DETROIT (WWJ/AP) — A nonprofit organization plans to overhaul a Detroit school and work with thousands of volunteers to improve the surrounding neighborhood.

A kickoff for Life Remodeled’s work at Osborn High started Friday on the building’s roof, which organizers say leaks. Improvements to the gym, library and cafeteria also are planned.

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CEO Chris Lambert said that more than 10,000 volunteers are expected to help board up, remodel and clean up hundreds of homes in the neighborhood around Osborn High School at Seven Mile and Hoover.

“The need is obvious — it’s the most blighted neighborhood in Detroit,” Lambert said. “But the hope is also obvious. If you spend time there, you’ll see the residents, the students — there’s a lost of hope here, there’s a lot of determination.”

Plans call for 12,000 volunteers participating from Aug. 3 to Aug. 9 to clean up and beautify 4.5 square miles around the school. Organizers say more than 500 structures will be boarded up, 21 homes will be remodeled and 20 burned-out homes will be torn down.

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“There’s two things we look for when we determine an investment to make — significant need and radical hope,” Lambert said. “Most neighborhoods in Detroit have significant need. I don’t believe any neighborhood is hopeless, but many neighborhoods in Detroit haven’t yet come to realize the hope that they have.”

About 70 percent of the $5.5 million cost will include in-kind contributions and discounted materials and labor.

The Osborn Neighborhood Alliance has already recruited 800 residents to help about 5,000 other volunteers.

 

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