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.


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.




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.