About Us

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Our Mission

 

The mission of Creekside Community Development Corporation is to promote our southeastern Detroit neighborhood as a diverse and healthy community of choice by:

  • Preserving and building affordable and high quality housing
  • Protecting and enhancing our parks, waterways and other natural resources
  • Encouraging resident engagement in sustaining a clean, safe and beautiful community
  • Safeguarding and enhancing all of its current assets

 

 

Our History

 

Creekside was founded by a group of residents concerned about the community’s loss of quality housing due to neglect and wholesale demolition for new development. In 1993, Creekside obtained 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status and began a plan for improving the quality of life in the neighborhood. Creekside serves the community bounded by Jefferson Avenue, the Detroit River, Alter Road and Clairpointe Road.

Creekside CDC has an established history of utilizing the tremendous amount of activism in the neighborhood. As a volunteer-driven organization, Creekside successfully took legal action to protect water quality in its inland waterways. It preserved Maheras Gentry Park by gaining historic designation based on its civil rights history. This step enabled Think Detroit to invest $1.2 million in baseball and socccor facilities for youth recreation. From 1999 to 2001, Creekside partnered with Habitat for Humanity to build 25 new homes in the community. Volunteers laid the groundwork for Creekside Homes, the development of 45 new single-family homes through low income housing tax credits. Creekisde partnered with the NRP Group and completed the project in 2005.

In 2005, following 12 years of operation as a volunteer driven organization, Creekside hired Karen Brown as its Executive Director and first paid staff person. As a result of strengthened organizational capacity, Creekside was able to complete Creekside Homes. With assistance from Wayne State University, Creekside developed a community plan for the Jefferson-Chalmers neighborhood.

Creekside successfully obtained MSHDA and City of Detroit CHDO status and secured funding for the Creekside West homeownership project, which would bring 10 new-construction single-family homes to the neighborhood. In 2007, Creekside continued its penchant for capacity building by hiring its second full time staff member, Housing Coordinator, Sam Butler. Creekside’s emergence as a respected CDC was recognized when it won the 2006 “The One to Watch” and the 2007 “Outstanding Leadership” Awards at the LISC / CDAD Community Development Awards.

 


Our Commitment to the Community

 

Creekside today has a wide variety of programs aiding the community. They are mostly organized around three pillars: environmental preservation, community engagement and housing. Creekside continues to be a steward the neighborhood’s unique environmental assets and has planted over 600 trees in the neighborhood. It hosts a monthly neighborhood recycling drop-off site that has recycled over 31,000 lbs in 2008 alone. It has setup a recycling program with a local Elementary School and is looking to create similar programs at other schools.

Creekside has always emphasized the importance of community organizing in the neighborhood. Creekside continues to publish its newsletter that is directly mailed to over 4000 area households. It has recently begun an electronic newsletter and is discussing the creation of a neighborhood website and blog with community partners. Since 2007, Creekside has begun organizing community walks thereby directly talking with residents about their concerns. Creekside is also very proud to have assisted in the creation of two new block clubs in 2008.

Creekside has a defined vision as to how to reinvigorate the neighborhood’s housing stock and is actively pursuing its fulfillment. Creekside’s housing plans call for the stabilization of existing stock, the development of single-family residential infill and higher density, multi-family residential along the Jefferson frontage and along Dickerson.

Home Repair continues to be a major housing priority for Creekside. If existing stock can be stabilized, then it will create a ripple effect of private investment thanks to the neighborhood’s unique geographic location. In 2008, Creekside was awarded home repair grants from the City of Detroit and the State of Michigan. As testament of Creekside’s growing capacity, the organization leveraged $80,000 in home repair funds to be spent in 2008. This year, Creekside has leveraged over $400,000 to be used to assist residents in 2009. Creekside continues to look for more home repair funding sources.

Creekside was also able to secure a $300,000 MSHDA Signature Building Grant in 2008. Only given to two CDCs in the state, Creekside plans to use the money to acquire and rehab a historic mixed-use apartment building on Jefferson Avenue. Creekside hopes to build 35 one and two bedroom affordable rental units and provide necessary retail amenities to the neighborhood. In conjunction to these efforts, Creekside plans to partner with the nearby Jefferson East Business Association to provide on-site workforce development.

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