Group Homepage

The Ecology of Democracy, Chapter 6 - Your point of view - 2

Hello Everyone,

Our classroom discussions have centered on a chapter you were assigned from The Ecology of Democracy.

This is a gentle reminder that your posts and responses are due by Monday, November 27th by midnight. Keep in mind, you are to write a well thought-out, meaningful reflection paper about your group project  and respond to two of your classmates papers, for a minimum total of three posts.

Remember, we are interested in your original thoughts and ideas! This assignment is designed to get you to think critically and engage in a civil discussion with your classmates about the democratic process of problem solving as it relates to you in the classroom and in the community.

Please do not wait until the last minute; post early and often. Each post will be graded based on the quality of the content. Your post should cover some aspect of the chapter you are reading including the problem, process, program and projected outcome. Please use this link to enter the website http://ecologyofdemocracy.org/.

You will make your posts in the classroom conversations area; under the thread The Ecology of Democracy Your point of View-2. You can also receive up to 20 points extra credit by answering the thread question: How do you understand the role of citizens or the citizenry in a democracy?  If you have not registered, you will need to do so. Feel free to catch me in class or shoot me an email if you have any questions.

Best

Comments

UM06Zarzycki's picture

Breeann Zarzycki
Let’s Go Arts
17 November 2018
Ecology of Democracy

Problem: The problem that my group was faced with is the problem of homelessness. We needed to find a way to help the people that didn’t have homes and were living on the street.

Program: We wanted to create a program where we would give the people we bring in art supplies, and when they create art, we can have an auction where we sell the pieces and the money that would go to the person that created it. This would give them a start to get on their feet. We would also like to have an interview workshop, where businesses professionals would come in and teach the residents how to conduct themselves in a business interview and professional setting. Following these workshops, we could invite businesses that are hiring to come and interview the residents. 

Process: We thought of taking an abandoned house, and having different floors for men, women, and families. Working with the group who had blight helped to provide the abandoned houses. Advertisement is a huge part of our process. We were going to advertise at the bus stops so that the citizens with nowhere to go could make their way to us. If we gathered enough people, eventually we could expand to more buildings. We also wanted to work with local partners and have canned food drives, and somewhere to donate old clothes. Additionally, we wanted to bring in a mental health professional who could provide counseling to the homeless people that may have addictions. Finally, for our process we wanted to arrange to have sponsorships to get some free products such as toiletries or other necessities. We would like to accept everyone but felt we would need a turnaround time, so we could help as many people as possible. 

Projected Outcomes: Hopefully with our process and program, we would have projected outcomes of a reduced rate of homelessness and an inspired community who helps us. We also would like the individuals we bring in to end up with a job, which would result in them supporting themselves, and eventually being able to find a living space.
 

um6dean's picture

Cherish Dean

I was a part of group #3 and we were tasked with solving the problem of homelessness in our community through use of the arts. Our main idea was to create a shelter and incorporate the arts through art therapy and various art programs such as classes where individuals could craft things and then sell them to earn money; we also proposed the idea of creating outdoor art installations that could double as shelter. Our process in order to make this idea a reality was to advertise near bus stops, in newspapers, through local news, and really just wherever we could. We were initially given $5000, which was then halved to $2500 so we worked with other group’s organizations in order to make up for lost funding and increase the effort put forth to helping our communities. Another group that was focused on fixing blight gave some of their houses to help us get started and in return we helped them with volunteers at their community gardens. Additionally, we suggested the idea of can drives and partnering with local food pantries and restaurants to supplement our food stores at the shelter. Regarding the shelter, we planned to either acquire multiple houses and split them according to men, women, and families. We would also include a turnaround time since it is also part of our intent to help people get back on their feet and be able to hold down a job and have a place of their own to live; in order to enact this, we planned to establish set milestones and that if someone failed to make progress, allow them the chance to make an appeal or to find a different shelter for them. Our projected outcomes would be to lower the rate of and eventually help eliminate homelessness in our community by helping the homeless turn around their lives and be able to work and live life with a place of their own. In the meantime, we also hoped to remind everyone of the importance of the arts in our lives and inspire them to help out in their communities.

Regarding my experience with this assignment, I can say I certainly found it to be interesting and unconventional. From day one, it was emphasized that in our lives, it is very possible we will find ourselves in positions where we are expected to solve a problem that we know very little about. Every time we had a deadline for this project, I worried that there was something we’d forgotten, some part of our plan that would get holes poked in it, some detail that had slipped our minds. We were all incredibly unsure in the beginning and had no idea where to start but in the end, the groups were all able to come together and work towards a unified goal which was a very nice and positive end to things. It certainly encouraged some sympathy on my end towards people who manage or try to start programs like we discussed in class.

 

UM6smith's picture

Logan Smith

November 18, 2018

Problem: The problem my group faced was homelessness

Process: To begin our process, we will ask for sponsorships from those around the community. With the money we will secure abandoned houses as places for shelter and food along with many other things. We then will begin advertising near bus stops across town and in the local newspaper. If we are unable to get it on enough bus stops, we will petition the government to put more in. As far as the houses go, we will start by splitting them up into separate floors for men women and families. In hopes that we are successful we will then later expand into more buildings. Partnering with local food pantries along with can drives is where our main source of food with come from. We will also have community gardens where members will be able to grow food to eat fresh. Initially for bathrooms we will have a sign-up sheet to later have a communal bathroom. For those people struggling mentally and emotionally we will provide mental health professionals and counselors. Artistic installations will be outside of shelters as well as art classes.

Program: Coming into the houses we will accept every member but expect them to have a turnaround time with milestones along the way they will need to hit. If they are unsuccessful in said period of time, we will allow them to argue or petition for more time. Creating a program where working with different kinds of art and selling pieces as a means for making money will be present. It will almost be an art therapy session beginning with cheap art supplies. We will also have resume building workshops and interview improving workshops to prepare people for getting a job to become established on their own. We will provide professional clothing provided by donations from others. 

Projected Outcome: As a whole we hope to inspire the community to help and be able to provide shelter and comfort for the less fortunate that are homeless. We also anticipate getting others established on their own that come into the program.

UM6flick's picture

Megan Flick

Lets Go Arts 

17 November 2018

Ecology of Democracy 

Problem: The problem that our group was faced with is homelessness in and around the community.

Program: We wanted to create some type of program that would repair the abanded houses around in the area while incorporating the arts. Creating art programs within the abandon houses would allow for the homelessness people to have therapy sessions with art, and creating art. We would then sell the art to make a profit for the person who made the art. We would also like to create an interview workshop, where people can donate their old clothes and hold shops to allow people to create resumes. 

Process: Our first step for our program is to work with the other groups to bring the community together. We plan to work with one of the groups that are focusing on abandoned houses. We plan to use the abandoned houses that are going to be remodeled and cleaned up. We will be going to the local thrift shops to buy furniture, bedding, clothing and anything else that the people may need. We will be taking donations, and holding different types of donation drives at the local schools to collect the basic needs and art supplies that we will need. The houses will have different floors separating the men, women, and families. We would like to keep the families together and sperate the people that need to be separated. We plan to have bathroom schedules where you can sign up to take showers at a certain time so the bathroom doesn't get crazy. Once the houses are in living shape with people living in them we plan to work with bigger companies and get sponsors to sponsor our homes. The donations and drives will be a huge help to bring different items in that we will need for the people. We will also have community gardens that will be a big source of our fresh food. We plan to build bus stops near the homes to make easy and quick transportation for all of the people that get back on their feet and are working or trying to get a job. Our interview shops will allow the people to prepare for a job and help them get back on their feet. We want the people to get back on their feet, so once they are on their feet and doing better we don't want to kick them out but we want to make sure they have goals. So we will make sure everyone has set goals and by a certain time they should have certain things accomplished, and if not we are always willing to help, anyone and everyone that needs it. 

Projected Outcomes:  With our process and program we hope to reduce the number of homeless people in the community, and hope to get them on their feet. We want to bring awareness to the community and inspire others to help people that need it. We also hope that the other homeless know that there are other people out there like them seeking help, and there could be help right around the corner, and to never give up.

um24elbert's picture

I like how you plan to incorporate homelessness and the abandoned house so that it solves both issues. You also did a nice job on including personal things homeless people may need, so the thrift store and the donation drives are a great idea. I agree the goal is to help people feel secure, so solidifying that by providing them with job oppourtunities is perfect.

Nia Elbert

UM6higgins's picture

Kaelan Higgins

Let’s Go Arts

November 17, 2018

Ecology of Democracy

               As an art museum, my group attempted to tackle the rampant racism problem in our community. This main problem also brought into question a lot of other issues that could arise when bringing together a large group of people. We knew that it would be challenging to figure out a solution that people of all races, and personalities, would be willing to attend. People that held racist beliefs wouldn’t volunteer themselves to spend time with those exact people that they were prejudiced against. On the other side, those being discriminated against may not want to put themselves in a position where they may not be treated as equals. Another complication we felt might arise was that if the problem of racism was addressed directly, those who were the cause of the discrimination would not be open to listening about how they were wrong. When developing our solution, these were all issues that we took into account and did our best to find a way around.

               At our institution, there would be many programs offered that would combat racism as well as many other issues in the community. Our programs would provide a safe space for people of all ages and races to gather and learn about their community through art.

               The first step in our process was to host a grand opening as an introduction to the museum and its programs as well as a way to earn money through fundraising, raffles, an art auctions. After this, we would have enough money to provide classes for all different age groups and get art into the museum. We would rely on the local bussing system to reach people, who could not drive themselves, to the center but in the future, it may be possible to get our own buses or rent buses to get people to us. As far as advertising goes, we would talk to local news stations about who we are and our goals and hope they are willing to provide us with free advertising. To keep the peace, we plan on hiring security guards to be at all events. The plan to solve the problems I discussed, in the beginning, is to discuss things through art. We would not announce that our goal was to end racism, but a lot of our art and programs would be about equality and acceptance.

               In the end, our projected outcome is a more educated, accepting community, with kids that learned about equality from a young age and go out to make a difference in their community.

               This project relates to chapter 6 of the Ecology of Democracy because it showed how hard it is to get a group of people together to solve a problem. There’s not a straightforward answer to any problem, and not everyone agrees on what the solution should be. The whole project showed me, like discussed in chapter 6, how important it is to find a common value among a group. Once we discovered that we all wanted a loving, equal community and that we all had similar values and were working towards the same goal, we got things done a lot more smoothly.

              

UM6higgins's picture

Kaelan Higgins

Let’s Go Arts

November 17, 2018

Ecology of Democracy

               As an art museum, my group attempted to tackle the rampant racism problem in our community. This main problem also brought into question a lot of other issues that could arise when bringing together a large group of people. We knew that it would be challenging to figure out a solution that people of all races, and personalities, would be willing to attend. People that held racist beliefs wouldn’t volunteer themselves to spend time with those exact people that they were prejudiced against. On the other side, those being discriminated against may not want to put themselves in a position where they may not be treated as equals. Another complication we felt might arise was that if the problem of racism was addressed directly, those who were the cause of the discrimination would not be open to listening about how they were wrong. When developing our solution, these were all issues that we took into account and did our best to find a way around.

               At our institution, there would be many programs offered that would combat racism as well as many other issues in the community. Our programs would provide a safe space for people of all ages and races to gather and learn about their community through art.

               The first step in our process was to host a grand opening as an introduction to the museum and its programs as well as a way to earn money through fundraising, raffles, an art auctions. After this, we would have enough money to provide classes for all different age groups and get art into the museum. We would rely on the local bussing system to reach people, who could not drive themselves, to the center but in the future, it may be possible to get our own buses or rent buses to get people to us. As far as advertising goes, we would talk to local news stations about who we are and our goals and hope they are willing to provide us with free advertising. To keep the peace, we plan on hiring security guards to be at all events. The plan to solve the problems I discussed, in the beginning, is to discuss things through art. We would not announce that our goal was to end racism, but a lot of our art and programs would be about equality and acceptance.

               In the end, our projected outcome is a more educated, accepting community, with kids that learned about equality from a young age and go out to make a difference in their community.

               This project relates to chapter 6 of the Ecology of Democracy because it showed how hard it is to get a group of people together to solve a problem. There’s not a straightforward answer to any problem, and not everyone agrees on what the solution should be. The whole project showed me, like discussed in chapter 6, how important it is to find a common value among a group. Once we discovered that we all wanted a loving, equal community and that we all had similar values and were working towards the same goal, we got things done a lot more smoothly.

              

UM6Heneedy's picture

I really like the idea you came up with to help end racism. Racism is something that is very difficult to stop, however using art as a way of showing and helping people to understand why racism shouldn't exist is very helpful.

 

UM6Niezur's picture

Maggie Niezur

UNV 100: Let’s Go Arts

November 18, 2018

Ecology of Democracy

 

Problem:

 

Our group was asked to think of helpful solutions, or maybe just helpful, things to do for children who have bruises or show signs of abuse. These defenseless kids are at-risk of becoming worse off than just bruised.

 

Programs:

 

Centered at one particular school district, my group would like to see an art program for after school. These children at-risk can benefit with learning and experiencing a wide variety of arts. Along with the volunteers, the kids will be offered different ways to enjoy and create art. A yearly play will be spotlighted as a routine to be counted on and anticipated. Music is so very important to boost spirits, and will always be part of the program.

 

Process:

 

Deciding to base this program at a central district is a great way to make it easy for kids to get to and be less confusing for pick ups of children. It is also reassuring to kids to have a routine… less change, less stress. The decision to have a set day and time is also a good routine. The theme (or art form) will change monthly; that way many varieties can be experienced and the children will have a good amount of time to grasp their ability and desire of these different mediums. Gaining volunteers to work, acquiring permission slips, and setting up the area of learning are on the agenda.

 

Projected Outcome:

 

When all is in place, the children can count on a fun learning, character building, and mentally beneficial outlet. The kids will be away from harm and enjoying art with other kids just like them. A life long love can build in their hearts for dance, or music, or even finger painting. Anypositive the children gain from this program will make the work worthwhile. 

um24kapali's picture

I really like the idea of helping at-risk children out with art programs since budget cuts always cut the art programs first. They are extremely important when it comes to enhancing the creativity of a child and take them out of their comfortzone with a safe environment and support. But I really wish there were more details on the program and the process part of it. I want to know about how you guys plan on executing this program and convince the school districts to allow this. How old will these children be? Are the volunteers going to certified enough to look after these children? How many children will be allowed in this program and how will you assess them? These are just some questions you guys can think of before proceeding. But as a general idea, I love it. You guys are heading in the right direction. Good luck.

UM6Niezur's picture

Thank you for the positive feedback. The specifics were not worked out, but here are my thoughts: 

I would hope that K-6 grades would be invited and the list of at-risk children could be gotten from the central office of the school district that we are focused on. The volunteers should be vetted but I don't know by who. I could not agree more with your dismay of art programs always being cut first for budget reasons. I feel that the louder we who care yell, the more likely we shall be heard... Art is essential!!

UM06cjones's picture

Problem & Program

The problem that was presented to our group was the increasing amount of racism in the community. Which respectfully is happening across the nation that is a problem that no has been trying to help or if they do don’t get a ton of support. The program the group decided to do is one that is settle but with enough support from the community and other programs in the area it can create a safe place for all ages and all races, ethnicities, and religious.

Our program takes place in an art museum that gives programs to different members in the community, holds community events and nights to help raise funds for programs, as well as providing art that will help educate about cultures of the community.  The programs that we were planning on having ranges from kids 5 and up along with programs for homeless in the area to create art to donate to other local programs.  The community nights will be nights were the museum will host a group or person to come and perform, nights where galleries are getting new pieces, or someone is hosting a large event. The different pieces in the galleries will be based off the art works from the cultures, local artist, and works from the kids.

Process

               The process of figuring out financing, transportation, government funding, and involvement. With the government giving us originally $5,000 to execute the programs that we ad thought up, we saw that funding was small for the number of things we want to execute.  The government then cut our budget to $2,500. We began to brain storm new ways to up the funding amount and came up with many different things. The first thing was to create galleries where local vendors can sponsor to create a way for advertising and show support to the arts in the community. The sponsor would be able to place their logo on the entrances and exits of the different rooms. We also thought about hosting community events that would have raffle tickets or silent actions, the money that is produced from the events will go into the programs.

               Yet, how will we figure out how to get the community to the museum? Well, with the help of the MTA we could work out a route that would pick up and drop off attendees for a small fee on community nights. As the program grows, so will our funding that we would start getting enough money to pay for the routes, so it could be attended by everyone and anyone. We want involvement which means that we must give ways to get that.

               To gain involvement we worked out a way to help other groups and issues in the community, as well as, advertise. With the help of a local high school or college, we were going to enlist the aid of the videographers and future designers to create billboards and commercials for different events. This gives the students a way to build portfolios as well as involvement in the community. It would be set up similar to a contest where there’s a small entry fee, part goes to a grand prize and part goes back to the programs in the museum. Another way is reaching out to local news and radio station to see if they would be willing to give some coverage over the large community events. This is a great way to get multiple viewer’s into coming to the events. 

Planning Within the Community

               Our plan will be to simply grow, grow our programs, our exhibits, and our community. As funding increases so will everything else, but most importantly helping bring awareness and equality to all individuals coming to the museums. One day we hope to go into other buildings, like schools, and provide programs and support for different needs. The community is what is needed.  

               Our community came up with a collective idea called “Collective Soul”. Why this name? Well, the soul is something that is always longing for love and in this community is very well needed. According to our class, we want our community grow, which means that we must work together. Each problem given to the groups found ways for each of us to help each other out to give opportunities to help the people that need the help.

               The first group we wanted to work with was the group helping battered adults, not just women. They created an online platform that is a place to seek information as well as figuring out the next step in recovering from the past actions. We wanted to help that platform grow and give the individuals a place to meet and have group sessions. This means that the groups would then be able to see the art and know about other events happening in the museum.

               The second group we worked with was with the homeless population. We decided to create a program for the homeless to come for an hour or two to create art and be given a safe place to be and some security of shelter for at least that amount every week. We were also planning on having a field trip in the child’s program to go to the gardens that were made by the group to install art works made by the kids.

The third group is the group that was working within the school district with battered children. We were going to work out a way to have a program that worked with art therapy to help the kids overcome the past events in a healthy way.

The forth group works with housing in the community that have been run down. In the children’s program, it is a key thing to talk about art exhibits but also create art as well. The art made by the children would be donated to the houses to add color to the rooms.

UM6Tipton's picture

Problem:
In my Let's Go Arts class I was assigned to a group and we were given a task in which to figure out a way to bring people in the community together in the chance of solving the problem of racism in the community. We were told that we were given a minimal amount of five-thousand dollars to get the people of the community of all ages, race, and gender attention to come to whatever place we decided to hold our organization in, transportation for students/children and other people. We also had to find out a way to raise more money to keep programs we start doing and whatever extra expenses we may need.
Program:
My group and I decided that we were going to hold our organization in an art museum. There we will hold all of our activities such as fundraising nights, game nights, painting nights, etc, to bring everyone together. We would also have speakers come and talk about racism and getting other art related performances and or readings to bring people together.
Process:
We decided that our main goal was to provide involvement and usage of our resources and provide a safe space for everyone. We also want to attempt to solve the issue of racism in the community.
Our organization will start by having a grand opening to catch people's attention. We will advertise by using a social media platform, asking local radio stations to help spread the word about events and to also come to events to maybe bring more people from the community. To be an organization to help bring the community together we would have galleries posted in our museum that spread the message to stop racism and or just about bringing everyone together and have art installations around the community. We also host a " walk to the end racism"  where'd we have raffles, vendors, musicians etc. 
 

UM24Abutalib's picture

I like how you emphasized the important of creating a safe space. When you create a safe space for community members people will become more open-minded and leave their negative opinions about a certain cultural groups.

Lina Abutalib

UM6KRicketts's picture

Problem: The problem my group received to solve is the amount of abandoned houses in our community.

Program: Our group has come up with the idea of tearing down these houses and building community gardens. At first, we wanted to renovate these homes and make them available to children and the homeless, but unfortunately it is too costly, and we only have $2,500. So, we decided community gardens was the next best, (and more affordable), option. Community gardens are the simplest way to bring people together and to make these neighborhoods look beautiful.

Process: Obviously our group cannot tear down these houses on our own, so the most important thing to us is gaining volunteers for help. We have decided to hold a large fundraiser in order to gain attention and get people excited about making their communities a better place. Things like, t-shirts, food, and games will be included at this fundraising event. We plan to receive these amenities from reaching out to local business in the community. Coming from personal experience, I know that many businesses are usually more than willing to donate money or items towards their community in order to gain attention and also show that they care. Restaurants could provide their food and/or drinks, companies can donate towards t-shirts, etc. The key is to rear people in and get them to volunteer. Also, when our class was told to work together; we have benefitted from each group. One group is going to promote our fundraiser and program in general on their website or youtube channel. Another group is going to have the children at their care facility come to our gardens and have fun with it. Several other groups are willing to give us volunteers to help us reach our goals. Along with our fundraiser, I also came up with the idea that our group creates a tool drive. Garden supplies are not cheap, and we will need a lot of them. And truthfully, most people probably have gardening tools in their garage that they have not touched in years. So why not put them to good use? We will promote and take donations from people who are willing to donate things like shovels, gloves, rakes, watering cans, seeds, and even flowers. That way, even those who cannot afford gardening supplies can still enjoy gardening.

Projected Outcome: I predict that our plan with the community gardens will work out very well. However, it is no secret that it will take some time. Taking down the houses will not be an easy task, and we must ensure that we have volunteers throughout the whole process. I feel confident that this will happen, that people take pride in where they live, and finally want it to look nice. With that being said, I feel that people will also find the gardens very useful. With any person being able to have their own claimed area to grow, they will now have close access to fresh fruits, vegetables, and even flowers.

Personally, this project has been very eye-opening. I always knew that Flint had its obvious issues, and I always wondered why they haven’t been fixed yet. But through this project I have learned to realize that these are not easy to fix. Things take time, dedication, and patience. I also learned what it means to work together as a group; to listen to everyone’s opinion, make suggestions, and put our minds together to get the idea that we want to display.

UM6KRicketts's picture

Problem: The problem my group received to solve is the amount of abandoned houses in our community.

Program: Our group has come up with the idea of tearing down these houses and building community gardens. At first, we wanted to renovate these homes and make them available to children and the homeless, but unfortunately it is too costly, and we only have $2,500. So, we decided community gardens was the next best, (and more affordable), option. Community gardens are the simplest way to bring people together and to make these neighborhoods look beautiful.

Process: Obviously our group cannot tear down these houses on our own, so the most important thing to us is gaining volunteers for help. We have decided to hold a large fundraiser in order to gain attention and get people excited about making their communities a better place. Things like, t-shirts, food, and games will be included at this fundraising event. We plan to receive these amenities from reaching out to local business in the community. Coming from personal experience, I know that many businesses are usually more than willing to donate money or items towards their community in order to gain attention and also show that they care. Restaurants could provide their food and/or drinks, companies can donate towards t-shirts, etc. The key is to rear people in and get them to volunteer. Also, when our class was told to work together; we have benefitted from each group. One group is going to promote our fundraiser and program in general on their website or youtube channel. Another group is going to have the children at their care facility come to our gardens and have fun with it. Several other groups are willing to give us volunteers to help us reach our goals. Along with our fundraiser, I also came up with the idea that our group creates a tool drive. Garden supplies are not cheap, and we will need a lot of them. And truthfully, most people probably have gardening tools in their garage that they have not touched in years. So why not put them to good use? We will promote and take donations from people who are willing to donate things like shovels, gloves, rakes, watering cans, seeds, and even flowers. That way, even those who cannot afford gardening supplies can still enjoy gardening.

Projected Outcome: I predict that our plan with the community gardens will work out very well. However, it is no secret that it will take some time. Taking down the houses will not be an easy task, and we must ensure that we have volunteers throughout the whole process. I feel confident that this will happen, that people take pride in where they live, and finally want it to look nice. With that being said, I feel that people will also find the gardens very useful. With any person being able to have their own claimed area to grow, they will now have close access to fresh fruits, vegetables, and even flowers.

Personally, this project has been very eye-opening. I always knew that Flint had its obvious issues, and I always wondered why they haven’t been fixed yet. But through this project I have learned to realize that these are not easy to fix. Things take time, dedication, and patience. I also learned what it means to work together as a group; to listen to everyone’s opinion, make suggestions, and put our minds together to get the idea that we want to display.

Cristina Reo's picture

I think your idea to create beautiful gardens in the place of these abandoned homes is a great way to make this city a city again. The community will be willing to help out. Small businesses love to look out for their local community. The fundraiser is a great way to spread awareness about this and a great way to pull in all the volunteers needed to make this happen. I also think the tool drive would be the best way to obtain the gardening supplies that you need for the cheapest price. Also, your local hardware store might be willing to donate some tools if you explain to them what you’re doing. This was well thought out and I predict this will be a huge success.

um24kapali's picture

The idea of turning abandoned houses into a community garden is not just aesthetically beautiful, but also extremely clever and resourceful for the entire community. Your idea of having a tool drive is also very innovative because it is an efficient way for the community to cleanup and get rid of their old tools that they don't use and give back at the sametime. It also saves so much money! I just moved to Flint recently for school so I have never seen this city at it's best but everytime I walk by these houses it breaks my heart. I keep thinking about the families that were living there until they just couldn't and having these places into gardens would change how I see not only these properties, but also the city. This city has so much potential and this project could help by bringing the community together. One more thing I think you guys should look into is how you will decide on the distribution of the produces.

UM6Maris's picture

Problem: The main focus of my group was to solve the issue of homelessness in Flint.

Program: In order to combat this issue we first will need sufficeint funds and have decided that the funds that we are recieving will not be enough to cover everything we hope to accomplish. In efforts to get more funding we will have businesses sponsor us, which in return gives each of them more publicity for the good deed that they are doing for the community. We plan on collaborating with the group dealing with abandoned houses in the area and in return we will provide volunteers to help with their gardens. On each floor of the houses we plan to split up members by gender with one floor designated for families with a floor that is made up of community bathrooms with a set schedule of times for each floor to use the bathroom. While the guests will be residing in the house we plan to have workshops that will help them with resumés and interviews. We will host a clothing drive for any interview clothes that way they are adequately prepared for life after their time in the houses. Once our residents are prepared we will host a job fair by inviting local businesses. In order to ensure the guests have the essentials during their time in the houses, we will host food drives and toiletry drives. We also plan to pay one of the groups a membership fee in exchange for the art classes and art programs they will be teaching. We will collaberate with another group by saving spots for those who have been abused in exchange for advertisement from them.

Process: To get the word out on our program, we plan to advertise at bus stops that are near the locations of the houses, so the commute is short distance which allows more people to be able to join the program. In another effort to advertise, we plan to post ads in areas of high traffic of the homeless population in efforts to help anyone in need to work toward a better life. Our program will not have any admission requiremnts. However, due to us wanting to help as many individuals as possible to get back on their feet, we will have a point where they should be ready to be back on their own, or should be meeting milestones in efforts to do so. If any individual shows no progress depsite our services as well as having mental health specialists readily available for residents, they will be asked to leave due to the privileges being abused so someone in need may have their spot that is willing to change. 

Projected Outcome: In the longrun, we hope to get more funds to start buying and renovating more houses, which will then encourage the community to work together to combat homelessnes and allow more people to reside in the houses in efoorts to change their lifestyle. We hope that in doing this, the homeless population will decrease with time. We also hope that while many will witness what we are trying to accomplish that they will put in more effort to become a better involved citizen.

While doing this project I have learned that before presenting something, the plan must be very thorough. At first we weren't as aware as we are now what factors must be considered while trying to create a plan. At first I thought it was quite difficult to come up with concise ideas about such a broad topic in a short timeframe, but the lessons learned from doing so can help throughout life.

UM24Abutalib's picture

My group had to tackle on the issue of homelessness in Flint as well. I thought it was very important that we do not just give them a place to stay, but to assist them on getting back on their feet. Just creating a shelter will not solve homelessness in the far future. By helping them, we can eliminate these people from staying homeless forever. 

UM24Ricketts's picture

I agree, I think it's necessary to help them get a start on their new life. They have a better chance of getting their life together if they have a job to make an income.

UM24Ricketts's picture

I agree, I think it's necessary to help them get a start on their new life. They have a better chance of getting their life together if they have a job to make an income.

um24gladding's picture

I definitely agree with the idea that just building a shelter won't do much to solve the problem! The idea is to not only help these people, but to enable them to help themselves! This could mean helping the homeless people get job interviews and coaching them on what an interview might look like, or something along those lines. I think it's important not just to provide a shelter, but to empower them so that they can get to a place where they no longer need the shelter.

Cristina Reo's picture

I think your approach to tackling this issue of homelessness is very smart. I like the whole idea of career fairs, resume workshops, etc. in order to help these people get back on their feet. This program is going to be a big improvement for the city of Flint in the long run. It really seems like you have thought this whole thing through too. You have a plan in place in the event that someone abuses your amenities. It will be tough to kick someone out, but if you offer them the help they need, and they still cannot get back on their feet, there is really nothing you can do for them. 

UM06Eteer's picture

I really like your way of going about tackling the homelessness issues and I like how your group decided to include having a mental health specialist available for the residents because many of the people who had been living on the streets for a period of time may have suffered from depression, anxiety, or other issues and would need consultation that they otherwise wouldn't be able to receive. However, is there a specific plan to deal with people who are on the streets who may be suffering from addiction either drug or alcohol that could be discouraging them from getting back on their feet rather than having them meet specific steps are certain points and if they don't achieve this they would be kicked out. 

UM06Eteer's picture

I really like your way of going about tackling the homelessness issues and I like how your group decided to include having a mental health specialist available for the residents because many of the people who had been living on the streets for a period of time may have suffered from depression, anxiety, or other issues and would need consultation that they otherwise wouldn't be able to receive. However, is there a specific plan to deal with people who are on the streets who may be suffering from addiction either drug or alcohol that could be discouraging them from getting back on their feet rather than having them meet specific steps are certain points and if they don't achieve this they would be kicked out. 

UM6MRicketts's picture

Problem

          Our group was presented with the problem of children coming to school with marks and bruises. Each group is provided with $5,000 of funding money from the state governor to use towards the project. 

Process to fix/Program

            We decided to create an arts program that partners with an entire school district to create an after-school program. This program will be an after school hands-on art program that will occur once a week immediately after school, free of cost to the students and their parents. Each week the activity will be different and involve new, creative ways to stimulate the children’s minds and interact with their peers to develop social skills. The district will be a stepping-stone for connections to local sponsors and volunteers. Supporters of the district will be asked to aid in materials and/or funding.District connections could include older students to volunteer, local businesses to donate supplies or money, and teachers/some parents to help as well. For example, local businesses can have guests come in with demonstrations/activities for the children.More so, hosting the program within the student’s school allows a lowered cost on transportation and no facility costs since it will be hosted at the school. High school and middle school district students of all interests will be asked/encouraged to volunteer their time and ideas to the program. This time will count towards required community service for graduation. For example, the science club can come in and make slime with the students. The following week, the art club can come in and do a drawing/painting activity. We believe this will be beneficial for the children and older students to create inspiration, mentorship, learning, and fun for all. The granted $5,000 will be used for supplies, opening fundraisers, transportation, and other unforeseen costs to come. 

Projected Outcomes: 

            Since most of the children are dealing with difficult home lives, it is important to create a comfortable environment they can mentally escape from and feel happy and welcome. More so, the activities will introduce the children to fun, new activities with their classmates and making learning more fun. The hands-on activities and volunteers will allow the children to socialize more with people of all ages. Specifically, older students from the district volunteering, we are hoping to create a consistent “buddy system” so the children have a consistent mentor in their lives by creating a close relationship. We hope this leads to comfortability and trust, allowing the children to cope and talk about their life at home if need be. 

Personal Experience/Impact:

            At first, I found this project to be difficult because I am not an artistic person, nor am I heavily involved or interested in art. Given a problem-solving child abuse is next to impossible, but I believe our groups approach to helping the children was fitting and well established financially. Also, I have never been fond of group projects and this was no exception. Having a large group of 8+ people makes it hard to compromise and have equal involvement. Some members did not provide personal opinions or new suggestions, they instead just agreed. Only about 3 or 4 people displayed heavy involvement by providing ideas, expanding on current ideas, evoking crucial controversy solutions, and presenting personal experiences to bring logic to the program’s growth. More so, the groups diverse age range created controversy regarding monetary methods. Overall, the project was interesting and opened my eyes to fixing social problems in a more creative way. While I do feel the program will be hard to pull off, I do believe it would have a strong positive impact if ran correctly. Child abuse is sad and happens every, so why not do what we can to make the world better for those who suffer? Even just for a moment. 

um24gladding's picture

Problem:

The problem my group is facing is blight; buildings around the city are abandoned and worn down, giving the city a stigma and causing a sense of shame for the people living there.

Program:

As a dance organization, my group decided to put on a dance show which will double as a fundraiser so that we can buy the materials to start fixing some of the buildings in the city. The show will be advertised largely through social media and word of mouth to minimize spending while still getting the word out. The facebook page for our organization will post about the upcoming event, and we will encourage everyone to share it so that the word spreads. We will also encourage our dancers to tell all of their friends about the event as well. On top of that, we will print flyers for the event, explaining what the event is and why it's being held. Furthermore, we plan on contacting several famous people who have a platform on which they can advertise and encourage people to come and/or donate. However, if that plan falls through and we are unable to get anyone famous to help us, we do still have our budget as well as the money that will be raised by the dance show.

Process:

First, we need to plan the dance show. We plan on holding the show at a theatre like The Whiting in Flint, if they would allow us to rent the space for free (or for a reasonably low price). If that plan doesn't work out, however, we would ask a local high school about using their auditorium as a place to hold the show, since that would likely be a much cheaper option. After that, we would need to put together advertisements to spread the word about the upcoming event. The advertisements will specify the reason we are holding the event, the time and date of the event, and where it will be held. We will take the necessary time to put together a professional show with the dancers in our organization who are willing to volunteer for the event. During this time, we will continue to spread the word through social media, word of mouth, flyers posted around the city, and hopefully, someone famous to help advertise for us as well (This could be someone big, like Ellen Degeneres, or it could even be the local news station that talks about the upcoming show for a few minutes on the air). At the event, we will charge $10 per ticket to raise funds, and at the end of the show we will also have the opportunity for people to donate more if they desire to do so. We will make it perfectly clear that all funds raised from the show will go towards the revitalization of buildings around the city.

After the event, we should have enough money to start working on the buildings. At first, we will just work on one building, since we probably won't have enough money to do more than one at first. This building will be converted into a dance studio, where people around the city can come for $10 dance lessons, the proceeds of which will go towards improving more buildings around the city. These classes will be taught by the dancers employed by our organization, and over time, we can raise enough money to start renovating another building, and that building will run another kind of program which will generate more funding to continue the efforts to revitalize the city, and so on, and so forth.

Projected Outcome:

Through these efforts, we hope to provide safe places for people around the city to come and enjoy learning about something they may never have had the chance to before. Even more than that, though, our main goal is to renew a sense of hope for the city, which has been lost due to the blight it faces. With the blight comes a stigma surrounding the area that we hope to diminish (and eventually erase entirely) so that people can be proud of where they live and also build a sense of community with each other. Furthermore, we want people who don't live in the city to be able to come there without fear. We hope to accomplish all of these things through the revitalization of buildings around the city.

Um24Thompson's picture

I never even thought about the shame people would feel living in a community filled with abandon buildings. This is a great idea to bring people pride towards where they come from and where they reside. Plus the new ideas you presented would give people something to do with their time to keep them out of trouble and show a new positive side to the city. This means a new growth overall.

Cristina Reo's picture

Problem: The problem my group was assigned was the problem of battered men and women. With this problem, my group had to figure out a way to help these men and women get through a tough time in their lives. We decided to build a website that would reach out to these men and women and give them the aid and support they needed.

Program: Our website has one main goal, domestic violence. We have many different areas of our website designated to help the victims get the help they need in the form that they need it. The home page of our website is going to have our latest videos on it and talk about what domestic violence really is. Our videos are filmed in a flash mob style. We go to a crowded street corner and perform a skit or do a hyped up informational session about the problem at hand to raise awareness. These performances we put on are going to be powerful, they are going to make you want to check out our website. Our videos are linked to our website, so people can easily find them. We have pages on our website designated for coping with physical abuse, coping with mental abuse, and recognizing the signs of abuse. Other helpful tabs on our website would be the direct help page. This page is going to have information on it of local shelters you can go to, hotlines you can call with paid professional therapists, curtesy of our system and donations, and a chatroom where you can talk to other victims of domestic violence.

Process: To obtain this outcome, we are going to have to put in a lot of work. We first will need to have a team to create the website. They will need to put in a lot of time to research domestic violence so that there is no false information about it on our website. They are also going to need to set up the chatrooms and hotlines for the website and a donation page. We will need to hire therapists to be on the other end of those hotlines so that these people are getting the proper care they desire. We will need to buy a camera and some recording equipment so that our street “mobs” can be recorded, live streamed, and even linked to our website. The mayor has given up $5000 startup costs, that should be enough to pay for the therapists until the donations start rolling in. We also will need to buy a camera. If we need to, we could use our phones for the videos until we have enough money to make them more of a high-quality production. The other very important thing we will need to do is get the word out about our website. We can do this by printing out flyers or brochures about them and putting them in doctors’ offices, school bathrooms, therapy centers, hospitals, etc. so that the word spreads about our site. We also will need to make sure that our first few street performances are memorable so that it makes people want to check out our website and spread the word to their friends and family. Word of mouth is one of the best forms of advertisement.

Projected Outcome: We are predicting that this website be a huge success. Once people hear about this website, they are going to recommend it to their friends and families that they know this will help. Also, people are going to want to donate to our website because of our strong use of pathos. People are naturally good and want to help their neighbors. All our donations are going to go towards paying our therapists, website staff, startup costs, and anything after that is going to be donated directly to our cause. This website is going to have such a good effect on society. It is a way for people to get the help that they need anonymously from the comfort of their own home. Knowing that, so many more people are going to use our website than a program where you must leave your home or even one you have to pay for. Our program is convenient, helpful, and will get the results we are hoping for. You can’t help everyone, but you can try to.