What’s better than an evening filled with celebration, wine, good company, and support for a great cause? On Thursday April 20th, EcoWorks, an award winning nonprofit that has been doing community building and sustainability work in the city of Detroit for over 35 years, will host their Earth Day Happy Hour fundraising event. The fundraiser, which will take place at MotorCity Wine in downtown Detroit from 4:30-8:00pm, is to support Project Green Home Detroit 2017, an initiative to help homeowners in Detroit save money and live more sustainably by making their homes more energy efficient.
Project Green Home Detroit 2017 was developed by EcoWorks’ Residential Education team as a targeted effort to help Detroit families who have struggled with housing. Finding appropriate and affordable housing can be very difficult for low-income residents, and to make matters worse many people are being scammed in the process. Families frequently move into a home and pay rent or a down payment to whom they think owns the home, only to get evicted and discover they have been illegally “squatting” in an empty house and giving their hard earned money to a fraudulent and fake landlord. To help minimize the negative impacts of this issue, the Detroit Land Bank Authority has developed a BuyBack Program that allows residents that have been victims of such scams and foreclosures to purchase the home they have been living in for $1000. When EcoWorks learned about the new BuyBack initiative, they decided to pick a recipient for Project Green Home from families enrolled in that program.
“The idea that so many buyers are being taken advantage of before they are finally able to own their home was a testament to their perseverance, and we decided that a recipient should be selected selected from this program” says Alicia Miller, Manager of EcoWorks Residential Education program.
After interviewing multiple families, the team chose to select the Banks family for Project Green Home. Charlena Banks and Darryl Burks, along with their three children Nygual, Darryon and Desynah, were renting a home in East Detroit from a phony landlord who did not own the house. They paid the landlord more than $2000 before receiving an eviction notice and discovering they had been scammed. Thanks to the BuyBack Program, Charlena was able to purchase the home with a $1000 down payment, and once the family pays taxes and utilities for twelve months they will receive the deed and finally own their new home. Things are looking up for the Banks family, and when Charlena found out they had been selected to participate in Project Green Home she was overjoyed.
“I have been looking for something like this project; I’ve been looking for help. God does answer prayers!” said Charlena Banks.
Project Green Home will help the Banks family save money and live more sustainably by weatherizing the home, installing energy efficient appliances and solar panels, upgrading water efficient fixtures, planting a family garden, and educating the family about environmentally-conscious practices. To accomplish this vision, Project Green Home Detroit needs your support! If you are interested in supporting this cause, please consider attending the Earth Day Happy Hour fundraiser open house. All proceeds from the event will be used to finance upgrades and work the house will need. At the event you will have a chance to meet and greet the family, discuss the project with EcoWorks Executive Director Justin Schott, meet and socialize with other supporters, receive project merchandise for donating to the project, and enjoy the cash wine bar. Free parking is available on site, so come on down!
If you plan on stopping by the event, please RSVP through either Facebook or directly through Eventbrite. An RSVP is not required to attend the event, but it is suggested so the event organizers know roughly how many people will be attending.
If you would like to support Project Green Home but are unable to attend Earth Day Happy Hour, please visit the project’s fundraising page to donate! Your donation will be greatly appreciated and help Charlena and her family get the most from this project.
Learn more about EcoWorks and their other programs and initiatives.
Author: Jordan Larson, Independent Correspondent; GreeningDetroit.com Email: Jordan@greeningdetroit.com