Detroit population falls by 25 percent in 10 years. (Getty Images)

In her Detroit Free Press column, Rochelle Riley writes that Detroit is winning as scores of residents are scheduled to participate in the fifth citywide volunteer fair to help repair the city decimated by unemployment, violence and years of urban flight and blight.

News Bulletin: Detroit is winning.

No, not Charlie Sheen-winning, but transformational, making-a-difference winning.


Next week, Tim Addy and his Handyman Ministries — part of a coalition of more than 450 churches that partner to change lives — will spend a week doing plumbing, electrical work and painting on a block of homes on Detroit's east side. They then will spend the next year checking on those homes to make sure they stay in good repair.

But they aren't alone.

That project is one of about 170 that are part of next Saturday's ARISE: Detroit Neighborhoods Day, a community celebration that will shine a light on volunteer work happening block by block across the city.


"This guy is just absolutely fabulous," ARISE Executive Director Luther Keith said Thursday of Addy, who will bring about 25 volunteers with him. "He brings a tent with him and a barbecue, and he invites all the neighbors … 'Come out and work, and I'll feed you.' If the plumbing needs fixing or the front steps are broken or something in the kitchen needs to be fixed, that's what they do, and they're doing it for nothing."

This is the fifth year for the citywide celebration that grew out of a volunteer fair held in May 2006 at Campus Martius when ARISE was new. Since then, the community coalition has grown from a dozen to more than 300 member organizations and has become a force of nature helping to redefine 

Read Rochelle Riley's complete column at the Detroit Free Press.

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