Community Stories – Aunt Na, Detroit

Published on February 14, 2022 in

Auntie Na's group

It started with a single crate on a table in front of my house – a place that my family has called home for six generations. I call it the cornerstone of Yellowstone.

In the crate, I put items I no longer needed – things my kids had outgrown, other items I had picked up that weren’t being used. I offered the things free to the community just because I knew there was a need. And that’s what I believe community is about – helping each other out.

The cornerstone of Yellowstone has witnessed a lot since my grandparent’s days – urban rebellion, factory closings, white flight, drug epidemics, mass foreclosures, school closings, financial collapse, bankruptcy, water shutoffs, fires, you name it. Through it all, we have maintained. We have survived. We have rebuilt. And we did it all only because we remembered the ‘unity’ in ‘community.’

Now, Auntie Na’s House is now a village where we distribute 20,000 to 40,000 pounds of food each week. We offer after school programs. The garden my grandmother planted continues to sprout year after year, feeding even more people.

Through grants and partnerships, we’ve been able to change one abandoned home on the block into a medical house. And we have plans to turn others into a learning house, a clothing house, a nutrition house and more. Like African Americans have been doing since the beginning, I took a single mustard seed and got a whole lot of Grey Poupon. I hope it inspires others.

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