Southwest Detroit is a community of contrasts and nuance with some of the most inspiring and most challenging social and physical climates that the City of Detroit has to offer. Progress and struggle hold hands as the community constantly redefines itself through creative responses to the same stubborn urban issues that plague many communities across the country.
While maintaining a healthy level of diversity and a thriving commercial district, the neighborhood is ripe with exploitive opportunities for its residents. Among them is an intense culture of drug dealing and gang activity that flourishes by presenting opportunities early and often to the youth in the community. Highly visible drug traffic, frequent incidents of vandalism including gang graffiti, traumatic acts of violence, and other illegal activities have plagued the community for generations.
Most notably Southwest Detroit is known for its vibrancy in diversity and culture, entertainment, immigration, commercial activity, passionate youth population, and dynamic nonprofit organizations--much of which is a result of the dynamic interplay between community assets and the aforementioned needs and struggles. A sense of pride and belonging is evident among many of the current and former residents of the neighborhood. However, neither the past or present residents are known for naïve optimism or keeping quiet about concerns. A vocal and active resident base has been known to emerge at various times throughout the community’s history to address different challenges facing the neighborhood.