DETROIT (WWJ) – They’re trying to make a point about poverty.
The Detroit Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) Poor People’s Campaign has set up 25 tents now occupied by homeless people, northeast of downtown Detroit.
Some suburbanites headed to grand opening concerts at Detroit’s Little Caesar’s Arena this week noticed the encampment, on Mt. Elliott at Pulford St., one block N. of Mack and two blocks S. of Gratiot — not far from the city’s shiny new entertainment district.
Those leaving the Kid Rock’s LCA shows were greeted by transients begging for cash, which is not a rare site in the city.
Reverend Aaron McCarthy, President of the Detroit SCLC, is hoping that people do take notice of this issue. In a news release, McCarthy said poverty is so rampant in Detroit that the SCLC was compelled to act.
“SCLC cannot ignore the ugly reality that over forty percent of Detroit lives in poverty in need of the basics such as food, clothing, shelter and health care. We have set up Resurrection City to help deal with those needs while those that have so much re-order their priorities to address this travesty of Detroit poverty,” he said.
As temperatures cool down in the evenings, the residents of what the group calls “Resurrection City” are getting some help.
Former state representative Mary Waters was on hand as Brother Schober of The National Exchange delivered socks. “Detroit and the nation should thank SCLC, The Exchange and Reverend McCarthy for exposing and doing something about the poverty single mothers and children fight every day in Detroit,” Waters said.
Along with the temperate tents, the group said they’ll work to provide information, motivation, transportation, food, more suitable temporary and permanent housing, training, jobs, healthcare and other on site and referral services needed by this special neglected population.
A ribbon cutting for the encampment was held Saturday. No date has been provided for when the tents would be taken down.
This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the original SCLC Poor People’s Campaign led by Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.