Building a world of
resilient communities.



Meet the Maker Space in a church basement

Mt. Elliot Maker Space in the Detroit Church of the Messiah basement helps youth and adults develop skills around bikes, computer, workshop tools, art, and more.

On assignment for Shareable in Detroit, I've been looking for some hope to report on beyond the devastation porn the mainstream media seems fixated on. I'd only been there one day and found plenty of it - driven by determined, creative and resilient folks.

I went to a meeting at the "World Famous" Church of the Messiah for the Detroit Community Cooperative, a worker coop business incubator and a coop of small businesses that aim to support each other. Still in it's early stages and with limited funding, this program is aspiring to develop the Mondragon of Detroit.

I showed up early and a churchgoer named Craig, bubbling with enthusiasm for what he was about to show me, brought me down to the basement of the Church, which turned out to be a maker space, called Mt. Elliot Maker Space, with a strong emphasis on youth, job skills and microenterprise development.

Youth taking apart and rebuilding electronics, courtesy of Mt. Elliot Maker Space.

Pastor Barry allowed some neighborhood folks and a community association who pitched in, to build out the space for an earn-a-bike program, a community tool  workshop space, a computer learn and build lab, screenprinting program, and more. An 11 year old girl recently learned soldering and now she's teaching other folks at the makerspace.

There is a small company blossoming there, reusing wood from abandoned Detroit houses and making them into high end furniture to provide much needed local jobs, possibly as a worker coop.

Craig said it's the only bike shop, much less community bike shop, on that side of town. Particularly helpful now the city is coming close to shutting down the majority of its bus service, even though the temperatures drop below zero in Michigan. At least people can get to work if they need to on bike. They can to come to the Church of the Messiah and learn how to fix and build their own bike.

John, who buildt out much of the maker space and tool workshop, photo by Mira Luna

John, an immigrant from the San Francisco Bay Area, who helped build out the space and is developing the furniture business, praised Detroit as the only place he'd want to live. "You can do pretty much anything you can imagine here," and "no one cares."

I hope someone cares, because Detroit for all its resiliency, with a nearly 50% unemployment rate, could use a lot more of these kinds of inspiring projects.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

Sign up for regular Resilience bulletins direct to your email.

Take action!  

Find out more about Community Resilience. See our COMMUNITIES page
Start your own projects. See our RESOURCES page.
Help build resilience. DONATE NOW.


This is a community site and the discussion is moderated. The rules in brief: no personal abuse and no climate denial. Complete Guidelines.

Home, Sweet Kleptocracy

Every now and then, a book changes the way you see the world. It’s …

Why "Supply and Demand" doesn't Work for Oil

A gradual switch to higher-cost energy products, in a sense, works in the …

The Local Economy Solution

So, cities and states should stop trying to lure huge corporations from one …

Hang Onto Your Wallets: Negative Interest, the War on Cash, and the $10 Trillion Bail-in

In uncertain times, “cash is king,” but central bankers are …

Collaboration and Changing Beliefs are Two Keys for a Degrowth Economy

Today when we think about a degrowth economy, about fostering the transition …

Bread, Circuses and Inequality – a Dishonest Bargain

Consumerist ideology treats society as a collection of individuals, each …

7 Paths to Development That Bring Neighborhoods Wealth, Not Gentrification

In cities across the nation, a few enjoy rising affluence while many …