See our Best of Detroit 2020 winners.

After-school special 

This house on 3332 Hunt St., on Detroit’s East Side, is one of the most urgent cases the Abandoned Structure Squad has uncovered to date. We’re told that the house has been vacant for at least five years, serving as a haven for squatters and a refuge for drug activity. With nearly every window broken and uncovered, access is extremely easy. Outside, the property is strewn with trash, including broken bottles of Mohawk vodka, small plastic baggies and condom wrappers. While this description could fit many of the abandoned houses around Detroit, the real issue of danger here is the house’s proximity to Bunche Elementary School and the Franklin-Wright community center. Monique Marks, the executive director of Franklin-Wright Settlement, says that the situation is particularly dire as hundreds of schoolchildren walk past the house every day on their way to and from class as well as after-school programs at the community center.

“This house is not just an eyesore, it is very dangerous for all of our kids,” Marks says.

City officials have been particularly unhelpful when contacted by A.S.S., saying simply “that house is marked ‘dangerous.’”

Like we needed the city to tell us that.

Jeff Jones, community organizer for Franklin-Wright Settlement, says he has been trying to get the house torn down for at least three years by petitioning City Council and trying to cut through the city’s red tape. “This house seems to have nine lives,” he says.

The situation so distressed us that some of our squad volunteered to help Jones collect petition signatures that he could present to City Council and the bureaucrats responsible for getting homes torn down. It’s hoped that a united community appeal, along with a little A.S.S. kicking, will get the wrecking ball swinging.

Editor’s note: If you know of an abandoned home you would like to see featured in this spot, send a photo and pertinent information to News Hits, c/o Metro Times, 733 St. Antoine, Detroit, MI 48226 (or e-mail newshits@metrotimes.com).

Check out all of our Abandoned Shelters of the Week

Send comments to NewsHits@metrotimes.com

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

Speaking of Abandoned Structure Squad

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 14, 2020

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit