Detroit Stories Episode 65: 'Why God's House is Building Homes' (PODCAST)

All across the city of Detroit, Catholic organizations are turning vacant land and buildings into vibrant, affordable housing

(0:02) Lynne Williams of Detroit talks about how she and her husband, both recovering from addiction, found an apartment in Detroit with the help of the Detroit Catholic Pastoral Alliance. The Catholic nonprofit is one of many in the city working to build affordable housing for those on the margins.

(3:47) The narrator describes the story of “two Detroits” over the past decade — the story told in the media of the revival of the city’s art and downtown districts, and the “other Detroit,” the one still recovering from decades of poverty and in desperate need of livable, affordable housing for those who never left in the first place. Cleophus Bradley of the DCPA elaborates.

(6:10) Bradley discusses the hardships facing many of the city’s residents, and how the DCPA recognizes and seeks to alleviate these hardships by rehabilitating properties for low-income families to rent.

(10:29) As the Catholic Church in the city of Detroit confronts new economic and demographic realities, many parishes with vacant buildings are discovering a new way to serve the community and shore up their own finances by partnering with developers who can turn such properties into affordable housing. Michael Schoenle, CFO for the Archdiocese of Detroit, explains.

(16:19) Fr. J.J. Mech, rector of the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament, talks about the cathedral’s newest project, the Cathedral Arts Apartments, which are currently being built across Woodward Avenue from Detroit’s mother church.

(20:04) Fr. Mech discusses how the project dovetails with the cathedral’s mission to serve the neighborhood, and why service to those in need is a critical part of unleashing the Gospel.

(23:50) Lynne Williams emphasizes how much she loved her apartment, but even more so how she and her husband love their new home, which they moved into four years later, and how God continues to work in the city of Detroit.

Reporting by Daniel Meloy; narration and script by Casey McCorry; production by Ron Pangborn

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