When Ronen Dan and Bob Hendrikx first came to Detroit from the Netherlands, they saw the blight they’d heard about in Dutch media. They also saw something else: hope.
“Before we visited Detroit, we expected to see an exceptional phenomenon: a metropolitan city in full decay,” Dan recalls. “Instead, we saw a city putting itself back together and recovering its lost glory.”
Dan, Hendrikx and fellow architecture student Dominik Lukkes, used that inspiration to found The Motown Movement. Together, they acquired a vacant two-story home on Ford Street in Hope Village. When they’re done fixing it up, they say it will not only provide a new home for a needy family, it will serve as an education center for the neighborhood. Hendrikx says the house will also feature environmentally sustainable systems.
“It will have a green roof, solar panels, a windmill,” Hendrikx says. “There will also be an urban farm located next to the house.”
Ronen Dan says The Motown Movement is working with a housing nonprofit, The Tricycle Collective, to find a family to live in the upper floor of the house.
The Greening of Detroit, Focus:HOPE, EcoWorks, and other groups are working with The Motown Movement, which has also started a crowd-funding campaign to complete the project this summer. Click on the audio player to hear WDET’s Pat Batcheller talk with Dan and Hendrikx