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WHO WE ARE

 

OUR HISTORY

As someone who has experienced housing insecurity in Detroit firsthand (in addition to watching friends and family members struggle with similar experiences) our Founder and CEO, Ms. Courtney, set out to explore the programs and best practices being implemented in other communities across the country in search of solutions. In doing so, she wanted to bring new ways of problem-solving back to her hometown to ensure youth transitioning out of homelessness and poverty greater access to the vital resources they need.

 

This desire led Ms. Courtney to embark on a transcontinental journey on-board the Millennial Trains Project (MTP) in 2016. This program acted as a social incubator for aspiring change-makers who were not only crazy enough to believe that they could change the world - but actually set out to do it.

 

While aboard the train, Ms. Courtney conducted focus groups with youth and spoke with thought-leaders around the youth homelessness space in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Milwaukee, Denver, and Detroit.

 

Many of the young people that Ms. Courtney came across felt like their voices were being suppressed and that the best ways to serve youth experiencing homelessness were not being implemented in their communities. This led Ms. Courtney to work toward finding ways to amplify the voices and lived experiences of youth experiencing homelessness in Detroit and adopt a service model that had never been used before.

 

All of this effort materialized itself into the form of Detroit Phoenix Center, which opened in 2017 as the first completely volunteer-driven Asset Based Resource Center providing drop-in services and basic need support to teens and young adults in need.

 

OUR IMPACT

​Impact numbers are based on the July 1, 2020-June 30, 2021 fiscal year

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590

900+

7000+

Children and youth served through COVID-19 outreach and DPC Programs

COVID-19 care packages

of essential goods and services distributed to youth and families

Hours of virtual programming (mental health support, tutoring, financial literacy, and more)

75

200

10,000 

Face masks 

distributed

Gallons of hand sanitizer distributed

Days of emergency shelter provided via hotel vouchers covering 17 households

 

OUR TEAM

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Courtney Smith - Founder & CEO 

Sade Beck - Director of Youth & Family Services  

Eden Gibbs - Communication & Special Events Manager

Mary Inman - Program Coordinator, Public Allies of Metro Detroit

DeAndra Matthews - DPC Alumni & Peer Support Coordinator, Public Allies of Metro Detroit

Tarra Hicks - DPC Alumni & Program Assistant

Jessica Skyfield - Executive Assistant

YOUTH ACTION BOARD

 

The mission of the Trailblazers Youth Action Board is to strive for the elimination of youth homelessness and poverty in our region. The YAB is an interagency group of young leaders with lived experiences to inform the public about issues, identify and work to eliminate barriers to housing, employment, education, mental health, and advocate for increased resources to transition youth. Youth leaders commit to an annual retreat, attend monthly meetings, and design a year-long service-learning project that drives community change. 

Youth Action Board Current Members:

Armani Arnold

Sierra Devoe 

Alex Hicks 

Rosa Hicks 

Tarra Hicks 

India Jones 

DeAndra Matthews 

Ajanae Robinson 

Jemica Stewart 

Cherise Tatum 

Azaria Terrell

Program Partners and Facilitators include:

 

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

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Board Chair

Mary Jo Franklin

Manager

Detroit Public Library

& Children's Librarian

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Secretary

John C. Muhs

Associate

Warner Norcross + Judd LLP

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Vice Chair

Aimee Spencer Tiemann

Creator & Owner 
BrightShinyBOLD

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Member at Large

Zara Northover

Product Manager (Strategy, Diversity & Innovation)

Quicken Loans

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Treasurer

Brandon Biddles

Project Manager
Henry Ford Health System 
& Financial Literacy Advocate

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OUR PARTNERS

 

FUNDING PARTNERS

We are beyond grateful for the help of our Partners and could not do this heart work without them.  If you or your organization is interested in becoming a Funding Partner, please contact info@detroitphoenixcenter.org

 
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COMMUNITY PARTNERS

Our Community Partners contribute to programming and other experiences that we offer to our youth members.  If you are interested in becoming a Community Partner, please contact info@detroitphoenixcenter.org

 
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