If you're not hearing jokes about Detroit every now and then, you might be living in a cave or not watching TV. What's not funny is what is happening to a once thriving city and its people. I'm sensitive to Detroit's plight. Although I don't live in the city, the economic and social issues of a city caught in a downward spiral has an impact the entire metro Detroit area. It's nice to see a positive story every now and then. It's especially nice to see someone using their hands to try and make something out of what many people think is nothing.
After college, as my friends left Michigan for better opportunities, I was determined to help fix this broken, chaotic city by building my own home in the middle of it. I was 23 years old.
I wanted something nobody wanted, something that was impossible. The city is filled with these structures, houses whose yellowy eyes seem to follow you. It would be only one house out of thousands, but I wanted to prove it could be done, prove that this American vision of torment could be built back into a home. I also decided I would do it the old-fashioned way, without grants or loans or the foundation money pouring into the city. I would work for everything that went into the house, because not everyone has access to those resources. I also wanted to prove to myself and my family I was a man. While they were building things, I had been writing poems.
Excerpted from... Why I Bought A House In Detroit For $500