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Detroit Phoenix Center – October 2019 Update

The Detroit Phoenix Center Zen Zone Space is complete! We are excited to launch our after-school program and to continue to initiate programming and drop-in services inside of the Zen Zone. We originally planned to move to a larger space inside the Bethel Community Transformation Center. However, due to an unexpected increase in rent, we stayed in our old space and explored ways to optimize usage and reimagine opportunities to give it a “facelift”.

We accomplished this by completely redoing each room: laundry room, shower room, activities lounge, and the oasis room. We even were able to help install new partitions in the women’s restroom. These upgrades stayed within our overall proposed budget, but there were some costs that we did not anticipate. In the build-out phase, those costs included reimbursing project managers for gas, feeding volunteers, and the cost of materials for larger volunteer groups. Since we were tapping into a youth volunteer base, some of the volunteers were not skilled in laying carpet and painting, so we had to re-do some of the work, pushing our timeline back a few weeks.

We ensured our project was completed, despite the setbacks, by requesting more skilled labor and keeping a running timeline to ensure we were on target. While completing the upgrades, we still hosted programming – Youth Open House, Prom Sendoff, Yoga, Game Night, and some drop-in days. Hosting programming in the space while it was under construction helped us receive feedback on changes we needed to make.

The proposed project was completely designed and informed by the youth in the community. The Zen Zone is a space created for the youth and by the youth.