Air date: February 12, 2015 http://theheartofdetroit.org —
A village raised Ray Anderson. The son of a single working mother, Ray grew up with the men on his block as role models. A position he now holds. Ray: We’re dealing with youth that have an orphaned spirit. When they go home they go home to nothing. Ray and his wife Toni canvassed their neighborhood in northwest Detroit in an effort to bring the youth off the street. They formed House of Help, a Community Center that emphasizes the importance of education. Ray: Like with reading they’re four grades behind and because they are so far behind they are embarrassed to even try. Toni: I think the biggest challenge is providing love and encouragement and letting them know that they can accomplish whatever they put their minds too. House of Help offers after school tutoring, summer camps, health and fitness programs, and spiritual mentoring. Something that many of these kids cannot get at home. Mitch: This is maybe a model for the future where church, after school, school, community center may all be in the same place. Ray: Our goal is to bring back a sense of community. All of our kids and youth that come here they serve they serve the community. They are learning how to give back. And they do give back through food distribution, a clothing closet, prayer and other programs that keep resident’s safe and warm. Mitch: A neighborhood is more than just a collection of streets it’s a sense of responsibility to one another? Ray: Yes definitely Putting the “community” in community center, Ray and Toni Anderson are opening their doors to the city’s youth here in the heart of Detroit.