The Green Light Project Expands In Detroit

The partnership of  Detroit businesses joining Project Green Light has expanded since the one year and 100th participating stores mark in January 2017.  There are now 144 companies partnered in Detroit to help fight and solve crimes in the areas of the installed real-time cameras.

More green lights can be seen flashing as residents walk and ride on the streets of Detroit.   This light sits atop of a Citgo gas station on Schoolcraft and Evergreen.  Image By: Cynthia Gladden

Brancy Crawford, of Detroit states “she feels more safe with all the blinking green lights, and she shops in areas that have the real-time cameras installed.”  Crime has been a downward trend in areas where green lights have been installed on local businesses.

Sunoco gas station on McNichols and Six Mile has a bright green light that alerts citizens that it is linked to the Detroit Police Department.  Photo By Cynthia Gladden

Forty-four more businesses have partnered with the Detroit Police Department to help deter crime since January 2017, making Detroit a safer place for its citizens.


A Heart Can’t Be Heart When Cigarette Smoke Is Inhaled



Smoking is known to be a leading cause of heart disease for men in the United States, but second-hand smoke can be deadlier with the effects of more than 7000 chemicals in a cigarette plus, the smoke being exhaled by the smoker.


The chemicals ignited in tobacco will damage the function of the structure of the blood vessels in the heart. These blood vessels are the primary roles to the heart beating. The hidden injury will lead to plaque beginning to build up in the blood vessels and cause damage slowly.

Heart attacks for men have a ratio of 70% to 89% for sudden cardiac events. David Townsend of Detroit, Michigan is a heart attack survivor. He had a sudden cardiac event that led to an emergency triple bypass. David states that “if you don’t smoke don’t start.” His quest to be smoke-free, since his bypass surgery has been a struggle because of second-hand cigarette smoke, that has enticed his desire to smoke again.

His multiple scars from his bypass surgery are a constant reminder of his smoking habit that may shorten his lifespan.

Smoking has become a social habit that causes health concerns in many people that are not smokers. Secondhand smoke is even worse because toxic mixtures of poisons exhaled and burning from a lit cigarette affect individuals who do not smoke. The statistical information of cigarette smokers and secondhand smoke that affect non-smokers has an immediate effect on the blood vessels of the heart.





Tiny Town Comes to Detroit

The blight of real estate in Detroit has allowed room to construct a neighborhood with tiny houses.  Twenty-five houses are in the process of being built, to create homes for the homeless and low-income families.  The building of tiny houses is an effort to help the homeless and low-income citizens, with a chance to buy a home.

Detroit is the first city to build tiny houses where all the houses have its own unique style.  The plans were created to make each resident feel a sense of feeling exceptional while obtaining ownership of the tiny house.  The tiny houses are developed by an organization that is named Cass Community Social Services.  The size of the new homes is 250 square feet – 400 square feet.

Tiny house construction   Photo by: Cynthia Gladden

The cost to build the new homes range from $40,000-$50,000 and they are constructed in batches of six.  The Cass Tiny House project is funded with private money, in the form of grants and donations from several organizations. When the new residents move in, they will start by signing a one-year lease.  The lease of the property will not be more than one-third of the resident’s monthly income.  As long as the tenants pay the rent and comply with the rest of the terms of the lease, after three years, the tenant qualifies an opportunity to sign a land contract for the price of four more years of rent. The community of tiny houses will show a new neighborhood of tiny houses, from Cape Cod to Victorian and Modern style homes.

First finished tiny house Photo by: Cynthia Gladden

In conclusion, this project is not a complete solution for sheltering the homeless, in Detroit, but instead a pilot study for the use of the blighted land while creating homes for the needy.




Vacant Lots Are Developed Into Farmland

The blight of real estate in Detroit has led to many available lots being purchased for the use of farmland, helping to feed many low-income citizens healthy organic foods.

Parts of the city have become a vacant urbane prairie, now housing1400 farms in Detroit ranging from small backyard gardens to full-scale farms.

A tree farm was developed and planted 15,000 trees on land that once held real estate. John Hantz and his corporations were allowed to purchase 140 acres below market price value that involved 1500 neighboring city owned lots for $300 a lot, the total sum of $520,000. The first three acres was a trial test for, Hantz Farms, in Detroit.

D-Town Farms located on west Outer Drive is a seven-acre farm in a residential community and offers advice and help to other residents who want to be a part of the farming industry in Detroit. Victory Garden is a community garden, located on Schoolcraft, in an area where the neighbors get together to produce crops through the spring and summer in Detroit

D-Town Farm 14027 West Outer Drive Detroit, MI 48227  Hoop Houses

There are 97,000 properties recorded in Detroit, 67,000 are vacant lots. There is a side lot program where over 6500 lots have been sold since 2014.

Some residents have purchased side lots to their property through a sale from Detroit Land Bank of a $100, as residents are expanding their properties out with fewer neighbors in the neighborhoods.

The population loss in Detroit is represented by thousands of vacant lots, land left for weeds and trees to grow wild. Some land is being used for community gardens, providing healthy foods free of charge for the neighbors. Using land to cultivate food is a healthy and prosperous idea for Detroit, considering many vacant lots became dumping grounds for trash and demolished neighborhoods.


CONQUERING THE PAIN: The Alternative Methods of Pain Management

Millions of Americans suffer from chronic low back pain (LBP). Chronic low back pain is the number two, most claimed disability, in the United States. Recently there has been a high increase in opiate use and abuse among pain sufferers. Due to the rise of chronic pain, doctors are now offering alternative methods so that pain patients can live without limitations. Sometimes, doctors will even work with each other, so that the opiate-prescribing doctor can be involved in the alternative treatment.

The high rate of addiction has become a concern in the United States, because some of the addictions are from opiate use and abuse. Opiates include prescription medication, prescribed in doses, as part of a patient’s pain management regime. In order to control the amount of opiates prescribed to patients, the patient’s primary care physician will first recommend pain management methods that don’t involve medication. The pain management doctor will decide to what extent medication is needed to control the patient’s pain and suffering.

Many Hospitals are even working together to provide quality care for patients. Since there are millions of Americans that suffer from pain, pain management has become it’s own type of patient care.   Dr. Mahmoud Sabbagh, MD is a pain management physician at the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan (RIM), in Detroit, MI, which is a part of the Detroit Medical Center Group. There is a six-month waiting period to see Dr. Sabbagh because of the rise in chronic pain patients.


IMAGE Source: Cynthia Gladden   Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan 261 Mack Blvd. Detroit, MI 48201

“Educating patients with more current treatment options, helps lower the need of opiates on a regular basis,” says Dr. Sabbagh “The purpose of trying the alternative methods is to give patients relief and hope of some healing says Dr. Sabbagh.”

Methods of weight loss, diet, and exercising are daily routines that can aid in the rehabilitation. When asked about other treatments, Dr. Sabbagh stated “that some patients, are faced with easing their pain with a minimal invasive approach such as epidural steroid injections, nerve burning and lastly, surgery for the relief of chronic pain suffering”. These are all temporary solutions, that may last three-months to two-years, “It’s not forever, but long enough for some patients to want to try to be pain free as long as possible,” says Dr. Sabbagh. These approaches can lead to lower doses of prescribed opiate use, and as it was explained to me, every patient is different so the outcome varies from patient to patient, allowing some form of healing physically and mentally.

RIM copy.jpg

IMAGE SOURCE: Cynthia Gladden Signage from the Pain Management Outpatient Clinic

Dorie Fann-Purry of Detroit, MI is a chronic pain sufferer whose pain journey grew from a Fibromyalgia diagnosis into a Lupus diagnosis. Dorie states that, “even though I suffer from chronic pain daily, I finds relief in educating Lupus survivors on a daily basis, through my Facebook page” Dorie is a member of the Lupus Warriors.  Dorie finds self gratification in being an active participating member and encourages other lupus survivors to participate with Lupus Warriors events.

The alternative solutions at times just end up being a temporary relief but for some, a temporary relief is better than no relief to chronic pain and the usage of opiates. Overall, education is the key to learning new ways to cope with pain besides opiates.



More Root Based Foods Could Help With Obesity

Healthy eating has been categorized as the culprit needed to help prevent and maintain certain health conditions. With the maintenance of weight and preventative measures taken to avoid the inevitable weight gain, from over eating and lack of exercise, there is still hope for those with exemplary determination to beat the odds of obesity.

Obesity is linked to many health conditions in societies of Millennia’s and Baby Boomers. The rate of obesity in the United States rank in the top ten of the nation and more than one-third (36.5%) of U.S. adults have obesity.

When food is grown from the soil of the earth water is part of its growth process. These fruits and vegetables are naturally part water, some more than others. Water is also associated with maintaining a healthier weight, whether it is through a beverage or multiple fruits and vegetables. Water is known to be the fuel for blood and the circulatory system in our bodies.

Eating healthy requires preparation of foods that are healthy, low in fat, calories, carbohydrates, sugars, and sodium. Eating healthier diets can be time consuming, from shopping more frequently, to assure freshness of the food, to the times it takes to prepare balanced meals. Too often, a hard day of work ensues not prepping or cooking proper meals throughout the day. Maybe you find yourself grabbing a bite to eat while on the move to get to work or home, and that could suffice for the time being, but after a while, you could find yourself at risk of health issues. Healthy eating is a lifestyle choice, and the preparations that are involved for meals involving daily fruits and vegetables can be time consuming but, well worth the extra time to keep your body full of water, and feeling like a well oiled machine, making yourself more vital and energetic and having less chance of being obese.

Serial Rape in Detroit

Levi is a kidnap and rape victim, turned survivor. Levi was 18 when she was raped and in the last five years, she has endured the pain of rape and healing that would turn her life around for the better. Levi now wants to conquer a challenge of encouraging young girls about being out alone, and not in their safe zone of home.

Out at 3:00 am, walking home to her mother’s house Levi was snatched up and thrown in the back seat of a car. The driver of the car, stood outside of the car, smoked a cigarette and guarded the brutal rape on the inside of the car. Levi was eventually dropped off on the corner of West McNichols and Rockdale on the Northwest side of Detroit. As she began to try and walk on McNichols street, a resident from a nearby apartment building was returning home, seen that something was wrong and helped Levi to safety.

The isolated place where a rape happened at 3:00 am.  Photo by: Cynthia Gladden

Levi was traumatized, and needed help to overcome the obstacle that had changed her life for the worse. Rape counseling, therapy and anger management, would be the beginning of a vital journey, while she enveloped herself into a song that she wrote and recorded, called, The Testimony. The arrest did not happen right away but one day a call from the Detroit Police Department would begin to change her life, as Levi had to face the repercussion of being out alone at 3:00am on the streets of Detroit.

Convicted rapist, Christopher Lee Johnson would be identified through the description of his car in other unsolved rape cases. Levi’s rape kit had DNA that would solve multiple rapes in the City of Detroit. Johnson would be convicted of Levi’s rape, the driver was never identified was only a part of Levi’s case. Johnson had already been interrogated without Levi’s case, so no one knew of a driver until Levi’s case surfaced with rape kit DNA and a description of a car that put a serial rapist in prison.