Southwest Solutions and Citizens Bank are launching the Clean & Green Detroit program to help reduce blight and improve neighborhoods by providing a trailer fully stocked with tools and equipment for beautification projects the city.
Citizens Bank donated $60,000 to purchase and stock the Clean & Green Detroit trailer. The trailer will be made available to residents, volunteer groups, community organizations, block clubs and others for cleanup, landscaping and lot activation efforts. It is stocked with commercial lawnmowers, outdoor power equipment, gardening and hand tools, cleanup tools and supplies, safety equipment, and more.
Clean & Green Detroit also provides an excellent business opportunity for a graduate of Southwest Solutions’ ProsperUS Detroit program. ProsperUS helps train and support minority and immigrant small business owners in Detroit neighborhoods.
Craig Grissom, who owns and operates Higher Ground Landscaping, will be the first ProsperUS graduate to use the trailer. Higher Ground currently employs five people, and Grissom believes the trailer will allow him to expand his business and add jobs.
“Clean & Green Detroit is a valuable contribution to revitalization efforts in our city,” said John Van Camp, president of Southwest Solutions. “The program supports the spirit of cooperation to better our neighborhoods, and also promotes small business and job opportunities for Detroiters. We are grateful to Citizens for its generous donation.”
Rick Hampson, the president of Citizens Bank Michigan, praised the Clean & Green program.
“This is truly a grass roots effort in more ways than one that touches so many areas that Citizens continuously supports in Detroit,” Hampson said. “It offers an opportunity for Detroit residents to grow a business, it has the potential for future job creation and it removes urban blight. It’s all good, and it’s all aimed at making Detroit a better city There is a strong desire from so many passionate Detroit area residents to improve its neighborhoods.”
The donation from Citizens Bank is part of the bank’s Growing Communities initiative. Growing Communities aims to revitalize neighborhoods with projects that demonstrate innovative solutions to community development, incorporate collaborative partnerships to improve life for residents, promote economic development through job creation and demonstrate a plan for long-term sustainability. Since 2012, Citizens Bank’s Growing Communities initiative has contributed more than $420,000 to projects in Detroit.