EVO Detroit

Detroit Bench

EVO DETROIT, D2N’s new initiative in Detroit, stands for Empowerment, Vestment, and Ownership. It also stands for “Evolution Detroit” or “Change Detroit.” This initiative embraces lessons learned from D2N’s work in Nepal. EVO DETROIT recognizes the challenges to communities in Nepal mirror the challenges that face under-served communities in Detroit. Success in our Nepalese projects has been directly attributed to our ability to form trusting and respectful relationships with the local communities, and the fact that D2N does not impose our views or values on them.

EVO Detroit’s goal is to establish working relationships with Detroit neighborhoods by allowing them to identify their priorities and advocate for themselves. This process of empowerment encourages vestment and gives ownership of the project to the community. Consideration is given to those projects which benefit the community as a whole, with the goal of making the neighborhood more desirable for locals to continue to live there. With this in mind, D2N has chosen two projects to receive the initial EVO grants.


Piety Hill Pocket Parks

62 neighbors attending the Piety Hill neighborhood quarterly meeting  requested a grant to repair and restore two pocket parks, located at 740 Hazelwood and 801 West Philadelphia, so they can be used safely and to their full potential by the community. The grant will fund new fencing and new signs at both parks. Additionally, grass seeding and improved horse shoe pit backboards will be executed at the Philadelphia park. Additional work at the Hazelwood Park includes planting flowers at the butterfly garden section, and spreading child-safe wood chips in the play area. The community will take ownership of the project and supply all the necessary labor. The Central Detroit Christian Organization (a longstanding nonprofit located in the neighborhood, staffed by the neighbors) will provide a project manager at no cost. EVO Detroit will supply materials and equipment.


Project No Stand Zone

The Cody Rouge Community Action Alliance Youth Council is composed of high school-aged students who either live, attend school, work or worship in the Cody Rouge neighborhood. In addition to contributing youth voice to community improvement initiatives and participating in leadership training, the Youth Council is actively involved in planning and implementing projects and events that benefit all residents of Cody Rouge.   The 2016 Cody Rouge Project Resident Survey indicated that 91% percent of Cody Rouge residents who use the bus system reported that they do not feel there are enough shelters or places to sit at community bus stops.  To address the lack of bus seating in the Cody Rouge community, the Youth Council has proposed building benches for seven neighborhood bus stops.

Project No Stand Zone is a partnership between the Cody Rouge Youth Council, the six high schools located in Cody Rouge and the “Sit on it Detroit” organization. “Sit on it Detroit” utilizes reclaimed wood from deconstructed houses to build bus stop benches. These benches are unique because they beautify the landscape using recycled materials, and also feature a small library in the bottom half of the bench. “Sit on it Detroit” will  provide prepped wooden benches to be finished and creatively decorated.  The completed benches will be placed at local bus stops during a community event held in the spring of 2017.

How To Apply For A Grant

1- Clearly describe the project proposed. Please explain how it will be accomplished in detail and how it would benefit your community.

2- Explain how this project was identified by your local community and why/how it was prioritized.

3- Show how your local community will be vested in this process. Be specific. We require that all unskilled labor, and as much skilled labor, be provided by your local community. Any materials or equipment accessible to your neighborhood should be provided by you.  D2N will provide funds for materials and equipment as well as any skilled labor which is not available within your community. Our goal is to “fill the gap”.

4- Provide a DETAILED budget. We will fund projects up to $10,000 which can be completed within six months.

5- You are encouraged to include narratives of other community-based projects in your neighborhood. Demonstrating past successes that were dependent on significant vestment of the community will help support your grant request.

6- Any other information you can submit that would strengthen your application is encouraged.

Send your grant request and/or questions to: