In 1988, John J. George founded Motor City Blight Busters, Inc. (MCBB), a nonprofit volunteer organization aimed at revitalizing Detroit's neighborhoods. Since its inception, MCBB has completed hundreds of residential beautification and renovation projects without the help of city, state or federal funding.
The group began by leading the efforts to board up a crack house in a northwest Detroit neighborhood. Over the last decade, MCBB has developed comprehensive volunteer programs for weekly clean-up and renovation projects throughout the city. MCBB has eliminated Devil's Night arson and its associated negative connotations for Detroit through its Angel's Night Patrol.
In addition, MCBB's Blight Flight and Blitz Build programs bring together more than 50 sponsors, including local businesses, community and nonprofit organizations and more than 3,000 local and suburban volunteers to clean up and renovate Detroit neighborhoods. In 1996, volunteers logged more than 100,000 hours of community service performing such tasks as neighborhood tire sweeps, clothing drives, local park clean-ups, graffiti abatement, and adopt-a-highway projects. Money raised from MCBB's used car donation program helps to fund MCBB's efforts.
As a participant in Wayne County's Project Save, MCBB receives tax-reverted properties at reduced costs. Properties are rehabilitated and sold to low or moderate income buyers at or below appraised values, causing neighborhoods to become stabilized and revitalized.
Recently, MCBB acquired from the city, and is in the process of completing renovations on, a northwest Detroit site to be used as the Motor City Resource Center. The center will house MCBB, Habitat for Humanity – Metro Detroit, The Northwest Detroit Neighborhood Program, The Think Twice Foundation and other like-minded community based organizations. The Center will serve as a hub for operations, including expanded volunteer work capacity, vocational training, a performing arts program, a life-skills training program and an education center for high-risk youths.
Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer has called MCBB, "the most effective housing development group in the city." MCBB and its partners have been instrumental in the rebirth of many of Detroit's neighborhoods.
To find out more about John J. George and the Motor City Blight Busters visit http://www.ddc.com/blightbusters.