“Mama Shu” Harris lost both her sons -- one to a hit and run and the other to murder. She continues to use her energy to rebuild her Highland Park neighborhood and make it safer for the next generation.
Her idea was to build a Homework House and after five years of hard work and after raising nearly $300,000 the house is ready to open and ready to change lives.
On a Monday evening in Highland Park the basketball court is busy. Coach Sam Wells volunteers his time because of Mama Shu.
“I do a free drills and skills basketball camp,” Wells said. “Teach drills all day long for the neighborhood kids.”
Mama Shu has purchased homes, brought in street lights, built the basketball court and is about to open a Homework House. There will also be a breakfast program that starts at 7 a.m. at the Homework House for area children.
Mama Shu has worked for more than five years to buy the home, remodel it and gathering donations. They developed a plan to provide what the kids need to be successful.
“Yoga in the morning, positive affirmation before they walk out the door,” Mama Shu said.
There’s a small library in the Homework House and plenty of tables set up for the children to study. The house will be open on weekdays and on Sunday.
There’s a recording studio, which is being painted with famous Detroit aritsts. Mama Shu hopes to help 25 to 30 kids every day with volunteer tutors to help the students.
The neighborhood is being transformed for the better because of a mother who didn’t want others to experience the loss that she has.
“You are doing all of this for so many kids and you have lost both of your sons,” Karen Drew said.
“Yes, it’s all for them and in memory of them. The whole experience gave me energy to create more and its been healing doing this and keeps my mind off that,” Mama Shu said
It has been a long road to get here, but in just a few days the doors will open.
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