“Detroit is a city that understands hardship,” opens the video. But it also has a lot of people with big hearts who are willing to open their wallets and help.
The CommuniD BBQ has been going on for about eight years over at Fourth and Temple, feeding about 200 people every weekend.
With all of the changes happening in the area – the new arena and other developments happening in a fast changing Midtown – it looked like the tradition of coming together and feeding the homeless by Elevate Detroit was going to come to an end.
That’s where local woman Mallory Brown stepped in and started an online flash fundraiser through Crowdrise to raise $10,000 to “find a new location, clean up the property, and outfit the BBQ with everything it needs to continue feeding the homeless.” Crowdwise differs from Kickstarter or IndieGogo because the campaign only lasts 24 hours.
Elevate Detroit, a local Christian group, has CommuniD barbecues in a few places including Flint, Pontiac, Hazel Park and Mt. Clemens. The group says that “the point is to simply make new friends and show people the love of Jesus. No strings attached… we just want to hang out, have fun and love. ‘Cause we believe that with Jesus there is such a thing as a free lunch.”
With the fundraiser, the CommuniD BBQ is still going to have to find a new location, but Brown and Elevate have already raised more than $17,000 as of this writing and are hoping to raise a total of $20,000 as a stretch goal.
Some of the things they’ll buy if they hit their stretch goals are a year’s supply of burgers (that’s already done); but also hot dogs, utensils, condiments, lunch bags, a trailer, some games, and snow removal in the winter.
The video above shows the dichotomy that is Detroit today. Although the host mentions she’s in “a really rough part of town,” she’s also at that same moment driving by one of Detroit’s hottest new restaurants, Selden Standard.