Thousands of volunteers to do restoration projects in Detroit

By: Mark Vest | Online Only | Published August 2, 2015

More than 12,000 volunteers from the tri-county area are expected to mobilize Aug. 3-9, as Life Remodeled, a nonprofit organization that “exists to remodel lives — one neighborhood at a time,” will participate in restoration projects in Detroit.

Life Remodeled was launched in 2011, and this year’s projects include major renovations at Osborn High School, boarding up at least 400 houses, and remodeling 21 homes belonging to students and their families near Osborn, according to Life Remodeled CEO Chris Lambert.

Lambert said that volunteers will help to “remove blight and create beauty,” including along routes that have been identified as the safest for students to walk to school.

Last year, Life Remodeled helped renovate Cody High School.

Lambert discussed what he would like for Life Remodeled to help accomplish.

“Increase hope,” he said. “In the hearts and the minds of the students, the staff at the school, and the neighborhood itself — the residents. I think we’ve been very successful at seeing that. We choose neighborhoods where there already is hope. They still have need and work to be done, but we’re seeing that hope increase. (We’re) very excited about it.”

From Lambert’s perspective, the work is about more than just the physical renovations.

“The mission has always been the same — it’s always about people,” he said. “The bricks and mortar are very important, because people need shelter, they need safe places to live. Those things are incredibly important, but it’s all about human beings who are connected to those structures and connected to those neighborhoods. Every year, I think, we’ve gotten a lot better at actually affecting lives, beyond just the physical bricks and mortar projects that we do.”

There are various ways in which volunteers can help. Those interested in learning more can visit or go to Osborn between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Aug. 3-8.

Call Sports Writer Mark Vest at (586) 279-1112. Follow him on Twitter @CandGMark.