Detroit Seniors Experience 'A Light At the End of the Tunnel'

Aug 11, 2021

It’s a Wednesday in mid-June at the Conner Creek Corps Community Center, and a sound that has been absent from the corps for over a year now buzzes throughout the halls: more than thirty seniors have gathered for their monthly luncheon. Lieutenant (pastor) Henry Boateng gives a word of greeting and a prayer, and lunch is served by two teenage volunteers dedicated to providing help at the corps however they can. Friends who have endured months of isolation are greeting one another and sharing a laugh. Catherine and Lemonia, who have been friends for 35 years and have been attending the senior luncheon since 2019, sit together with smiles on their faces.

“Since we both retired, we enjoy traveling together,” says Lemonia, who worked for the city of Detroit. “We love coming here, too. I first heard about it and told Catherine, so we’ve both been coming. They switch up the meal every month, and it’s good, too!”

Like many others, the pair also attends bingo nights and takes advantage of the corps computer lab. The corps is recognized by the neighborhood as a source of support and help beyond food as well. Martha, vice president of the Lennox Block Club, is regularly present at the luncheons to make connections. She occasionally drops by on Mondays for the weekly food distribution as well, so she can give meal boxes to her neighbors who struggle with transportation. “I don’t want to miss a single one of these!” says Martha. “It’s a great way to stay connected and get information about what’s going on in the community.”

For others, it’s a relief to simply walk through the doors of the building and do something comfortable and normal.

“It’s always been a great, relaxing spot, like somewhere you belong. It’s always been a godsend to me. You feel right at home,” says Gaskin, a member of the corps for over 20 years. The loneliness she has experienced in the last year is shared by every other person in the room – but today is a turning point for everyone. “I can finally see a light at the end of the tunnel.”

We love supporting seniors on the east side of Detroit - and our Summer in the City campaign is raising support for us to do even more. Donate now to help us expand our services at the Conner Creek Corps Community Center, or give in one of the following ways: 

  • Texting SUMMER to 24365
  • Visiting and clicking DONATE
  • Calling 877-SAL-MICH
  • Sending a check made payable to The Salvation Army, to: 16130 Northland Dr., Southfield, MI 48075

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