Streetlight Detroit

Correction: This story has been updated twice with corrections. The Detroit Board of Police Commissioners will meet today at 3 p.m. — not 3:30 p.m.


Hi all,

My main source of hope these days is the growing calls for a ceasefire in Gaza echoing across the city — including at the City Council and school board meetings. I still hold my sentiment from last edition’s intro as the death toll continues to climb in Gaza. 

Allow me to quickly bring you up to speed on what’s been happening locally: 

Until next time,

Miriam


»the count

add up these numbers

November is National Homelessness Awareness Month. Detroit is plagued by a lack of affordable housing, a new report by the Detroit Justice Center estimates that there are 83,657 Detroit households in need of affordable housing, with just 35,000 affordable units in the city.


»BOPC watch

keep an eye on Detroit’s police oversight body

Detroit’s Board of Police Commissioners didn’t meet yesterday. Instead it will convene at 3 p.m. today. To find out what happens, follow along with @DetDocumenters on X or catch up on all BOPC news at Outlier’s BOPC Watch.


»healing & helping

give and receive care with these upcoming opportunities

The holidays can be tough for those away from loved ones. Looking for a hot meal? Here are a few options for community dinners: A Thanksgiving Community Dinner at Santos Church in Southwest Detroit; a warm meal with Brilliant Detroit in the Grixdale Farms neighborhood; From Women to Queens’ annual Thanksgiving feast; and for those looking to flex their cooking skills, the Jim Dandy Ski Club is hosting a potluck (or $15 donation for those looking to just chow down). Read more for ways to get and give help this season.  


»rewind: the first warming centers

decades-long debate over housing solutions goes in circles

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Image credit: Dorota Duzinkiewicz/GIPHY

A recent report from Detroit’s Housing and Revitalization Department found people experiencing homelessness are having a harder time obtaining beds at shelters. Those who do manage to secure beds report overcrowding and violence in the shelters and say that there aren’t sufficient services for women, people with disabilities and LGBTQ+ people. The length of time people stay in shelters has doubled in the last eight years. The city’s report recommends resources go to helping people obtain permanent housing. 

What we have instead are warming centers as a temporary solution for unsheltered people to find reprieve from harsh weather conditions. These warming centers are not new in Detroit, and neither are calls to provide permanent housing for people experiencing homelessness. The debate among advocates, city officials and non-profit organizations have gone in circles, with little change in the last few decades. 


»on guard

get to know the people and places that make us safer

Nina Wimberley has been battling asthma since childhood. Now 26, her daily life is marked by the constant struggle to manage her breathing. She has inhalers stashed in her house in Detroit, in her car, and at her parents’ house.

Detroiters have asthma rates 46% higher than the rest of Michigan, and racial minorities in the U.S. face a disproportionately high asthma burden and inequities in care.

Asthma is a complex condition influenced by factors like family history, smoke, viral exposure, obesity and air pollution. There’s a particular link between asthma in young children and exposure to vehicle pollution. 

Wimberley lived for much of her childhood in a home just feet from the I-96 freeway. Studies indicate that children living closer to major roads or freeways have a higher likelihood of developing asthma symptoms, and an increase in traffic density corresponds to a rise in asthma-related hospital visits. 

An 11-city initiative Wimberley participated in over the past year aims to address high asthma disparities in cities like Detroit. The Health Equity Advancement and Leadership (HEAL) program is a support network that connects participants with primary care providers and asthma specialists. It also provides learning opportunities between patients and health experts.

The program wants to address social determinants of health, such as  food insecurity, by offering one-on-one sessions with nutritionists, fresh food access through a partnership with Eastern Market and access to fitness centers through a collaboration with the YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit. 

Within six months, program participants reported better asthma control, fewer missed days of work or school, improved food security, and increased confidence in understanding and managing their disease.

To learn more about HEAL and Wimberley’s journey, read more here.


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, Planet Detroit’s Nina Ignaczak 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.