History

St. Christine Christian Services’ (SCCS) programs began as an outreach ministry of St. Christine Catholic Church, Detroit (est. 1954). When the church was closed in 2005, SCCS was formed as a non-profit organization to continue the service initiatives to the community, foremost among them the Soup Kitchen and Food Pantry. Since 2009, the sponsoring church has been Christ the King, Detroit, for which SCCS is its primary outreach ministry.

In addition to the Soup Kitchen/Pantry, a Service Center Building offers neighbors daily opportunity for socialization over coffee and pastries. St. Vincent de Paul, Christ the King Conference, also operates from the service center. Volunteers are available by appointment to assess individuals with specific needs and link them with community resources, including available St.VdeP store inventory. St.VdeP volunteers can provide clients with round-trip bus fare to important appointments.

ABOUT DETROIT’S BRIGHTMOOR COMMUNITY:
(excerpt from Wikipedia, for full article, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brightmoor%2C_Detroit)

Developer Burt Eddy Taylor bought 160 acres of land, located one mile away from Detroit’s city limits at the time(1921). Taylor created Brightmoor as a planned community of inexpensive housing for migrants from the Southern U. S. in the early 1920s. Taylor recruited workers from Appalachia with the lure of employment at one of Detroit’s expanding automobile manufacturing plants. Most of the residents worked in the automobile industry. Brightmoor was promoted as a neighborhood where families could own a house and live in modest comfort. The houses were intended as low-cost, mass-produced, single-family housing. The City of Detroit annexed Brightmoor in 1926.

By 1983, when St. Christine Church began it’s community outreach to residents, the Brightmoor neighborhood, along with other modest Detroit census tracts, was is the beginning of an urban death spiral. Eight years after St. Christine Church closed its doors in 2005, the entire city of Detroit entered Chapter 9 bankruptcy (July 18, 2013), the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. History.

The City of Detroit exited Chapter 9 bankruptcy in December 2014 and a newly elected administration took over. Since then, the city has seen significant incremental improvements in very basic city services. There are street lights in neighborhoods submerged in darkness; police and EMS response times have improved dramatically, public transportation has improved, and there have been significant inroads into the thousands of abandoned residential houses.

However, a 2016 study by the Brookings Institute identified Detroit as the city with the most neighborhoods of ‘concentrated poverty.’ 20 to 40% or more of the residents in these neighborhoods live at or below the poverty line. Brightmoor and its surrounding census tracts is one such area of concentrated poverty.

SCCS and other non-profits have kept hope alive by providing residents a measure of
relief from the unique challenges of concentrated poverty. There are, however, signs of new investment. A major food and retail chain has opened a ‘big box’ store in the adjacent Zip Code. Brightmoor is on the radar of developers for housing and other infrastructure investments.