Back in 2008, at 7700 Puritan Avenue in Detroit, this building that was used to house the Detroit Teacher's Credit Union and the Michigan First Credit Union became available to be sold. Bids were solicited, 6 were received. The winning bid went to Maggie Williams Hinton. Her vision was to build a " multi purpose educational facility for family revitalization"
Maggie states that the building is in a prime location in the community and she didn't want to see it not be used to serve the community. She wanted a safe haven for kids in the community, but she also wanted to provide services that could better their lives. So, she set out on a mission.
She had relationships with children in the community, parents and community organizations such as the Fitzgerald Community Council. She figured if she could touch bases through her relationships she could map out a plan "that would fit " and be beneficial.
As ideas and plans started to develop she realized that the building would have to be renovated. As a retired supervisor from DPW where she worked for more that 33 years, she had a massed a pretty good retirement nest egg. Her thoughts began to navigate to the reality, that funding was not going to come her way for renovation. Therefore she decided to use that nest egg to renovate the building. She has invest $ 1 million of her own money into this community center. She says " I am now broke. but the Lord will provide".
During the course of the week hundreds of neighborhood youth and parents come thru her center. She also opens it up to the community for meetings.
The center provides resume writing, anti bullying classes, high school drop out prevention programs, sex education, music and computer traning. She also has a 5th degree karate black belt on the premise who teach karate. You don't have to worry about security here.The decorum , lighting and building structure is eye catching. It is like a little "DIA" There is secure parking.
Upon attending a Anti Youth Violence meeting there that was being sponsored by City Councilperson Sauntell Jenkins and James Tate, I started to walk around the building. I thought man this is out of sight, who did this right here in the " hood". I was introduced to Maggie and she stared to tell me about the building, her mission and the impact that it is having within the community.
It became crystal clear that Maggie Williams-Hinton is definitely Making A Difference as a Everyday Hero,
On a daily basis in spite of ones life's struggles and challenges, there are some people who reach out an make a positive impact on the lives of others.
That is why Local 4 and a prominent local clergyman, Rev. V. Lonnie Peek, Jr. have teamed up to find those people and tell their stories.
Do you know an everyday hero in your life? E-mail us and tell us about them.
About Rev. Lonnie Peek, Jr.
Rev. V. Lonnie Peek, Jr. located in Detroit in 1975. After teaching 2 years in DPS, he went to WSU receiving a Masters of Social Work, an activist on campus he created the Association of Black Students. He is an entrepreneur and serves on such civic boards as New Detroit, Inc, Detroit Riverfront Conservancy and the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation. With extensive radio background expanding 25 years, he writes a weekly column for the Michigan Chronicle. He has been a regular on local/ national television shows dealing with political and social issuesAn ordained minister and seminary graduate, he serves on the executive committee and is the public relations chairman for the Council of Baptist Pastors of Detroit and Vicinity and is Assistant Pastor at Greater Christ Baptist Church.