Crowdfunding Campaign Launched for “Detroit’s First Solar Training House” Project

Kathleen Achtenberg, MEDC
[email protected]

Tammy Black
Founder/CEO- Community Treehouse Center Detroit
[email protected]


$50,000 goal to win matching grant through MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places initiative

Detroit Solar volunteers posing for group photo.LANSING, Mich. –The Jefferson-Chalmers neighborhood of Detroit will become home to an innovate community space that will become a training hub for renewable energy, a community resilience center, and a space for beneficial programming with inclusivity at its core through the anticipated success of a crowdfunding campaign. The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and the Community Treehouse Center Detroit announced the campaign today, which is being offered through the Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity.

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $50,000 by May 5th, the project will win a matching grant with funds made possible by MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places program. For project details and to donate, please visit:

“This project will transform a vacant house into a vibrant community space with inclusive programming, “said MEDC Regional Prosperity Managing Director Paula Holtz. “We are pleased to support and provide resources for this project through our Public Spaces Community Places program.”

Founded in 2018, the local nonprofit Community Treehouse Center Detroit, works to promote the diversity of individuals in the community, the mental and physical well-being of youth, and inclusion of people of all ages and abilities using holistic interventions. The groups vision is to contribute to a more sustainable and inclusive future, fostering a community where individuals not only survive but actively participate and contribute to a thriving, interconnected society.

The Solar Training House is the first of its kind and will serve as a community hub and have a wide range of programming, from solar technologies workforce training for individuals with disabilities to community gardening events, nutrition classes, mental health programs, and financial literacy programs. These programs will be run in partnership with the Community Treehouse Center Detroit and other local nonprofits and organizations.

“The PSCP matching grant program will be immensely beneficial to the Solar Training house project. This support will enable us to amplify our efforts and make significant strides towards achieving our renewable energy objectives,” Tammy Black, Founder/ CEO, Community Treehouse Center Detroit. “With the assistance of the PSCP grant, our project will experience a substantial boost, fostering education, innovation, and sustainable practices within our community.”

Public Spaces Community Places is a collaborative effort of the MEDC, the Michigan Municipal League, and Patronicity, in which local residents can use crowdfunding to be part of the development of strategic projects in their communities and be backed with a matching grant from MEDC. Communities, nonprofits and other business entities can apply at

“Innovative thinking coming out of Detroit’s eastside neighborhoods is nothing new,” said Dan Gilmartin, CEO and Executive Director of the Michigan Municipal League. “The area is a bastion for local initiatives, and the Solar Technology House will provide a first-of-its-kind community hub that will serve residents for years to come.”

The Public Spaces Community Places initiative started in 2014 with MEDC providing matched funding of up to $50,000 for community improvement projects throughout Michigan. As of March 4, 2024, MEDC has provided more than $12.4 million in matching grants. Since the launch of the program, 368 projects have been successful in reaching their goal, with more than $14 million raised from 68,444 individual donors. Communities have a 97 percent success rate in achieving their goals and earning matching funds.

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)
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