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Volunteers to work with Focus: HOPE on massive, 100-block blight removal project in Detroit

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DETROIT — A massive blight removal project is planned for a 100-block area on Detroit's west side.

Volunteers are expected to work with Focus: HOPE and other partners Thursday through Saturday on the beautification effort around its campus.

Visitors to the city attending the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Youth Gathering conference in Detroit also are expected to help.

Focus: HOPE has assessed each property in the target area. Volunteers will clear away trash, board up vacant properties, plant flowers and rain gardens, and clean and mow side lots.

Chief Executive William Jones Jr. says "there will be a renewed sense of pride in the neighborhood" when the project is completed.

The human and civil rights organization was founded in 1968 after riots widened the rift between Detroit's black and white residents.

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