Bounce house company won't do business with people in Detroit

Company says drivers have been robbed, equipment damaged in city

By Jason Colthorp - Anchor/Reporter, Derick Hutchinson

DETROIT - People living in Detroit are often denied services simply because they reside within the city limits.

When one nonprofit organization was recently denied a bounce house rental, it asked why and was troubled by the response.

"The problem wasn't this room, the problem was this room was in Detroit," said Deon Mullen, of Franklin-Wright Settlements. "As a matter of fact, I was only able to find one company out of Canton that had a 'Star Wars'-themed bounce house."

When Mullen found the elusive bounce house, he gave the company a call, but found out it didn't matter who was calling.

"What mattered was we were located in the city of Detroit, and that's all that mattered to that company," Mullen said. "After that, they didn't want to hear anything else that I had to say."

Bothered, Mullen followed up with an email asking for an explanation.

The business said it made a decision not to rent its bounce houses in Detroit because its drivers had been threatened and robbed in the city, and some equipment had been stolen and damaged.

But that wasn't the part of the response that struck Mullen.

"I couldn't believe what had been put in writing," Mullen said.

The next sentence said, "It breaks our hearts for the children negatively affected by simply being born in one place versus another."

"I was floored," Mullen said. "It really broke my heart to read that this company wouldn't service children of Detroit simply because they were born in the city of Detroit."

Local 4 reached out to the company and was told it wanted no part of our story. The company is not being named in the story.

"There's crime in every city, and to not service because of a false reality just isn't right," Mullen said.

Local 4 called the company to ask if it could service a party near Campus Martius in Downtown Detroit. We were told it doesn't service Detroit, and were offered an alternative.

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