War veteran builds and shares his dream for Detroit

March 3rd, 2020
Ken Morgan at a house he is renovating

As a medic in the Gulf War, Ken Morgan provided aid to wounded and dying soldiers. He served in the military for eight years starting in 1990, and he saw how fragile life can be. When he returned to civilian life, he knew he wanted to create something sturdy with his hands.

“I’d seen so much death and suffering that I decided to resume a trade that’s been in our family for generations,” said Ken, 50. “Construction.”

Ken worked for construction firms in Virginia for 15 years after leaving the military. He helped restore houses and structures, including those on historic plantations. Then Ken decided to come home to Detroit, where he grew up as child. He had been away from the city for 30 years, but felt a calling to help transform it.

“If I can fight a war for my country, I can fight for my city as well,” Ken said. “I’ve traveled all over the world in the service and with my father, who was also in the military. I know we can do so much more in Detroit with the resources and people we have to make it a better place.”

Before and after photos of a Dream Builders renovation project. (Click for a larger image.)

Ken started his own construction business in Detroit called Dream Builders. Part of its mission is to teach young people construction skills. He has hired youth from his east-side neighborhood and from Mack Avenue Community Church, where Ken is a member, to help renovate houses.

“Our youth need a chance to learn skills that will allow them to become self-sustaining as adults,” Ken said. “While I teach them about the trades, I also talk to them about financial responsibility.”

To help realize his dream for Dream Builders, Ken completed Southwest Solutions’ ProsperUS Detroit program two years ago. ProsperUS provides small business training and support services to aspiring entrepreneurs, particularly those from minority communities.

“I wanted to learn about writing a good business plan and how to market my business better,” Ken said. “ProsperUS was very beneficial and I’m still using the business plan and the information I learned in the program to help me grow my business so I can support my family and provide opportunities for others.”

Dream Builders does renovation work across the metro area. To inquire about its services, email dreambuilders773@gmail.com or call 313-707-2116.

To learn more about ProsperUS Detroit, visit its website.

 

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