Next Time, Let’s Get Lunch on Me

Next Time, Let’s Get Lunch on Me

Business, Enterprise, Homelessness, Poverty, Stories
Writer, Tash Moore Westlake is a long way from Oak Park, Michigan. It's a neighborhood that skirts downtown Los Angeles and has become home to La Bodega. The concept is the brick-and-mortar home base of LaRayia Gaston's vegan cafe and shop, as well as Lunch on Me. Gaston, originally from New York, founded Lunch on Me, a pop-up that serves the homeless throughout Skid Row, Watts, Venice, Compton, and lately MacArthur Park. Through partnerships and sponsorships with big names like Whole Foods and BuzzFeed, LaRayia--alongside President, Venus--has been able to provide healthy, affordable meals to locals of all stripes. I was introduced to Lunch on Me through a pop-up in Detroit last winter, right before the polar vortex froze SE Michigan to a virtual standstill. I met Venus, ever enthusiastic,…
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Harlem vs. Detroit

Life & Community, Stories
By Kenedi Dubose This is the story of a boy named John Carter. John was born and raised in Harlem, New York. His family enjoyed the street life, especially his father, Anton. Anton was a drug dealer. He sold every drug you could possibly think of, and wasn't ashamed. He spent many years struggling as a child, so when he grew up, he promised to be stable, but ended up going down the wrong path. Anton had John when he was 20 when met his wife, Laquita. Eight years later, Anton was killed by another local drug dealer over greed. John took the loss the hardest. Over the years, John became angry and depressed. He felt alone without his father. He began fighting in school and selling drugs, as well.…
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The Final Delivery

Life & Community, Stories, Stories
  The door takes a few moments to open. I hold the handle with one hand, shaking the key in the lock with the other, trying to manage the bundle of mail tucked under my right arm. I move into the dark apartment, keeping the mail and other items I have with me in balance until I reach the kitchen counter. The apartment is quiet, and it’s unusually quiet all through the building. Normally I’m here late in the day when the endless noise of residents, especially the kids, echoes loudly on the metal steps. This is not a life I would have chosen, nor one I even understand. It is my sister’s life, or, now, the remains of it. I’m here today to honor her request. “You’ll know,” were…
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Detroit River Rescue-Part 1

Detroit River Rescue-Part 1

Arts & Culture, Stories
It is August 1854 in Detroit, MI. Twelve-year-old Willie studies his school lessons and works as a delivery boy at the bakeshop owned and run by his Uncle Moses, a former slave . Willie suspects his uncle may be working with an organization that helps other enslaved blacks escape bondage. But before Willie can find out about Uncle Moses, he finds himself on his own liberation adventure. He had done it.  Twelve-year-old Willie had sneeked past his uncle’s closed door and gotten out of the house without being noticed.  It was well past midnight, and the sun had been down for hours.  Yet the summer air was as hot as it had been at noon, and thick with humidity.   Even though he was wearing his thinnest shirt and breeches, sweat…
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Detroit, Detroit, My Home Town

Life & Community, Stories
In June of this year, I fulfilled a long-time dream and goal to move to Atlanta, Georgia.  It was with mixed emotions that I left Detroit to make a new life with my daughter, son-in-law, and four rambunctious grandchildren. Long before my daughter graduated from Cass Tech in 1992 and left home for Clark, Atlanta, my dream was to relocate there. When I left Detroit, I wrote on my Facebook page what I would miss most about Detroit.  I miss coney islands, I miss early-morning walks on Belle Isle (especially when the weather’s mild in November!). I even miss side-stepping duck poop… I miss riding across the Ambassador Bridge on my way to our cottage in Rhondeau Bay, Canada; I miss tea parties with my friends; I miss being able…
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What could possibly go wrong? Help and Humility

Life & Community, Stories
In March, 2004, I was in my last semester of graduate school in New York City. I was working full time in a record store and as a deejay on the side. It wasn't a lot of money, but it paid the bills, and I enjoyed the break from a previous career in digital design. On the morning of March 4th, I was setting up for an art event in Brooklyn. We were having a fundraiser for a fellow artist who’d had an accident and didn't have health insurance. The event was called “The Best Idea Ever, What Could Possibly Go Wrong?” At about 10:30 a.m., I was standing up on a ledge moving a small light sculpture when I stepped on unstable flooring and plummeted 16 feet onto concrete. Things definitely went wrong.…
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