THE DISTINCTIVENESS OF NORTH DETROIT
North central Detroit is a very prominent and diverse region within the city. With landmarks such as Palmer Park, Detroit Golf Club, The Avenueof Fashion on Livernois, University of Detroit Mercy, Marygrove College, and the new Liv6 business redevelopment program, this area holds a unique feel. In fact, some community organizers have made a strong push to rebrand North Detroit repeating, “call it Uptown.” It’s the area north of the John C. Lodge Freeway (M-10), south of 8 Mile Rd. and West of Woodward Ave. This triangular area is predominantly within the 48221 zip code, but also covers parts of 48235 on its western side & 48203 nearest to Woodward. Thus, “Uptown” includes the neighborhoods of University District,
Bagley Community, Martin Park, Palmer Woods, Sherwood Forest, Green Acres, Blackstone Park, Pembroke, and Detroit Golf neighborhood. However, the Uptown name has also been connected with the baggage of gentrification, which tends to alienate many long-term residents. This will be the eventual target range for the plant. For the first few years the focus will be on University District, Bagley Community, and Fitzgerald neighborhoods, which are all within the 48221 zip code.
This location is an exciting target because of the proximity of diverse groups that could be brought together in the Gospel. Half of this region of north central Detroit has a higher percentageof middle and upper class African American households (approx. $40K average income vs. $25K for all of Detroit). These households are predominately in the neighborhoods of University District, Palmer Woods, Sherwood Forest, and Green Acres ($35,481 avg household income). This means that part of the goal will be to reengage the more economically stable population towards the adjacent impoverished streets.
The overarching outreach objective will be to humbly build a socio-economic bridge from the church to the less advantaged neighborhoods of Martin Park, Fitzgerald, and Bagley, which have an average household income of $13,041. So there is a great opportunity for the compassion of the Gospel to be put on display in a very tangible way.
Concurrently, the aspiration in terms of methods would be to reconnect middle class African Americans in surrounding Oakland County townships (such as Southfield, Oak Park, and Warren) to a missional mentality towards the inner city. North Detroit is truly a convergence point. Therefore, this calling is to see the Gospel bridge the barriers of wealth and ethnicity through the power of Jesus Christ and for the Glory of God.