Southwest GHHI Program
The Southwest GHHI Program will use a collaborative and heavily braided approach to increase health, safety, security and housing quality for Detroit's children and vulnerable adults so as to decrease outmigration and increase neighborhood strength. Our initial focus will be around Harms Elementary School in Southwest Detroit. This program will assess homes, beginning with the homes of Harms Elementary School students, for health and safety risks and energy efficiency. Based upon identified hazards, a series of interventions will be conducted with a focus on reducing asthma, lead and injury risks, increasing home safety and improving energy efficiency.
Each home will receive basic products and repairs including smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, door or window locks and car clubs. Eligible families will also be referred to local organizations that may be able to provide additional repairs and services. This may include, depending on need and family finances, lead abatement or home repair through the City of Detroit Housing and Revitalization Department or refrigerator or furnace repair or replacement through DTE Energy and CLEARCorps Detroit. In addition, the Southwest GHHI Program will educate families on how to keep their home safe, healthy, and energy efficient moving forward with the hope that residents will be encouraged to make additional health, safety and energy efficiency investments in their home outside of what this grant can cover. Students would be provided with handout materials that they could take home to their parents or guardians to educate them about how to keep their home safe, healthy and green.
The following partners have committed to participating in the Southwest GHHI program:
- AmeriCorps Urban Safety Project
- Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America – Michigan Chapter
- Bridging Communities, Inc.
- City of Detroit Housing and Revitalization Department
- CLEARCorps Detroit
- Congress of Communities
- DTE Energy
- Kohl's Injury Prevention Program at Children's Hospital of Michigan
- Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
- Springdale-Woodmere Block Club
- Urban Neighborhood Initiatives
- Wayne Children's Healthcare Access Program
- Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency
- Wayne State University Center for Urban Studies
The proposed boundaries of the Southwest GHHI target area around Harms Elementary School in Southwest Detroit (indicated in red) includes Woodmere St. to the west, W. Fort St./I-75 to the south, Waterman St. to the east and Dix St./Woodmere St. to the north. The proposed target area is located within zip code 48209.
Preliminary results from a very detailed survey of Detroit homes indicate that 61% of Detroiters live in homes that have major health and safety hazards such as excess cold, lead, moisture and mold and falls on stairs.1 The scientific literature has statistically linked poor housing conditions to a number of negative health outcomes, including but not limited to asthma, lead poisoning, respiratory illness, mental health conditions, burns, falls and other unintentional injuries.2
Building on existing efforts
The area around Harms Elementary School in Southwest Detroit is located within the Governor's target area and the Hardest Hit Fund area and will help to bolster this vibrant neighborhood. This program would build upon other work already being done surrounding Harms Elementary School through the Governor's and Mayor's AmeriCorps Urban Safety (AMUS) program, such as creating Safe Routes to School for Children, boarding up empty and abandoned homes, and working with residents to form block clubs to look out for potential criminal activity. To date, AMUS has conducted 190 Home Safety Assessments, completed 50 board ups, provided 75 car clubs and done 25 VIN etchings within this area. In addition, the Children's Hospital of Michigan Kohl's Injury Prevention Program (KIPP) has provided smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in approximately 150 Southwest Detroit homes over the last two years. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America – Michigan Chapter (AAFA-MI) has also provided trainings, workshops and individual education to hundreds of people in Southwest Detroit during the same timeframe.
1 This data is collected using the Healthy Homes Rating System (HHRS) as developed by HUD. For more information about this tool, visit http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/healthy_homes/hhrs.
2 Krieger J and Higgins DL. Housing and Health: Time Again for Public Health Action. American Journal of Public Health. 2002; 92: 758-768.