Week 3: Broken Pieces – Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program

Week 3: Broken Pieces

Dear Future Me,

This week you began your participant interviews and found misfortune sprinkled all over the city. You spoke with participants who shared experiences where they felt forgotten. You heard of how the city let others down through services, resources. and opportunities. It reminded you of how the city let you down. Your work is to pick up where the city left off. You learn how to not expect your community to work for you but how to work for your community. I’ve learned that community development programs should be holistic even if initially a single-issue project. We learn how to connect people to community organizations and resources. We teach them the correct avenues to voice their concerns and what they have a right to. We not only focus on finding a new house, but we also focus on how to create a “home”.

COVID-19 has made it difficult for construction to continue to work on and develop homes. This has also taken away interpersonal relationships which are essential for building trust with the community. In an area disproportionately impacted by lack of city services and apparent health concerns, COVID-19 has put another obstacle in the way of community members trying to escape financial and housing instability. You were able to speak with a participant who spoke on the amazing and life changing impact that your organization has had. Being able to hear the real life and immediate changes, the work you support has made to members of the community has made it all worth it.

Keep doing the work,


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