Southwest Detroit nonprofit transforms abandoned house to community center

Tiny but mighty - that's how Amanda Holiday describes the Congress of Communities - a nonprofit in Southwest Detroit focused on youth leadership, early childhood development, parents, and neighborhoods

"We're doing - kind of a little bit of everything, helping to amplify the voice of those who are impacted the most," she said.

And now they're turning an old, vacant home across from St. Hedwig's Church into a youth-driven community house. The young people really wanted a place to call their own instead, so they're putting a youth center upstairs.

"Games and a computer lab, and different programming that's going to go on up there," Holliday said.

The nonprofit is helping young people grow with a focus on racial equity, diversity, and inclusion. It's about a transformation like this old house - from abandoned and boarded up - soon to be bustling and vibrant.

"My child is coming, too, it's better for me and for the community," Faviola Venegas said.

"It's exciting for the community and actually makes everybody that lives in the community to uplift them, so something new and something positive is coming out of it," said Elizabeth Gonzalez.

Executive Director Maria Salinas is leading the project. So far a grant from Kresge Innovative Projects Detroit is helping out, A playground has been donated as well as solar panels, that will be going up

As you can see there's still a lot to do here but they are hoping to have their grand opening by late fall.

"I'm actually very honored to be part of it," Gonzalez said.

A community event is planned for July 28th - it will be held outside - they'll be voting for their board of directors - and getting people excited to get inside the new community house.

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