Member Highlight: Durfee Innovation Society

Life Remodeled exists because Detroiters have all the talent they need, but many don’t have access to all the opportunities they deserve. Therefore, our response to this reality is to repurpose vacant school buildings into one stop hubs of opportunity for entire families to thrive.

We fill these iconic properties with the best and brightest nonprofit organizations who are providing youth programs, workforce development, and human services to tens of thousands of students and community members, and we help them collaborate to create far greater life transformation together than was previously possible alone.

Together, we ensure more:
1. Detroit students perform at or above grade level in math and reading
2. Families have access to essential health and wellness services
3. Community members obtain higher paying jobs and achieve economic self-sufficiency

What is one interesting fact about your space?

More than 70% of students are chronically absent in neighboring schools. To address this challenge, we installed a totally free laundromat and arcade. Lack of access to laundry facilities is the #1 reason for high truancy in Detroit schools. Additionally, we created the free arcade as an incentive for students to achieve consistent attendanc

What are your favorite resources that you would recommend to others?

During a period of only eight years, Life Remodeled invested more than $43 million into Detroit neighborhoods, renovated four school buildings, mobilized more than 77,000 volunteers and beautified over 2,000 city blocks.

Candid and Charity Navigator have awarded us their highest ratings.. . and of more than 21,000 nonprofits in Metro Detroit, Crain’s Detroit Business has recognized our organization as one of the best-managed.

Over the years, we’ve been asked two questions more times than we can count:
1) “How has Life Remodeled achieved so much in such a short period of time?”
2) “How did you build such a dynamic team?”

To answer these questions, we’ve published a book called “Next Level Nonprofit,” which provides a step-by-step guide to operational excellence.

Center Name: Durfee Innovation Society

Center Member Type: Center in Operation

Location: Detroit, MI

Center Website:

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