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14 reasons I live in Detroit (part 5 of 5)

12. Accessibility
The ability to open a business, start an organization or have a conversation with the mayor, a corporate executive or community leader is unparalleled in Detroit. With very little money or connections my friend and I were able to create an organization and connect with city leaders in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. This reason could also be called collaboration or simply, friendliness, because part of what makes it possible to start something in Detroit is that people are willing to help you. Other businesses, community members and leaders want you to succeed and are willing to help make that happen.

13. Being Part of Something Bigger
I not only get to do what I love everyday but I get to have a positive impact on my community. More and more people don’t want to just live, work and play. They want to make a difference in their community. In Detroit there are so many ways to do that and many issues that need people working together on solutions. Almost everyone who is here is passionate about the city and its revival. Community members and entrepreneurs are coming up with innovative solutions every day.

14. The People
My favorite reason for living in Detroit is the people. Almost every single one of those bars, restaurants, and shops is locally owned and operated. The people that own them and work at them are part of the community. Folks are friendly, helpful and love talking to each other. I know my neighbors, whether they’re next door or across town, we’re all Detroiters and there’s an amazing sense of community that comes from that simple commonality.

Again, these reasons I love living here don’t mean the city isn’t facing major challenges, but that doesn’t change the fact that I love the life I have in Detroit. Also, I think sometimes we think if we say anything positive it means we’re ignoring the negative. That’s not true. Good and bad are not mutually exclusive. They both exist simultaneously…in all cities.

So what’s the best way to sum up all these things? The one line answer to Why Detroit? For me, it’s because Detroit is big enough to matter in the world but small enough where you can matter in it, and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

If you missed earlier posts in this series, check them out here: 

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Jeanette Pierce
Jeanette Pierce is Executive Director at Detroit Experience Factory, an organization that helps locals and newcomers get connected to the city. A life-long Detroiter who grew up in the Morningside neighborhood, Jeanette founded Inside Detroit, a nonprofit that used tours and experiences to educate locals and visitors about Detroit’s history, culture and community. It later merged with D:hive to expand offerings and other resources related to real estate, jobs, important city data, retail options, small business and more. Jeanette was honored by Crain’s Detroit Business as one of the Top Twenty in their 20’s in 2007, was awarded the Shining Light Future Leader Award from the Detroit Free Press in 2010, and the Detroit Young Professionals Vanguard Award in 2011. Follow her @JeanettePierce.