Detroit’s Historic North End neighborhood was a cultural hub in the 1920s, 30s, and 40s, due to the due to the success of the automotive industry and Motown Records. Loosely bounded by I-75 and Woodward Avenue to the east and west, and Highland Park and East Grand Boulevard to the north and south, the North End has experienced trying times over the last 60 years, but has slowly gotten back on its feet on the strength of its community leadership.
The North End neighborhood is getting back to its roots thanks to the commitment of neighbors, nonprofits, and businesses like DTE Energy, working directly with North End leaders and community members including Little Rock Baptist Church, Oakland Avenue Farms, Greater New Mount Moriah Church, Vanguard Community Development, and Loving Elementary to restore the North End and meet the needs of those living and working there.
Through its “Bright Ideas for Neighborhoods” pitch competition, DTE Energy and the DTE Foundation has invested thousands of dollars into the North End neighborhood, targeting small business owners. DTE Energy selected the North End to hold the business pitch competition for the second year in a row, hosting the event at Greater New Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Owen Street.
Four North End business owners were awarded a total of $7,000 in cash prizes, with first place winner Tamika Reeves, owner of Transition Family Services, receiving $3,000. Transition Family Services is a private practice counseling facility in Southfield and works with clients dealing with mental health issues suicide prevention, marriage and couple counseling, motivational interviewing, autism and developmental disabilities, and mental health counseling with specialization in anxiety and ADHD. Reeves was selected as the winner of the grand prize because she wants to open a second office in the North End community.
Allante Taylor, the owner of A Taylor Media, a Detroit-based multimedia conglomerate that specializes in crafting customized content for clients in a variety of industries, received $2,000. Taylor wants to introduce the trade to North End residents and create internships and entry-level positions for them.
The North End is home to DTE Energy’s Caniff Service Center. DTE’s Public Affairs Neighborhoods team has been working tirelessly over the years to restore the historic neighborhood to its original state, by removing tons of debris fromalleys and abandoned blocks,repairing or boarding up homes, and improving Bradby Park near I-75, installing basketball courts, gazebos, bleachers, and a community center.
In partnership with Habitat Detroit’s “A Brush With Kindness” initiative and Central Detroit Christian Community Development, DTE Energy employees spent time improving the homes of North End residents, including repairing fences, installing new doors, landscaping, and porch reinforcements.
DTE Energy would not be able to follow through with its investment in the North End neighborhood if it were not for the hundreds of volunteers and volunteer hours that are put in. Over 300 employee volunteers participated in beautifying the North End and a dozen more volunteered to fix homes with Habitat Detroit.