The Wall Street Journal highlights "do-it-yourselfers" in Detroit, who are volunteering their time and effort to keep their neighborhoods beautiful. The city cannot afford the resources to maintain public services in all areas, according to the article. To fill the void, individuals are stepping up to maintain parks and sidewalks.

"If I had to have the city's permission, it would have never happened," [William Martin] says. He points up to the busted lights around the [tennis] courts, noting that he hasn't been able to fix those. "To have the city represented like this" is unfortunate, he says.

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Rather than sit by and watch their city disintegrate, Martin and many others like him dedicate themselves to keeping their neighborhoods beautiful.

A recent Mackinac Center video tells the story of Jean West, a resident of Detroit's northwest side, who has been fighting blight in her neighborhood for decades. Her well-tended home is surrounded by vacant and crumbling buildings, but despite her efforts, there is no movement from Detroit's Planning and Development Department to address the situation with Neighborhood Stabilization Program funds. Ms. West, however, does her part, motivated by a desire to make Detroit a safe place for children to grow up.

While the government fails to maintain the city, private individuals like Jean West and those profiled in the Wall Street Journal article will continue to fight to preserve Detroit's neighborhoods. 

Jean West's Story: