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Courtney Smith

Founder and Executive Director, Detroit Phoenix Center

Courtney Smith is the founder and executive director of the Detroit Phoenix Center, an advocate for fighting to break the cycle of poverty in Detroit. Under her visionary leadership, Detroit Phoenix Center opened the first and only asset-based resource renter, meeting the emergent and holistic needs of teens and young adults in crisis, launched an emergency winter youth shelter in partnership with the faith-based community, and endowed a memorial scholarship fund in a little less than 18 months.

Her commitment to professional excellence, advocacy and service has afforded her many awards and accolades.  Smith was recently named to the prestigious, Crain’s Detroit Business “Twenty in their 20’s” and the “2018 Community Champion of the Year” by Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness.

Smith is a double time recipient of the Spirit of Detroit Award, grantee of the Comcast NBCUniversal Social Impact Award, Women of Excellence Award and has been featured in numerous media outlets. Smith sits on the Board of Directors for Schoolhouse Connections, is an advisor for the National Network for Youth and a member of the Citywide Task-force on Homelessness in Detroit.