Detroit Blight Busters is a nonprofit organization that works to clean up Detroit through the removal of blighted buildings, the restoration of other buildings in need and additional programs to make the city a better place to live. It was founded in 1988 by John George and recently celebrated its 30th anniversary.
George, having grown up in Detroit, received the inspiration for Detroit Blight Busters when he grew tired of seeing his own neighborhood fall into a state of neglect. Fearing for the well-being of his family, but not wanting to move out of the city, George decided to start boarding up houses that had fallen into disrepair and become popular locations for criminal activity. His neighbors saw what he was doing and decided to help.
In 1995, Detroit Blight Busters worked with city officials to instate a counter to “Devil’s Night,” a popular night of high crime the night before Halloween every year. It would instead be called “Angels’ Night,” and volunteers would patrol the streets in groups in an attempt to stop things like arson from happening.
While the City of Detroit recently ended its Angels’ Night efforts, Detroit Blight Busters is still committed to the program. Angels’ Night occurs every year just before Halloween and it has contributed to a safer Detroit.
Now, the volunteer-driven effort to revitalize the city of Detroit numbers in the thousands annually. To find out how you can join the effort, visit Facebook.com/DetroitBlightBusters.
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