-winning editor and columnist for the Detroit News. During his tenure, he focused on quality of life issues around the city from crime to education and revitalization.
"Look at the smile on this lady's face -- look at this smile, look at all these beautiful smiles," Keith said. "These are the smiles of Neighborhood's Day right here."
He drew up the plans for Arise Detroit before he retired from the paper.
"After government does everything it should do or can do, there is still a gap," Keith said. "That gap has to be us. That gap is the people in the neighborhoods. That gap is the people in the churches."
Saturday's annual Neighborhoods Day event involves thousands of volunteers and hundreds of churches, block clubs, community groups and businesses from Detroit and the surrounding suburbs.
They're coming together to complete more than 120 beautification projects around the city.
"Every year it's gone up -- from 55 now to over 320," Keith said. "If you check it's over 323 registrations and it's gone very organically. I don't know what we'll do if this gets bigger."
The Regent Park Community Association already got to work this week. They've joined forces with the group Life Remodeled in the Denby community on Detroit's east side.
Volunteers are focused on three areas -- debris removal, boarding up blighted homes and constructing a brand new state of the art public space at Skinner Park.
"At the end of the day, Arise Detroit is about empowering people and making people realize: You know what, I can do that, I can partner with some people, I can get off the couch," Keith said.