Durfee Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) leased the former Durfee Elementary-Middle School building to Life Remodeled for $1 a year for 50 years. Durfee and Central students rename the building “The Durfee Innovation Society” (DIS), which becomes a multi-use space housing more than 30 nonprofit and for-profit organizations. DIS tenants, in partnership with students and community leaders, move to the needle on educational outcomes, workforce gaps, entrepreneurism and human services.
In 2017, more than 11,000 volunteers gathered for the Six Day Project, beautifying over 367 blocks surrounding Central High School, boarding up 534 houses, and painting, sanding, and cleaning the DIS.
The Life Remodeled Community Advisory Council was established, made up of neighborhood residents who continue to advise on projects Life Remodeled is considering and the impact these projects will have on the community.
Life Remodeled determined that a five year investment was necessary to invest more resources and create more sustainable outcomes. The commitment was made to stay in the Durfee/Central community through September 2021.
10,397 volunteers participated in the Six Day Project, beautifying 316 city blocks surrounding the Durfee Innovation Society, boarding up 396 houses, clearing 102 alleyways,planting more than 700 trees, shrubs and perennials, building 6 community gardens, installing 20 little free libraries along Safe Routes, designating the safest routes to Durfee and Central schools with artwork, installing 3 new bus shelters, 5 grills and picnic tables at neighborhood parks and adding neighborhood signage.
Life Remodeled began tracking the long-term impact of its work in Detroit’s communities. Findings showed that one year following a previous Six Day Project, neighborhood crime decreased in 10 out of 11 categories.
Nearly 10,000 volunteers addressed 257 blighted alleyways during the Six Day Project. Life Remodeled also hosted a summer camp for 125 children, a basketball camp for 27 youth, and attracted more than 3,000 Detroit kids and their families to Family Fun Day.
The DIS reached 93% capacity and set the following goals.
From 2017 – 2020, a total of 96 homeowners in the neighborhood benefitted from the Home Repair program, receiving a new roof, new furnace or new windows.