Challenge Detroit Launches First Team Challenge With Matrix Human Services

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DETROIT – Challenge Detroit — an urban revitalization project bringing together 30 leaders from Detroit and across the country  to live, work, play and give in the city — has launched its first Team Challenge in partnership with Matrix Human Services.

The first challenge focuses on innovation in business and economics. Challenge Detroit’s 30 fellows will work with Matrix Human Services to develop an economic impact study, which will measure the economic contribution of Matrix’s Osborn Center to assist in developing a major capital campaign. The Osborn Center works with every woman, man, and child that enters their doors, ensuring they have food, clothing, shelter, an education, a job, and hope for tomorrow.

“Since its founding, Matrix Human Services has been a catalyst for change in the community improving thousands of lives through its services for children and adults,” said Deirdre Greene Groves, executive director of Challenge Detroit. “The team challenges are the heart of the Challenge Detroit program and it is vital that our 30 fellows work with programs like Matrix to help create sustainable solutions for the city.”

As part of the challenge fellows will study five core areas of need within the community and develop reports on the Osborn Center’s impact on these needs. These reports will focus on employment; arts and culture; technology and education; and, health and family services. Upon the challenge’s completion, the reports will be used in outreach materials for a major capital campaign with the aim of renovating the center and continuing its services.

“This Challenge is important because the Osborn Center is more than a building — it’s a community of programs that support the people in the neighborhood in a number of ways which cannot be easily quantified from a purely economic standpoint,” said Marcella Wilson, president and CEO of Matrix Human Services. “The Challenge Detroit fellows will be essential in assisting in the community impact study that will then be utilized in the implementation of a major capital campaign for the Matrix Center.”

For 106 years, fighting poverty in the city of Detroit has been the focal point for Matrix Human Services. The nonprofit offers a variety of services in each center, implementing a “Transition to Success (TTS)” model across all program sites, which helps individuals and families to transition out of poverty.

Each month for the year-long program, the 30 Challenge Detroit fellows will work with a different non-profit to address needs and create opportunities in the Detroit region. These projects are designed to positively impact the community while addressing issues and opportunity throughout the region.

Challenge Detroit fellows live in Detroit, supported by a $500-a-month housing stipend; receive a $30,000 salary to work at one of the top companies in the region; participate in monthly team challenges, in partnership with area non-profits, designed to positively impact the city and region; and experience the City through organized social and cultural events. For more information, visit www.ChallengeDetroit.org.

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