HEAR ABOUT OUR AMAZING STORIES
BEA FUND GRANTEE SPOTLIGHT 2020
We Want Green, Too! prides itself on helping Veterans create and sustain a healthy and suitable lifestyle when returning home from war. Established in 2007, We Want Green, Too! started from an experimental energy efficient renovation for a home in Jackson, MI with four Veterans. After a successful renovation, the Veterans responded positively and voiced their desire to do more green building work. They returned to Detroit’s East Side to rebuild a blighted 2,200 square foot home with energy efficient retrofits to illustrate how to build homes that reduce the cost of utilities and increase health. Using green and recycled materials, and with the expertise from retired contractors and the courage of men who would not give up, they designed an affordable East Side home that has since been viewed by people around the country and world. Their goal was to present their community with a model for sustainable living built by employing its own members. What they achieved was not only this goal, but the ability to dream even bigger.
Since 2007, We Want Green, Too!’s programming has vastly expanded to include get-out-the-vote outreach, youth mentorships, crisis response and direct support for Veterans. They have also formed collaborative partnerships with local organizations such as The Villages Community Development Corporation, churches, and nonprofits, to meet and continue to understand community needs. In 2014, We Want Green, Too! joined the Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition (MEJC) to focus on power-building and integrating environmental justice principles into their work. Currently, they do on-the-ground work that addresses energy justice, energy efficient housing, disinvestment, unemployment, and health in Detroit’s East Side. Upcoming events and projects include the groundbreaking of the deconstruction of blighted buildings to be rebuilt into the Motor Pool community center, and a new youth outreach initiative that will empower youth to participate in community education and organizing.
“Believe in your work, and have a laser-like focus on what it is that will be of service to your community for at least seven generations.” - We Want Green, Too!
COMMUNITY WORKER, CALVIN GASTON
Calvin is a skilled community worker that we are training and mentoring in tradework and maintenance. We support him in career visioning and confidence-building, and challenge him to seek higher potentialities within himself.
Calvin is the perfect example of the importance of authentic community building efforts, and the results we yield when building love in community with our young constituents who will be the leadership of tomorrow.