For 20 years, North End Christian Community Development Corporation has servicing the residents and businesses of the historic North End. Workforce and youth development projects were the cornerstone of the organization’s programming. 

North End Christian CDC is now embarking on an exciting new capital campaign to provide even more support to this historic and evolving neighborhood. 

North End Christian CDC is seeking to secure $500,000 to fund four new programs that will be a significant part of the continued renewal of the historic North End. 

The Bricks and Butterflies Capital Campaign aims to secure $250,000 through individual and corporate giving and $250,000 through grant funding. 

The Red’s Shoe Shine Redevelopment Project

9148 Oakland Ave. 

A part of the neighborhood for 70 years, Red’s Shoe Shine was famous throughout the city of Detroit as men of all walks of life would come into the shop for shoe shines and repairs. The historic location was frequented by former Detroit mayor, Coleman A. Young, members of The Temptations and even Muhammad Ali. 

After hours, Red’s Shoe Shine was rumored to be a speakeasy where artists would come and sing while in town on tour. 

Further, Red was known as a mentor to young men motivating them to learn a skill. His nephew, Dave, opened his own shoe shine business, Reflections, down the street from the original location. Dave still shines shoes to a mirrored shine on Oakland Avenue. 

The Red’s Shoe Shine Redevelopment Project will transform the historic building into a neighborhood and community hub. With an artsy, cozy feel, the new Red’s Shoe Shine project will sell coffee and healthy smoothies as well as salads sourced from Oakland Avenue Urban Farm. 

Nights at Red’s will feature karaoke, spoken word, small shows and, of course, shoe shines. “Red’s Shoe Shine will once again be a hub for this neighborhood,” says Jerry Ann Hebron, “We will ensure that this is a safe, welcoming, and creative space for all.” 

$200,000 will pay for demolition of the north wall, refacing, and steel roof struts to support an innovative “green” roof which has already been funded by The Barbara and Fred Erb Foundation, as well as interior design. 

The Landing 

9185 Goodwin Ave. 

“Oakland Avenue Urban Farm attracts hundreds of visitors from around the world,” Hebron says, “The goal of The Landing is to provide them with a place to stay overnight on sight at the farm to better serve their goals of learning more about the program.” 

Hostels are the most popular form of accommodation in Europe. The reasonable prices attract students and curious travelers. The Landing would be a premier __ bed hostel in the city of Detroit located on the campus of Oakland Avenue Urban Farm. The Landing would provide visitors with a place to stay and get the farm experience while saving on transportation costs. 

The Landing is an important part of future sustainability of North End Christian Community Development Corporation by providing a source of income through the reasonable prices. Further, The Landing will be completely renovated through the North End Christian CDC carpentry training program. 

$150,000 would be added to the $54,000 currently funded through the Michigan Good Food Fund. These funds will be used to pay for construction drawings and interior design of commercial kitchen, sleeping rooms, and meeting space. 

The North End Christian Community Development Corporation Carpentry Program

With this exciting 10-month workforce development program, a cohort of men and women will become skilled tradespeople. “These are people who will hopefully go on to do great things, but also who will be resources to the farm,” Hebron says, “We hope to engage returning citizens and people who have gaps or barriers to traditional employment.” 

The 10-month program will teach basic cabinet-making and millwork to participants. In addition to the hard skills required for this skilled trade, the program will teach soft skills that can help participants apply for positions and even to become entrepreneurs. 

$75,000 would purchase training equipment necessary for the program and be used toward marketing and recruitment. 

The Bags to Butterflies Relocation Initiative 

Bags to Butterflies is a Detroit-based social enterprise that empowers formerly incarcerated women with transitional employment, resources and a

Bags to Butterflies is a workforce development program that provides employment and training opportunities as well as help with soft skills, says Smart, such as resume writing, interviewing, and time management. Bags to Butterflies also works closely with Dress for Success, and even supports the participants through hair makeovers to boost their confidence as they interview for jobs.

The exciting non-profit organization is relocating to the Oakland Avenue Urban Farm to have a permanent location to provide services to participants. Further, the relocation of Bags to Butterflies to the campus will allow participants to engage in the new programming like the carpentry program as well as farm-oriented training. 

$75,000 will fund the completed renovation of the new space, purchase new equipment, and ensure all zoning and safety requirements are met. 

“This work is important because as the North End changes, we are a grassroots organization that is providing services for people who already live here, and to be a welcoming presence for those who are moving in,” says Hebron, “It is important to this neighborhood and to Detroit to see revitalization in the Oakland Avenue corridor.” 

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