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Good Neighborhoods Initiative

Rose Skillman created The Skillman Foundation in 1960 to carry out her commitment to improve the welfare of vulnerable children. To this end, the Foundation is committed to providing resources to improve the lives of children in Metropolitan Detroit by improving their homes, schools and neighborhoods. In 2006, the Foundation launched its Good Neighborhoods community change initiative, a 10-year $100-million commitment to Detroit families in six neighborhoods in Detroit.

The University of Michigan School of Social Work provides technical assistance for this initiative, working closely with the foundation, residents, neighborhood stakeholders, and other partners involved in the change process.

This initiative provides a wonderful opportunity for students to learn about and become involved in a grass roots community change process. Consider the UM-SSW Good Neighborhoods Technical Assistance Center (TAC) as a possible field placement and explore this website to learn more about this model of community change.

The Good Neighborhoods Initiative seeks to increase the number of healthy, safe, and supportive neighborhoods that will contribute to the full development of children and youth in Detroit. The Skillman Foundation identified six neighborhoods within the city of Detroit for inclusion in the Initiative. These six neighborhoods are home to approximately 30% of Detroit's children and youth.

Maps and Profiles

The six targeted subcommunities of the Good Neighborhoods Initiative

The six targeted subcommunities of the Good Neighborhoods Initiative

Core Goals

  • Community Assets and Initiatives: to maximize the assets, capacity, and impact of resources and institutions in targeted communities
  • Natural Helpers: to enable a cadre of “natural helpers” who are committed to providing services or support for children
  • Neighborhood-Based Human Delivery System: to establish effective neighborhood-based human service delivery systems for children, youth, and families
  • Child-Friendly Spaces: to improve the availability of child-friendly spaces and the physical infrastructure of neighborhoods with large concentrations of children
  • Youth Development Programs: to increase opportunities for quality out-of-school time and youth development programs available to children and youth
  • Public-Private Investments: to increase public and private investments in neighborhoods to strengthen service and impact
  • Income and Wealth-Building Strategies: to build the resiliency of children and families through income and wealth-building strategies

Faculty and Staff

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