Creating Space Detroit

We plan to change the unused, overgrown parts of the Bagley (and surrounding) neighborhoods into safe, usable spaces for the residents of the area.  We are transforming a local empty lot into a multi-generational park and an adjacent bllighted house into a community center!  Long term, we plan to convert the overgrown alleys into maintained and well-lit paths for bicycles and pedestrians.  Every neighborhood needs a place to come together. Help us create that for the families and neighbors of the Bagley community!

Samoy Smith   December 26, 1986 - April 14, 2020 
It is with great sorrow that we share the news that our dear friend and co-founder, Samoy Smith, lost her battle with cancer on April 14, 2020.  Samoy was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in the spring of 2019 at the age of 32 and after a year of treatment and struggle, she lost her fight.  She is survived by her wonderful husband Erik and their 3 young children ages 10, 8 and 5. 

Although our fundraising campaign for Samoy's family has ended, please consider supporting her passion project, creating the new Community Center for the Bagley neighborhood.  Donations can be made here:  https://donorbox.org/community-center

OUR CURRENT PROJECTS

BAGLEY COMMUNITY PARK   Starting with our purchase of the 2 vacant lots at the corner of Santa Maria and Northlawn in early 2018, we have begun the transformation of what was once a neighborhood dumping ground into a multi-generational park.  In May, 2018 we began work on a path and a shelter in the park.  Today the path and shelter along with a firepit have been completed and, as COVID-19 allows, we plan to install a fence and playstructure in 2020. 

BAGLEY COMMUNITY CENTER  In late 2018 we received a generous donation of the empty, blighted house adjacent to our park!  We are now beginning the hard work to transform the house into a neighborhood asset as a community center.  Our plans include neighborhood discussions to get feedback from the community on what neighbors would like to see included in the Community Center.  We are also working on developing community partnerships and very importantly, funding.  The house is going to require a tremendous amount of work to get into a useable state and so we will be doing a lot of fundraising efforts as we try to get the work done!  ANYTHING HELPS.  If you are interested in becoming a part of our team of volunteers or if you have a community partnership to recommend, please contact us by email directly here If you would like to make a cash donation to help us build the community center, please do so through the link here! 

COMMUNITY GARDEN In summer, 2019 we established a community garden on an empty lot on Wisconsin and Santa Maria. We have filled the lot with raised planters and soil and anyone interested in using one of the boxes, please contact Joe Marra. 

BIKE PATHS As part of our long range mission, we plan to begin cleaning up and transforming the overgrown alleys in the neighborhood so that they can be used as walk/bike paths as well as access for service companies such as DTE and the Fire Department again.  

The best thing about Detroit is it's vast opportunity.  This is a unique time and place, where vision meets affordability. Creating Space Detroit believes that you shouldn't have to leave your neighborhood to have a safe place to enjoy the outdoors or to gather. 
 

WHAT'S NEXT? The immediate future involves a lot of effort to create a Community Center where residents can reserve meeting room space, students can receive after-school tutoring or college prep sessions, adults can attend continuing education classes. Threaded through each of our projects will be a strong element of art and design, an effort to use local resources, and a commitment to environmentally conscious practices.  We will draw from the community for its talent and plan to give back via employment and educational opportunities as much as possible.

MEET THE TEAM

  • Victoria Sahami
    Board Member and CEO
    Victoria has been a part of the Bagley community since 2015.  From a conversation about the state of the local alleys, she was prompted to join forces with Samoy and Joe to form Creating Space Detroit.  A lifelong environmentalist and educator, she is excited to help transform the neglected spaces of Bagley into new useable spaces. 
  • Kim Redd
    Board Member
    President and Founder of KMR Construction Services, Inc., Kim brings nearly 20 years of hands-on construction experience. She has led KMR and other companies through start-up, survival, turnaround. and growth modes.

    Kim is an active resident of the Bagley community and  will be directing the renovation work for the Community Center!
  • Joe Marra
    Board Member and COO
    Congratulations to Joe for being selected as a Detroit Innovation Fellow!

    Joe is a well known figure in Bagley and can often be found volunteering his time and skills to help clear empty lots and alleys. A "tree guy" by trade, Joe will direct our transformation projects bringing a lifetime of experience to each one.
  • Gloria Stokes
    Board Member
    Gloria is a local Bagley resident who has been a staunch supporter of Creating Space since our formation.  We are thrilled to have her join the board and bring her love of the neighborhood into each discussion!  Gloria will be working on programming when the center is completed and will help to realize many of her visions in the process.

  • Caroline Pendo
    Board Member
    In 2020 Caroline almost single-handedly created the community garden on the corner of Wisconsin and Santa Maria.  Caroline brings extensive knowledge of and experience with plants and is a wonderful new addition to our board!
  • Krista McClure
    Board Member
    Our newest member, Krista is the owner of the Detroit Parent Collective which is a social-impact small business within walking distance of our planned Community Center.  Krista is passionate about community and will be bringing us her wealth of knowledge and experience in fundraising for a non-profit. 
  • Our Park
    17209 Northlawn
    Please come and visit our park! It is located on the corner of Northlawn and Santa Maria in Detroit, MI., directly next door to the future Community Center!
  • Future Community Center
    17201 Northlawn St
    This is the house that we are currently converting into a community center for the Bagley neighborhood.  Once finished, all are welcome to come and check it out.