The Commons Summer Update

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The Commons laundromat and coffee shop is in full swing! We’ve been working diligently over the months towards this moment, and its exciting to have finally opened our doors to the community. Its encouraging to see folks from all walks of life getting drinks and fresh food, using the washers and dryers, and using the space to work and to meet with friends.

Our grand opening on May 12 was high energy with many families and friends coming through to enjoy the space and celebrate the accomplishments of MACC Development. The staff, all of whom are either lifelong Detroiters or live in the surrounding neighborhoods, are setting the tone of the space by being welcoming and inviting to everyone who comes in, as well as making some of the best coffee in Detroit (from what we’ve heard from our clientele.)

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It would be easy to talk at length about the last few months, but this space is something that needs to be experienced. If you haven’t yet, we welcome you to visit The Commons. As we enter the summer season, pray for effective marketing and increased traffic as we continue serving the neighborhood.

MACC Sports Summer Update

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It is mid-season for MACC Sports Spring Soccer. There are 12 teams, 14 coaches, and 138 participants this season. It is a blessing to have so many families participate this season. The shipping container that is housed on Pingree Park has been a great asset to the program and made set up and tear down easier.

Please pray that the families will come to know Christ as Lord and Savior and that coaches will lead with humility, joy, and grace. Pray that as we open registration for On Goal Soccer Camp and Volleyball Camp, that finances and transportation would not be a hinderance for any interested participant.


MACC Housing Spring Update

Saving Our Homes in the 48214. Neighbor to Neighbor, Block by Block

MACC Housing recently completed a massive outreach to 1,671 homes in the 48214 to provide resources and information for homeowners and renters behind in their property tax payments and/or facing foreclosure.   Our door to door canvassing started in December 2017 and completed March 2018.  The outreach effort was supported by  The Neighbor-to-Neighbor Tax Foreclosure Prevention Grant and training from the United Community Housing Coalition (UCHC), .

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Edythe Ford, our Director of Community Engagement and a team of 48214 residents hit the streets to talk one on one with our neighbors.  We shared information about lower-interest payment plans, renters’ rights, and the Property Tax Exemption available for low-income homeowners.  We also had the opportunity to discuss the new home buying plan for renters who are facing eviction because of tax foreclosure by the property owners.  All residents where directed to UCHC or U-Snap-Back for further assistance and legal help.


We had the blessings to talk to over 800 long-term residents and get an assessment block by block on the services needed for our neighbors.  We talked to many renters who had no idea their landlords where delinquent on property taxes.  The majority of our neighbors, homeowners, and renters expressed gratitude for the information they received, many did not know there are options for them to stay in their home. Most residents where already on a payment plan or had successfully completed it.


One of our canvassers Debra Perry stated, “this was a great opportunity to connect with neighbors and old friends.  People need information, encouragement, and prayer to stay in their homes, the help is out there if you are informed of the resources.”

We are grateful to the UCHC for supporting our residents with resources and information to help them from being displaced out of their homes, we cannot afford to lose one more neighbor.  The experience helped us learn how important it is to take time and talk to people one-on-one, we are happy we haven’t lost that culture in the 48214.  Although going door to door may seem like a small act, we have learned it’s the fuel which binds neighbors together and creates unity and civic pride.  The 48214 still stands strong with long-term residents, our friends and neighbors sticking it out to keep their homes.

Don’t move, reach out, there are resource to help.

Romans 15:2 ESV “Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.”

MACC Sports Spring Update

Over the last few months we prepared for and kick off our 2018 MACC Sports Basketball League for the second year in a row. It has been such a blessing to host the league at People's Missionary Baptist Church. With over 30 participants and 7 coaches this season it has been a success. The Detroit Pistons donated money to purchase brand new basketball hoops. It is delightful have quality equipment to promote value and worth in our participants. 


Although MACC Sports Basketball is only halfway through the season, preparations for the spring soccer season have begun. All new equipment will be purchased for the upcoming season with grants and donations since the MACC Sports trailer was stolen last October.

Quicken Loans and Project Evergreen are also working with MACC Sports to continue renovations to Pingree Park. It is believed that the park can be transformed into one of the best parks on the east side of Detroit. The second round of renovations will begin in June.


Please pray that families will be blessed by participating in MACC Sports and see staff and volunteers who model Christ.

The Commons Spring Update


These past three months have been a wonderful time of learning for me as I prepare to lead a team, run a business, and serve a community. It has also been a time of transition from primarily sitting behind a computer planning the systems and creating spreadsheets, to preparing the space and meeting all the folks who poke their heads in. With each visitor I’ve been able to share in their enthusiasm about a laundromat and cafe here in our neighborhood. Its difficult to sum up all the change that has taken place over the last few months, as well as all the amazing people who have contributed their time, resources and creativity to this project. I invite you to experience it first hand as we open our doors to our community and the world!


Please continue to pray for The Commons to be a profitable business and to spark other neighborhood-focused businesses along Mack Ave. Please also be in prayer for the staff of The Commons, that we could care well for everyone who comes into our space, and that God would be glorified through our actions.


MACC Lit Spring Update

Praise God for another successful camp and a program that's growing in leaps and bounds!Over Winter Break, we held our second pop-up camp based on the Magic School Bus book series. We spent 3 days learning about STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) principles through books, experiments, games, and crafts. Our little scientists made geodes using eggshells, Borax, and hot water. They got a kick out of the tornado in a jar and discovered they could make it rain. We all had fun!

Our students are making great strides as young readers. Teachers and parents are commenting on their improvement. We're even watching some turn into bookworms right before our eyes!

We hope you will partner with us as we pray for our tutors, parents, teachers, and students and as we transition into our new space. We're asking the Lord to continue to direct our steps and bless the work of our hands.

Due to an influx of new students, we are in need of tutors and currently have students on a waiting list. MACC Lit is a great way for students of all abilities to enhance their reading skills, receive homework help, learn important Bible lessons, and further their physical and motor skill development through games and exercise. Please consider joining us as a tutor. For more information about MACC Lit, please contact Alyce at or (313) 732-9302 ext. 702.

MACC Lit's Magic School Bus Mini-Camp Update

Over Christmas break, MACC Lit had 9 kids participate in our pop-up camp based on the Magic School Bus book series. We spent 3 days learning about STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) principles through books, experiments, games, and crafts.

The first day we focused on floating and sinking. Campers made predictions about whether various objects would float or sink, observed how a can of Diet Coke floats while a can of Coke does not due to the sugar in the Coke, learned how a peeled orange sinks and an unpeeled one does not, and made an egg float in saltwater.

Drawing on our water theme, we also talked about what it means to be a “fisher of men,” learning that we need to tell others about the Good News of Jesus. Our game was also called “fishers of men,” and kids took turns seeing how many paper cut-out people they could pick up in one minute using only a straw and their mouth. We had so much fun!

On day 2, campers studied flight. We made catapults out of popsicle sticks and had a contest to see who could launch a mini marshmallow the farthest. The contests continued when we split up into teams to see which team was the most accurate aiming finger rockets at a target. This proved to be quite challenging! Campers also made various types of paper airplanes and decorated rockets during craft time.

Our Bible lesson was called “Flight School.” We learned about how planes need a propellor to pull us forward and that similarly we need God, His Word, and prayer to keep pulling us forward so we can grow as Christians.

Day three was very exciting as campers learned about kitchen chemistry. We talked about the different ingredients that react to make a cake, worked together to make some cupcakes, and decorated them for our parents. We inflated balloons using vinegar and baking soda, cleaned pennies using vinegar and salt, and attempted to make a Diet Coke fountain using a can of pop and mentos - this was rather anticlimactic but funny nevertheless. We also made our own ice cream and some Oobleck (a non-newtonian fluid that's both a solid and a liquid) to take home.

Chemistry was also used to illustrate our Bible lesson about how Jesus’ blood purifies us from our sin. Campers observed as water, iodine, and bleach were combined in a particular order to show that it is only Jesus’ blood that can make us clean.

Overall, camp was a smashing success. The kids had so much fun, and we did too! It was a great way to spend a few mornings on a vacation from school.

MACC Lit tutoring starts this coming Tuesday, January 16. It runs every Tuesday and Thursday from 4:00-6:00 p.m. at 3735 Harding. MACC Lit is a great way for students of all abilities to enhance their reading skills, receive homework help, learn important Bible lessons, and further their physical and motor skill development through games and exercise. It’s going to be a great semester, and we hope your child will join us! For more information or to register, please visit

If you have any questions about any of MACC Lit’s programs, don’t hesitate to contact Alyce at or (313) 732-9302 ext. 702 or Grace at or (313) 732-9302 ext. 705.

Thanks for involving your child in MACC Lit. We enjoy getting to spend time with them.

MACC Sports December Update

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In the last few months the Lord has shown that He will continue to advance His Kingdom in the midst of tragedy. The MACC Sports Trailer, which houses all of our soccer equipment, was stolen. With all of our equipment gone, we will be unable to offer a Gospel-centered soccer league for the kids in the community during the Spring 2018 season. However, we have launched a campaign to raise funds to replace the equipment. We also have received contact from several organizations, companies, and individuals who want to help either financially or by donating items.

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During this season, we are also busy preparing for MACC Sports Basketball League. We are hoping to partner with a church located about 5 minutes from Mack Avenue Community Church that has an amazing gym space. However, the space does not have basketball hoops. As we consider our options, we are hoping to be able to raise funds to purchase hoops for our upcoming league.


Please pray that we will be able to solidify a contract for a gym space soon, raise funds for basketball hoops, raise funds to purchase new soccer equipment, and that the families that participate in the basketball league would come to know Christ.

- Ashley Albright, MACC Sports Program Manager

MACC Lit December Update


Fall Semester is coming to a close, it's getting cold, snow is dusting the ground, and it's beginning to look.... and feel.... a lot like Christmas! In celebration of our students and as a thank you to our volunteers, we are hosting a Christmas Party on Thursday, December 14th from 4-6 p.m. with dinner, cookie decorating, crafts and fun!

Our volunteers have been working hard and our kids are making great strides. Winter/Spring Semester begins Tuesday, January 16th. Online registration is now open to students in Grades K-5.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays MACC Lit is mobile. Nichols Elementary has welcomed us back for another year. We tutor 16 students in Grades K-3.  What a joy it is to spend time with our Nichols family - reading, playing games, and laughing.

If you are interested in volunteering as a Tutor at Nichols Elementary on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1-3pm or with MACC Lit on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5-6pm, please contact our MACC Lit Program Manager, Alyce Hartman, via phone at (313) 732-9302 ext 702 or email

Please continue to pray for our MACC Lit volunteers, students, and staff. We also ask for you to pray for the teachers and students at Nichols Elementary. As a staff, it is our desire to exemplify the love of God, build Kingdom, and point others to Jesus.  

Thank you. 

- Alyce Hartman, MACC Lit Program Manager

The Commons December Update


Its been an exciting few months shaping and creating The Commons. The newly-formed staff got together before Thanksgiving to share a meal, get to know one another and tour the building. Zeke and I set out to assemble a diverse and welcoming team to serve the community, and I’m pleased to see that team coming together and taking time to learn about one another. Final suppliers and service providers are falling into place, and one last community engagement event is being planned prior to our grand opening.


And have you seen the beautiful tile and woodwork being done by JJ’s House? They’re bringing some true beauty into the space.

The next few months will see the launch of The Commons, and a period of time where Zeke and I will discover ways to activate the upstairs community space in ways that will benefit our families and our neighbors. I would appreciate prayer for wisdom as The Commons opens and perseverance through all of the long work days as I seek to care for my staff and bless the community through the establishment of a new business on Mack Ave.

- Jesse Bandfield, General Manager of The Commons 

On Goal Soccer at Pingree Park

In the last few months, the Lord has continued to be faithful! Through MACC Sports, we have been able to host On Goal Soccer Camp for the 2nd year in a row and began preparing for MACC Sports Volleyball Camp 2018. We are now preparing for our fall soccer league where we anticipate roughly 80 participants.

Please pray that the Lord would provide, coaches, volunteers, and players for this fall soccer season. Pray that the coaches would share the Gospel boldly to their players during practice. And, pray that as there are many tasks to be done, that MACC Sports Staff would remember the ultimate goal in representing and sharing Christ with others.

Celebrating the First New Development on Mack Avenue in 50 Years!

Detroit summers are a welcome respite from the cold and windy days we spend most of the year.  This year was a special summer, where Detroiters were reflecting and honoring the 50th Anniversary of the 1967 Civil Unrest in Detroit.  Fifty years later, on Sunday, July 23rd, our neighbors, families, friends, and community leaders came together to celebrate our new development, the MACC Lot and to let the world know We Are Still Here!  

The Mack Lot was the former location of a tobacco shop which was burnt down during the 1967 civil unrest.  Since ‘67 it was used a parking lot for moving trucks and heavily filled with brush.  MACC Development held a series of meetings with the community to determine what could we do to activate the space for our busy community hub at Mack and Van Dyke.   

MACC Development with input from the Islandview, Pingree Park, and Villages communities have created a place for neighbors to relax, access free wi-fi, wait for the bus, host live performances or meetings, the ideas are unlimited!  The park will also provide recreational space for The Commons coin laundry and coffee shop opening in October 2017.  

“Hosting this block is a great way to empower our community to take back their neighborhood, and return Mack Avenue to its former more pedestrian friendly street.  Block parties such as this remind us that creativity, innovation, diversity and community are truly what makes Detroit a special place!”  

Ruby Moore-Sprowls, Lifelong Detroiter  

The Block Party had the music bumping with sounds from DJ/Beat Producer Dionote Nelson of Merch Music and the smooth jazz stylings of the Wayne Henry Duo!  There was a gigantic checker set, bouncy house, sand hill, and play box for our children, and the day was topped off with great food and free giveaways donated by D&D Storage Company!!  We had the community engagement officers from the Wayne County Sheriff office, we appreciate their information on how to keep our neighborhood safe and opportunity for them to get to know our community.

It was great day, we meet new neighbors and realized we determine the future of your community, and that future is hope and progress.  We praise our Lord and thank Jesus because he is watching over us in the 48214!

“We are one, no matter what we do
We are one, love and working together will see us through
We are one and that’s just the way it is Detroit!”


By Edythe Ford, Community Engagement Director

Cultivating Healthy Readers!

This summer, our Happy Campers began a unit of garden study called, Learn, Grow, Eat & Go! Over the course of 6 weeks, they learned about plants, including why they are important to us, how to grow a garden, and how to give plants what they need to grow. 

The first week, they learned the how to remember the six basic plant needs with the letters P.L.A.N.T.S. – a place to grow, light, air, nutrients, water, and soil.

They also learned about plant and nutrition science.  Plants are made up of different parts, such as roots, stems, and leaves.  Do you know what parts of a plant our food comes from?  Spinach and lettuce are examples of leaves, corn is the seed of the plant, and tomatoes are the fruit of the plant. What about a potato? Or how about an onion?

We went on to learn that people need a variety of foods and types of nutrients to grow. Our campers can name the 5 food groups – vegetables, fruits, grains, protein, and dairy – and got a chance to show off their Go, Slow, Whoa foods classification skills.  They even got to try their hand at meal planning. Need meal planning tips of your own? Check out

During our time together, we also talked about how we make decisions about what we like to eat.  We encouraged our little ones to try new foods, sampled a variety of fruits and vegetables and judged them based on sight, smell, feel, sound and taste. We learned a great rule of thumb when it comes to giving our body the nutrients and fuel it needs…. eat foods of many different colors! 

In addition to our plant and nutrition science focus, we worked hard on our Summer Abridge Reading Program.  We also studied the Fruits of the Spirit and praised the Lord in song – "Every Move I Make", "Set A Fire", "I Will Follow", "Awesome God", and "Father I Adore You" (in Sign Language) are among their favorites!

Summer is coming to a close and plans are underway for the start of MACC Lit's fall semester.  MACC Lit resumes October 17th and will meet every Tuesday and Thursday from 4:00-6:00 p.m.  Homework help starts at 4:00 and tutoring will begin at 5:00 p.m.  Online registration starts September 15th. Spaces are limited.  

If you're interested in volunteering with MACC Lit, please join us on either Tuesday, September 12th or Thursday, September 28th at 5:00 p.m. for an introductory volunteer meeting and tutor training.  

For more information about MACC Lit, please contact Alyce Hartman via email at or via phone at 313.732.9302. ext. 702.

Maggie and I have thoroughly enjoyed working with your children, this summer. Thank you for entrusting us with them. We pray that we have impacted their lives as positively as they have ours.

In Love,

Alyce Hartman, Program Manager, MACC Lit


For 50 years, the bare patch of land between D&D Moving and Storage and MACC Development on Detroit’s eastside has sat empty or used to park moving trucks.

Neighbors faintly remember it was once a tobacco shop.  But when the 1967 Detroit riot engulfed our neighborhood, Mack Avenue went up in flames and so did the tobacco shop.  Burned beyond repair the building was torn down.  And nothing has arisen since.  Sure there has always been plans and promises to rebuild Mack Ave., but the lot remained vacant and a stark reminder that fateful day, July 23, 1967.

Today, with a grant from Detroit Future City, working hard with Pingree Park and Islandview neighbors from start to finish, from planning to implementation we are opening a pocket park for residents to meet, drink coffee, chat about the community.  We are kicking it off  by creating a beautiful garden and community space, we recently planted trees, perennials, and decorative grass and now need a name for the park.

The park is a part of The Commons, a coin laundry and coffee shop, and is the brainchild of a Detroit neighborhood working together, taking chances when no one would take a chance on us.

The communities idea of developing The Commons and park on Mack Avenue started when we asked our neighbors “what do you want in your community” going block-by-block, door-to-door. The simple act of listening to the people in the neighborhood without an agenda and being guided by their wisdom challenged us to not repeat the same history of planning efforts in Detroit, which never turned into actionable plans.

“We do great damage to people by making decisions without them that they should have been involved in, but we are losing the greatest tool we have at our disposal—the wisdom, experience, and creativity of people in their own neighborhoods.”

To do this work, we had to move from seeing residents as clients and consumers of services to supporting them as our neighbors and central actors in community change. We went beyond asking residents to weigh in to asking them to dream, design, and implement.

In order to help keep the work moving, we met frequently as neighbors and leveraged what we had: (1) blight, which we believed we could turn into value, (2) our ability to ask other funders and investors to partner, and (3) access to lots of people with a pent-up desire to change their community. Then we all decided to stay, work, and neighbor.  

The results of our journey is The Commons and a community park, in a space that everyone had forgotten.  Now we have a place to rest, chat, wait for our laundry or the bus, a place to be neighbors and enjoy beautiful flowers and wonderful conversations.  The Mack Lot is a deep commitment to living in community, resident ownership and the belief that long-term learning relationships provide the most fertile ground for change.  

The road to open a business for and by the residents in Detroit’s lower eastside has been long and rocky.  However, we committed to action and because our efforts as neighbors and residents working together, we never gave up hope.  Last week when I was watching the contractors take down the old boards of our storefront a neighbor stopped, he said, “I know you guys wanted to give up, but we knew they (powers) wasn’t gonna make it easy for us in the hood, but y’all did it.  And God blessed us we got a laundry, coffee shop, reading and sports program for the kids, and legal service, we didn’t expect all those blessings”.  (Purvis Dace)