The City of Detroit has received a Choice Neighborhoods grant by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). As part of this $30 million grant, Wayne State University will support the city’s program to provide economic development initiatives to the Greater Corktown neighborhood.
“Wayne State University is pleased to serve as an anchor institution for the city’s Choice Neighborhoods Initiative for the transformation of Clement Kern Gardens and the Greater Corktown Neighborhood,” said Wayne State President M. Roy Wilson. “Wayne State has been a critical partner in the planning process and is excited to continue working with the city during implementation of the grant by providing evaluation services and committing $3.7 million of leverage to support neighborhood residents.”
The city engaged the community around creating a framework for the grant beginning in March 2019. At that time, Wayne State’s Center for Urban Studies was selected through a competitive process to serve as the resident needs and evaluation partner. The center’s staff designed and implemented an in-depth needs assessment and then worked with the city to use the survey’s results to design strategies that would meet residents’ existing needs. The team also worked closely with the city to identify baseline metrics and goals for the implementation period and created an evaluation plan to track progress toward those outcomes.
“The HUD grant will be transformational for the Clement Kern Gardens and Greater Corktown region,” said Dawn Medley, Wayne State’s associate vice president of enrollment management. “Wayne State is an anchor institution in Detroit and is committed to serving our community. I want to thank Kate Dyki and Amanda Rosales within Enrollment Management for their work on this project. We look forward to working closely with the City of Detroit over the life of the grant period on fulfilling the vision of Greater Corktown as an inclusive, mixed-income community that meets the needs of all residents.”
The center will support the city throughout the initiative by collecting data and assessing progress toward key metrics based on the evaluation plan. Wayne State has also committed to providing comprehensive support services to current residents of Clement Kern Gardens. Where capacity allows and as programs are available, opportunities will also be extended to all residents living in the Detroit Choice Neighborhood.
Services include free tuition for all Clement Kern Gardens youth who qualify for admission to Wayne State University through the Heart of Detroit (HOD) Scholarship program; summer enrichment program scholarships; access to live performances on campus; and on-site programming in spaces created through the Choice Neighborhoods transformation plan, including financial aid nights, after-school tutoring and financial literacy education.
Residents of Clement Kern Gardens will also receive access to the Wayne State Food Pantry and Warrior Wardrobe.
For more information on the Greater Corktown planning process and housing plan, visit detroitmi.gov/greatercorktown.