Re: Going to Detroit!!
Bad parts of Chicago are probably about the same as the good parts of Detroit. Detroit is as bad as it gets...
So, this is what I talked about in Church today.
On the first day, my group, know as the Man Team, because it was 5 guys, and 2 leaders(our group of 29 divided up into 4 teams), went to a place called Central Detroit Christian. It was located in Highland Park, which was one of the worst parts of Detroit. It's where those two guys with chains came up to us. This CDC place gets donations of merch from Home Depot and Bed, Bath, and Beyond of products that are out of style, or not sellable, but in perfect workable order. Then they sell them to people who can't afford them new at prices of $5 for $50 of merch. Well, they had this abanded auto shop that the city sold them for $51. We had to clean this place up, and make it into a warehouse. Sweeping up a shop that had been abanded since like the 70s... we probably got asbestos from the brake jobs they did there if they did... We had to clean, tear concrete plaster of wall, smash concrete with sledge hammers, and paint the place. We got all but the painting done in one day.
But the most inspiring person was a guy named Chris there. Chris was the coordinator of CDC. He had a friend named Tony who was a drug addict, drug dealer, had been in jail for car theft and so on. Chris said to him, "I can give you money in your pocket, a place to stay, and food to eat, if you do 3 things for me as well as quiting your current life style." Those three things are, 1. Get a Drivers Liscense 2. Get a GED and 3. Get $300 saved in a bank account. On monday, Tony was taking the test for his GED.
On Friday, we invited Chris and Tony to dinner. They didn't come. Earlier that day, we found out Tony's friend had been shot. Chris needed to be with Tony. It's very important to ask for help.
Another place we went to was DRMM(Detroit Rescue Mission Ministry). That was a place for recovering alcoholics and drug addicts. We helped clean and what not for a while, but we also got to sit in on a meeting. They told us their stories in the NA/AA meeting. The man sitting next to me was an alcoholic and had been shot twice and stabbed once. I held hands with him durring prayer. All the Small Things... Well, they told us their stories, many were addicted to crack and pills through out the span of 5-40 years. And all had been alcoholics at one point. Most had lost their kids and wifes. After their stories, my good friend sitting next to me asked to tell his... Something I didn't know about. He admited to smoking pot daily before school and work. Taking pills when ever he could. Drinking tons. And Passing out in a McDs parking lot for 30 minutes from pills.
You see, Alcohol, drugs, pills, they don't discriminate. They don't care if you are upper or lower class, black or white. They can fuck you over no matter what.
A night later, in a group meeting back with just out mission group, his best friend looked at him and said, "Today at DRMM I saw a white man about 20. I saw you. That could be you in 2 years. I don't want to you go there Nick."
Now, we say, "Us and They." We are the rich kids living perfectly fine in Harvard and Sterling, IL. And They are the poor black folks with nothing. But really, there is no "Them" Nick could have been that guy, the they, would have been us then.
It's not what we did for Detroit really, that is minimal. Detroit did more for us. I'll post up more later probably. Nap time now. 8-9 hours of work each day, going to bed at 12 and getting up at 7 wears you out. And the last 3 days I have gone to bed at 3 and gotten up at 7... So, yea...
“Adults are just obsolete children and the hell with them.” - Dr. Suess