CommunityNext, the young talent retention arm of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit, is pulling together Detroiters and ex-pats across the country to organize a month-long series of charity events to help fund subsidies for young people moving into Detroit.
CommunityNext plans to kick off its “Do It For Detroit,” in August, with events already organized locally and in other cities across the country including Chicago, New York and Los Angeles.
The group has set an initial goal to raise $100,000 for the “Live Detroit Fund” through fundraising events, donations and corporate and foundations grants.
That money will fund subsidies of $250 a month per person for up to one year for, totaling $3,000 annually.
CommunityNext hopes to provide subsidies for up to 25 young leaders, just the thing needed to create excitement about the city and prevent further brain drain, the group believes.
If CommunityNext meets its fundraising goal, it plans to begin taking applications for the rent subsidies this fall.
Those receiving subsidies will agree to host one substantial community event per month to strengthen the Jewish and larger Detroit communities, in an arrangement similar to that of residents of Detroit’s first Moishe House.
CommunityNext and California-based national organization Moishe House established a communal house with rent subsidies for six young Jewish leaders—in their mid- and late 20s– in Detroit’s Midtown area just this spring.
Among the Moishe house residents is Jordan Wolfe, director of CommunityNext, who is heading up the “Do It For Detroit” effort.
CommunityNext created the Live Detroit Fund to complement the LiveMidtown incentive program launched by Henry Ford Health System, Detroit Medical Center and Wayne State University in January for their employees, Wolfe said.
“A dynamic urban core is essential if we are ever going to attract and retain young talent at scale,” he said.
Do It For Detroit fundraisers kick off locally in Beverly Hills at the Groves High School softball fields on Aug. 3, followed by other fundraisers including:
*Detroit Nation: Aug. 4 in Chicago, a bar night before Lollapalooza weekend, hosted by a Detroit expat group, Detroit Nation.
*Dodgeball in the D: Aug. 20 on Detroit’s Belle Isle, Come Play Detroit event which will attempt to break the Guiness book of Worlds Records record for the largest ever dodgeball tournament.
*Kick For Detroit: Aug. 21, Los Angeles, charity kickball tournament organized by Detroit expats
*Pitch For Detroit: Aug. 28, Southfield, charity softball tournament started by local Detroiters Adam Blanck and Benjy Gordon.
Check out a video overview of the initiative here.
By Sherri Welch, Crain’s Detroit