Detroit Chevere will serve youth ages 12 to 24 from across the city of Detroit. Income, educational attainment, and employment are important indicators of economic success, yet Detroit youth experience higher levels of poverty and unemployment in contrast to youth statewide. These rates are driven by persistent, structural challenges within Detroit’s regional economy, public infrastructure and school system.
The Detroit unemployment rate is “11.1%. This is more than double the State unemployment rate of 4.1%.” (http://milmi.org/Septemnber 2016) “The poverty rate for Detroit youth ages 18-24 is 45.4%.” (Census.gov/American Community Survey 2014) “For youth under 18, the rates are significantly higher in Detroit, at 58.6% compared to a national rate of 22.2% for the same group. In the larger southwest communities where Detroit Chevere is based, the data reflects similar trends in the poverty rates in zip code 48209 at 39.7% poverty and zip code 48210 at 42.7%.” (Data Driven Detroit, http://datadrivendetroit.org/. And http://www.city-data.com/zipmaps/Detroit- Michigan.html) According to the 2014 American Community Survey, “the rates at which Detroit youth ages 18 to 24 years graduate high school and obtain college degrees are low.” In fact, in a 2009 report, “Detroit was recognized as the second “worst” city for urban youth due to its low high school graduation rates, high juvenile crime arrest rates, and high unemployment rates.” (“5 Worst Cities for Urban Youth”, http://www.streetgangs.com/news/111409_five-worst-cities-for-uban-youth). Several key measures demonstrate that youth are facing greater challenges in Detroit when compared to the rest of the nation.
Detroit’s high school graduation rates are low compared to overall Michigan data and compared to national averages. “The Detroit Public Schools graduation rate in 2014 was 71%, up 6.5% from 2013 and up 11 points from 2011. The current rate is higher than national averages, which hit 81% in 2013 based on US Department of Education data.” (http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/us-high-school-graduation-rate-hits-new-record- high) “Detroit’s cohort Dropout rate is another relevant way of understanding the data. The dropout rate was 22.6% in 2013 and was reduced to 18.3% in 2014.” (http://detroitk12.org/content/2015/03/06/dps-graduation-rates-are-up-6-5-percentage- points-over-last-year-and-11-percentage-points-since-2010-11) While Detroit’s public school system is making headway and graduation rates are increasing, the need for organizations like Detroit Chevere to provide critical, supplemental programs and services to youth across the city cannot be understated.