Detroit Promise Neighborhood fails to win federal grant

Jan 8, 2013

Detroit Promise Neighborhood initiative had hoped to receive up to $6 million from U.S. government.
Detroit Promise Neighborhood initiative had hoped to receive up to $6 million from U.S. government.
Credit user PT Money / flickr

Promise Neighborhoods were launched in 2010 by the U.S. government as a way to improve educational opportunities for kids in high-poverty neighborhoods, and  provide residents with "cradle to career" services a la the highly successful Harlem Children's Zone in New York City.

We've written about the  Detroit Promise Neighborhood initiative in the Clark Park and Osborn neighborhoods. They received a $500,000 one-year planning grant from the federal government last year, with the hope that they would receive up to $6 million more this year to implement the plans.

But that didn't happen.

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced the winners of the 2012 Promise Neighborhoods late last month, and the Detroit folks were not on the list.  The U.S. government doled out ten planning grants totaling $4.7  million and seven implementation grants totaling nearly $30 million.

Here's the breakdown of the implementation grants (which the Detroit Promise Neighborhood folks were vying for): 

  • Boston Promise Initiative (Boston and Roxbury, Mass) = $1,485,001
  • Chula Vista Promise Neighborhood (Chula Vista, Calif) = $4,998,609
  • East Lubbock Promise Neighborhood (Lubbock, Texas) = $3,263,789
  • Five Promises for Two Generations (Washington, D.C.) = $1,967,748
  • Indianolo Promise Community (Indianoloa, Miss) = $5,997,093
  • Lose Angeles Promise Neighborhood (Los Angeles, Calif) = $6,000,000
  • Mission Promise Neighborhood (San Francisco, Calif) = $6,000,000 

I reached out to the folks behind the Detroit Promise Neighborhood Initiative, but they didn't want to talk at this time except to say that they would continue to move forward with the Clark Park and Osborn Promise Neighborhoods, albeit it in a modified way. What those modifications may look like are still to be determined.

Detroit isn't the first Michigan city to compete for a Promise Neighborhood grant and lose. The River Rouge community in Detroit was the first Michigan community to receive a $500,000 planning grant from the federal government a couple years ago to start work on a Promise Neighborhood Initiative in that area. They, too, wound up not receiving an implementation grant, but they have continued on with their plans to provide "cradle to career" services for the community.