Streetlight Detroit

Good morning,

I come to you this week emotionally and mentally exhausted. Truthfully, my head and my heart are not here these days — they’re in Gaza. Like many people, I can’t take my eyes away from the horror unfolding overseas. Meanwhile, our local leaders are trying to draft a “more neutral” resolution to call for a ceasefire, nearly a month into the crisis.

I’m Palestinian. I can’t stop watching everything unfold — the bombing of a refugee camp, a collapsing health system where doctors have been performing surgeries without anesthesia, the children covered in debris and dried blood, the poems written on the body bags of loved ones. A genocide is playing out in plain sight and powerful world leaders are ignoring the global mass cry for an end to the violence

Streetlight is a shared newsletter, but what I write in this intro is my opinion, supported by my newsroom here at Outlier Media.

I implore you to not desensitize yourself, to hold our leaders accountable for their complicity, to not allow yourself to think what’s happening overseas doesn’t impact you and communities here

Our hope, here in Detroit and across the globe, is for people to be safe from harm. The harm we tolerate for others inevitably becomes the standard for all.

Take a moment to appreciate the blessings around you: The solid roof above your head, the water in your taps, the food in your refrigerator. And hold onto hope.

Enjoy reading,


»the count

add up these numbers

At least 3,195 children have been killed in Gaza in three weeks. That’s more than the number of children killed in conflict zones globally over the course of a whole year since 2019, according to Save the Children

»in these streets

speed through key safety news

The Detroit City Council is eyeing an ordinance to regulate dust emissions in an effort to protect residents living in industrial zones. The draft ordinance would help the city track dust pollution by requiring further documentation of monitoring plans, truck routes and contingency plans for when dust is excessive…

After investigating conditions at the troubled Wayne County Juvenile Jail state officials put the facility on a provisional license this week. Two young people allege they have been sexually assaulted at the facility this year. Provisional licenses last six months and are issued by the state health department when they temporarily cannot conform to laws and can include state monitors onsite…

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation requiring schools and daycares to provide filtered drinking water to reduce children’s exposure to lead…

The pressure is on House Democrats to push along a package of reproductive health bills that would remove a number of abortion restrictions, including the 24-hour mandatory waiting period. Abortion advocates argue that restrictions to abortion threaten patient safety and removing them would expand accessibility to safe procedures… 

The Michigan House passed a package of bills Wednesday to strengthen the penalties for threatening election workers. The bills came the same day a panel of local and state election workers spoke before a U.S. Senate committee about intimidation driving them out of the profession. Election workers told leaders that conspiracy theories are fueling a hostile environment, leading them to quit…

A study by Michigan State University found that seatbelt use in Michigan is at its lowest since 2004, standing at 92.4%…

Three months after an inmate was killed by his cellmate, the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office has yet to explain how a series of systemic failures led to the death of Thomas Carr. Carr, who was serving time for a DUI, was sharing a cell with Claude Lewis who was booked on a domestic violence charge, has eight previous convictions, and has a history of mental health issues…

Attorney General Dana Nessel issued a warning for any haters: her hate crimes unit is at the ready following a reported increase in these crimes… 

(BridgeDetroit, Detroit Free Press, Michigan Radio, Michigan Legislature, Michigan Advance WXYZ, Michigan Department of Attorney General) 


dig into the facts

Did you know that most Detroit households facing homelessness are dealing with it for the first time? On top of that, the length of time people stayed in shelters or other housing programs nearly doubled from 35 to 69 days in the last eight years.

Those are just some takeaways from a new report commissioned by the City of Detroit’s Housing and Revitalization Department. It offers a look at homelessness in the city and is meant to inform a broader plan to address the issue after the COVID-19 pandemic. The work is being done in collaboration with the Homeless Action Network of Detroit (HAND). 

Here are a few other highlights: 

  • In 2022, more than 8,500 people were living in shelters, transitional or permanent supportive housing in Detroit, Hamtramck and Highland Park. On any given night, more than 1,500 people experience homelessness on the streets and in shelters. But these numbers are likely an undercount. Available data primarily tallies unhoused people in shelters and housing programs, so it doesn’t exactly reflect the scale of homelessness in the city.
  • People experiencing homelessness shared their encounters with the shelter system. The report did not include the names of the people interviewed or the shelters they talked about. They shared concerns about the physical conditions of the shelters, with some reporting staying in basements with bugs and vermin and facilities with mold and leaking water. Some said shelters have 10 families in one room and people have to sleep on chairs. Some shelters, others said, are not accessible for people with disabilities. One person who used a cane and was housed on the second floor of a shelter noted the building did not have an elevator. 
  • People expressed difficulty finding housing and needing resources for mental health, employment and transportation. As one participant put it: “No one talked to me about deposits required for water, power or the responsibility to pay those bills. I am scared of losing my housing or not being able to maintain.” Another person said: “I’ve been here for two years, and have been waiting for a voucher for two years.”

Leaders of local shelters said they are aware of challenges in the system and emphasized the need for more funding.

Learn more about the report here.

»BOPC watch

keep an eye on Detroit’s police oversight body

BridgeDetroit’s Malachi Barrett reports that retired UAW President Rory Gamble is up for a spot on Detroit’s Board of Police Commissioners. A City Council committee recommended his appointment Tuesday. Catch up on the latest with the BOPC.


election security and voter ID laws in Michigan

Even if voting isn’t on the minds of Detroiters right now, several communities around the metro area are indeed voting next week. Per usual, voters at the polls will be asked to show photo identification before they can vote. This wasn’t always the norm. 

Michigan voters of the past were only required to give their name and birth date at the polls.

But these days, Michigan is one of 36 states with some form of voter identification law. Some states, like New York and Minnesota, don’t require any documentation to vote. Voters without an ID in Michigan can sign an affidavit promising they are who they say they are. Then, voters can cast their ballots.

This project is brought to you by BridgeDetroit, Chalkbeat Detroit, Detroit Free Press, Detroit Metro Times, Michigan Radio, Planet Detroit, WDET 101.9 FM, WXYZ-TV and Outlier Media/Detroit Documenters.

This edition was written by Outlier Media’s Miriam Marini and Sarah Alvarez, Detroit Free Press’ Nushrat Rahman and Detroit Documenters’ Alex Klaus.

Miriam (she/her) is a strong believer that journalism should hold leaders accountable and serve as a platform for marginalized groups. She can often be found at The Congregation — usually with a hot mocha in hand and finding an outlet to charge her dying laptop.