recreational activities and opportunities to youth in Detroit according
to their interests, initiatives and needs since 1997.
History We started as a
part of a
block club in 1995 with one volunteer, five kids, some books and
origami. Now there is a group of over 50 kids, ranging in age from five
to seventeen. The Front Porch extends to all these kids' friends and
relatives who visit the neighborhood.
Goals If children have
informal place where they are free to express their opinions and
explore their talents and skills, supported by adults, and to meet
other kids in their neighborhood within a structure and develop a sense
of safety and true neighborhood then we should see a change in the
attitude of the children and eventually the whole neighborhood. It
should not be just a place to live but an interdependent place in which
to grow, communicate, learn and explore: a safe place from which to
begin a life not bounded by a neighborhood, but rather a life rooted in
a place that is a springboard to the world.
Who Is Involved?
Grown-Ups are the kind of people who...
cupcakes for other people’s children.
for pizza for months for hundreds of kids because there is no money
their refrigerator with food that is not for them to eat.
up their credit card bill on things for the kids with an uncertainty of
a piece of their backyard to the neighborhood kids.
money toward the block party and referee the games.
up the hot dogs for kids after a water fight and not yell at them for
stepping the flower beds.
the kids a pile of books hoping even one will interest them.
them how to saw a piece of wood.
on the porch for an hour and teach them how to knit or make a beaded
a long lost game like marbles or jacks on a Saturday afternoon.
be the monster in a backyard movie.
million thankless errands.
the time to chat with two friends having a disagreement.
about neighborhood violence in order to work through it.
We are those
people. None of
us are experts in childhood. We just know that kids need more than they
are getting right now from the adult community. We each give of our
strengths and hope that through our efforts, the children in our
neighborhood are stronger and happier human beings.
Over the years,
youth who started the program (Charlie, Shanelle, and Keith)
youth who guide the program (this is every kid in the program - for
their privacy we do not list their names)
mom and sister and Ms. Karen and Ms. Gene
donors, our teachers, and our volunteers who generously give their time
and dig in the dirt with the kids, get donations and think of us often.
kind neighbors in the AWARE area on the eastside of Detroit
Bharatiya Temple - SEVA Team
Technical High School: National Honor Society
of Detroit Alliance for a Safer, Greater Detroit
of Detroit, Farm-A-Lot
of Detroit Heilmann Recreation Center
City of Farmington Hills Treasury Department (the employees)
Foundation of Southeastern Michigan
Free Press Summer Dreams Program
Detroit Industrial School
Energy (the employees)
Community Resource and Assistance Center
Grace - her family and friends
and her students in Osaka, Japan
George V. Murray Foundation
Grosse Pointe South Varsity Club
Educational Research Foundation
of Detroit Neighborhood Opportunity Fund
League of Detroit
Ancient Order of Hibernarians Rose Kennedy Division
Max and Anna)
Grand Detroit Community Voice Council of the MGM Mirage Voice Foundation
Missionary New Providence Baptist Church
Pere Gabrial Richard Elementary School Grosse Pointe
of Public Policy Public Service Committee at the University of Michigan
College Students in the Early Childhood Education Program
at the Skillman Center for Children 2001- November 2006
Two Seven Oh
State University Urban Safety Program
7 Action News and the Scripps Foundation
When we say we
use every available resource in the community, we mean it.
order. Every single effort has made opportunity for the kids on the
Who Believed in The
Porch and Now Rest
Yale Miller Gerald Hairston Grandma Kubica Grandma Belva Grandma Buc Grandma Juanita
Front Porch Trustees
Jean, 2011 by JD, age 11. Yes, that is a booger. Jean thinks
Grew up in Detroit, MIS President,
Treasurer and Director
Mary Jo Vortkamp,
Grew up in Detroit, MLIS Secretary
Oxholm, Grew up in Detroit, JD Board Member
Firestone, Grew up in Detroit
Grew up in Detroit President, AWARE
Festival of the Arts
of Detroit Heilmann Recreation Center
Community Service Projects
Hospital of Michigan
Public Library Services to Shut-Ins and Retirees
International Child’s Urgent Action Campaign
Center for Children
Meetings at Heilmann
Ourselves (the Older Kids help the Younger Kids)
Simmons Fencing Academy
of Detroit Harvey Barcus Tennis
at WSU Photography and Dance Depts.
Spanish Teacher from International Institute
Our Japanese Teacher from WSU Japanese Program
from the Warren Indian Education Program
taught about Chinese Culture
taught Caribbean culture
from Guyana taught Caribbean culture
Marie tutors phonics
Bank taught financial education
John Riverview taught First Aid
taught Latin Dance
taught Ballroom dance
B. and Susan S. helped us with the garden.
taught self defense
let us use land for a garden
Gene made lots of cupcakes and let us use land for a garden
Vann taught about airplanes and sketching
Zainab, Pascal, Elizabeth, Rebecca, Sarah, Alan, Ms. V, Griffin, Mr.
Vann, Mary Jo, Valerie and Tony volunteer tutored at Wayne Elementary