Auntie Na’s House stands at the corner of Yellowstone and Elmhurst on the Westside of Detroit. Over the past 50 years, this house on Yellowstone St. has sheltered 5 generations of Auntie Na’s family through the rise, fall, and rebirth of the city of Detroit. Through it all, we have maintained, we have survived, we have rebuilt, and we have struggled to bring the ‘unity’ back to our ‘community’. As one of the last intact and inhabited structures on our block, Auntie Na’s House has been a solid rock in the floods of time.
Our Time to Expand
One house cannot provide for all those that have passed through our gate seeking support. Now, it is time to expand our dream. We have begun to build a Village in the abandoned heart of Detroit. For us this means finding a way to gain collective ownership and control over the land, housing, and basic resources needed for survival in our community. For too long, our communities have been owned and controlled by a tiny power elite which seeks to profit from our suffering. It is time for us to take back the Promised Land and build a Village to sustain our people for generations to come.
Over the last couple years, we began purchasing abandoned lots on the block in order to expand our community programs and build Auntie Na’s Village. So far, we have purchased 3 lots which we have converted into a Community Garden and a Playground. The community garden is both a source of nutritious food for our food programs and it is a teaching garden for our young people to learn farming skills.
Since October of 2016, we have purchased 4 houses on our block which we are in the process of rehabilitating. These purchases were made possible by a grant from the Kresge Foundation as well as generous donations from our supporters. These homes will become residences for individuals and families in need of shelter and will host our community outreach programs as we expand. Our goal is that by the Summer of 2018, we will have our Medical House, Nutrition House, Clothing House and Learning House rebuilt and operational. Each one of these Village Houses will be governed by a Community Board - comprised of Residents, Program Coordinators, Staff, and Youth. The Village Houses and Land will be collectively owned by our non-profit, and will be held in trust so that we may pass them down as an inheritance for the coming generations.
We Are Planting Seeds
Each person that contributes to Auntie Na’s Village is planting a seed for a future bountiful harvest. Just as the plants in the garden are helping to feed the body and the spirit of our people, we are planting the seeds of unity and community to nourish the roots of a stronger generation. We are calling on all our supporters – past, present and future – to help us harvest unity by planting a seed for Auntie Na’s Village. This could mean giving your money, your time, your talents, your voice, or your resources to help us build our Village. Please consider contributing to our SEEDS campaign and help us reach our goal of raising funds to construct our Village Houses, expand our Community Outreach Programs, and realize our dream for Auntie Na’s Village.
Auntie Na's House
Over the years, Auntie Na’s House has been many things, but most of all it is a place everybody can call home. It has served as a food pantry, after-school program, clothes distribution hub, community garden, free childcare center, community meals space and temporary shelter. Now we are growing our programs and building up a loving and interdependent village to support our community on the Westside of Detroit.