Corktown residents are taking a new approach to fundraising that is bringing the community together.
Soup at Spaulding is a monthly event held at the Spirit of Hope Church on Martin Luther King Boulevard. A small door fee gets people soup, bread, dessert, beer and a voting stub.
Groups come up with proposals that will help the community. These proposals are then pitched to local residents, who then vote on their favorite idea.
Hannah Lewis saw similar soup events helping various Detroit communities, such as Mexicantown, and decided to found a similar group in her community.
“We thought it was such a cool model, and we were looking for ways to fund the rehab of Spaulding Court,” she said.
The group that accumulates the most votes gets a piece of the door admission that can be used to kick-start their project. The start-up funds can range from $300 to $500.
When Soup at Spaulding began a year and a half ago, Lewis cooked the soup in her apartment. She would have to carry the giant pot of hot soup down from the top of her apartment flat down to the city streets.
This summer, Soup at Spaulding will be moved outside because of steadily growing attendance.
“The best part is that it’s not just about funding things in Spaulding Court but funding things in our community,” Lewis said.
She said her favorite winning project involved restoring park benches that were removed.
“There are people who live in houses, there are people who live on the street, but either way they are like our community,” Lewis said, “and we want to make this a nice place for them.”