Our company’s aspiration is to be “the best in the world and the best for the world.” One way we accomplish this is through our dedication to the communities where we live and serve, through initiatives like the North End Neighborhood Program. The program’s goal is to encourage collaborative engagement in the community.
“We’re striving to help residents build productive and safe neighborhoods for families to raise their children and for entrepreneurs to conduct business,” said Chris Polk, senior program manager in Public Affairs. “I appreciate that our company focused on transforming communities and is full of people who care about residents and families. We lead efforts and work alongside community groups, civic and business partners to improve people’s lives with our energy.”
Near DTE’s Caniff and Trombly Service Centers, the North End neighborhood is located between Woodward Avenue and I-75. Since the inception of the North End Neighborhood Program in 2017, DTE and the DTE Energy Foundation have improved Detroit’s historic neighborhood by investing millions of dollars in time, resources and expertise to help the community thrive. Some of our recent highlights include:
- Placemaking – DTE is collaborating with the Detroit Pistons and the Knight Foundation to renovate the basketball courts and the public grounds at Bradby Park. When complete, the park will serve as a safe gathering place for the community with murals inspired by residents and the environment. DTE will also make improvements to the park’s playground adjacent to the basketball court.
- Beautification – DTE has deployed a customized tool trailer in partnership with Motor City Grounds Crew. The trailer has been utilized over 20 times in the last two years to support community member needs by providing tools, equipment and resources to support block clubs, projects and community groups. Projects range from lot and alley clean-ups to event preparation and home improvement, offsetting thousands of dollars in costs to residents, businesses and nonprofit organizations.
- Safety – DTE has worked with employees from across the enterprise to order and create 1,000 storm safety kits containing flashlights, portable phone chargers, band aids and hand sanitizing wipes for residents during the pandemic. DTE was also one of the first on the ground during the pandemic to support residents with over 750 PPE kits while providing safety messaging to educate residents.
- Community engagement – DTE actively works with several nonprofit organizations and partners to help meet the needs of residents. For example, we are working directly with Michigan Humane in the North End neighborhood to engage pet owners and to understand family, pet and resident needs by partnering on programming. We know that healthy pets and responsible pet ownership are proven indicators of strong and vibrant communities where families can thrive.
- Small business support – DTE is working with entrepreneurs, local business owners and small businesses to create a public gathering space along John R. Road and Oakland Avenue. Part of this initiative includes helping small businesses and residents setup recycling programs as part of a community-wide initiative to encourage residents to understand their environmental impact. DTE plays a key role by helping educate residents on environmental justice issues and how we can all work together to reduce waste, save energy and help strengthen the environment. We are also providing energy efficient tools, products and services to support business and resident needs as part of our outreach.
- Foundation grants – The DTE Energy Foundation has supported the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) since 2012. Funding is used in the North End and Milwaukee Junction community to deploy resident- focused programming, help design neighborhood planning and support Detroit LISC with their mission and staffing.
This work creates meaningful change in communities, which allows us to continue to directly serve our customers, and it also provides a critical opportunity to help improve the lives of citizens. Our collaborative work and strong partnerships help create thriving, self-sufficient and diverse communities that can attract and retain talent, grow businesses, support families and address challenging issues that many cities often face.
Learn more about what DTE is doing in a community near you.