I live in Downtown, been here for around 4 years now. I haven't had any problems save for aggressive panhandling and the occasional drunk metro area idiots.
This isn't meant to say that Detroit is safe. It is most definitely not. While certain areas like downtown, midtown, palmer woods, and corktown (to name only a few) are considered fairly safe, on average they still have a higher rate of crime.
The real issue is the high crime areas, which unfortunately are too numerous to list. It's hard to describe this to people who haven't been around Detroit, but the city remains highly segregated; racially, economically, and socially.
When people talk about things improving in Detroit, what they usually mean is that it's improving for some people who live in specific neighborhoods (less black), but not at all for the rest of the city. (mostly black)
If you have any specific questions, I'll try to answer them. Please keep in mind that the last survey from /r/detroitpegged the average redditor in the sub as a white male living outside the city proper. This isn't a great pool to draw from when asking about a typical Detroit experience.
The intersection of Mack Avenue and Helen Street is listed as the second most dangerous neighborhood in the country. It is also very close to the place I had an internship. Quite a place to work 9 to 5. I never saw any crime, but a coworker who lived in the area said the house kiddy corner to her was leveled by assault rifles.
When i lived there our neighborhood literally had like 3 people living in it including us. The rest of the houses were abandoned or burnt down. We would hear gunshots pretty regularly. We finally decided to leave when a registered sex offender moved in across the street and someone threw a rock through our window.
Not a fan of this place at all. There has never really been a time I was visiting here for anything good. Let's say I almost got murdered here twice, the place is scary and post apocalyptic is the best way I can describe it. I am happy I will never have to set foot in this city ever again. If your white not to be racist stay as far away from here as you can and if you ever do end up here for any reason not of your own choosing I hope and pray you live to see tomorrow. That is how bad and scary this place is.
I am from Detroit. It is horrible, but it is also one of the most beautiful cities I have seen. The buildings there are incredible. There are huge neighborhoods of magnificent old mansions crumbling to the ground. Sections of cities completely abandoned. It is still nice in areas around the sports arenas, Cobo Center, Hart Plaza, and the casinos. I have seen houses near burn to the ground because the fire department cannot get there in time. People think Detroit is just some armpit, it is a majestic city with an amazing past.
Detroit is steeped in history, culture and innovation. This Michigan metro area, which borders Canada, was settled by French explorers whose presence is still reflected in the often mispronounced street names that remain: Livernois, Gratiot and Dequindre. Nearly 200 years later, in 1908, at the corner of Piquette and Beaubien, Henry Ford would roll out his Model T for mass production. And just like that, the Motor City was born.
Detroit grew quickly into a bustling metropolis of nearly 2 million inhabitants in the years before World War II. But the loss of industry, issues with crime and economic woes, including Detroit's declaration of Chapter 9 bankruptcy in 2013, have contributed to a significant population decline. In 2012, just over 700,000 people remained in the city proper. By 2016 there were about 30,000 fewer people. Due to the mass exodus of city dwellers to suburban communities, there are numerous neighborhoods now characterized by vacant buildings.
Without big-box grocery stores or a dependable mass transit system, living in central Detroit is further complicated. But the local government is trying to remedy this. In 2013, Whole Foods opened a store in Detroit's midtown several years after the last major grocery store closed. Locals are hopeful that others will follow suit. The city is helping residents travel more easily with the M-1 Rail, which is a new streetcar that runs down Woodward, the city's main thoroughfare, from the suburbs. Detroit currently sits on the edge of a renaissance. Small businesses are once again setting up shop in the area, and new restaurants are luring suburbanites back to Motown.
With the exception of two years, I have lived in Detroit for 12 years. I have had challenges, but they were relatively trivial in the long run. I am married and have a 9 year old, 3 year old, and 1 year old.
Detroit is a city that needs help, and where you can feel like you are making a positive impact.
I see a lot of old comments on here that aren't as applicable now since the resurgence Detroit has and is going through these past few years. It's a really exciting time to be in Detroit and are we where we want to be yet? Nope not yet but we are definitely heading there. The life in downtown has change from night to day because of the investments companies are now pouring into the area. The outlying neighborhoods will slowly feel the effects of the investments getting poured into as it spills out slowly to any neighborhoods needing some TLC but it will take patience. I have friends and family who go down to Detroit on a regular basis and have also moved there in the past few years while the housing market in downtown is not as expensive as it will be in the years to come. The schooling districts are still in need of change but in order for prosperity to happen their needs to be jobs available for Detroiters within Detroit. Skill trade programs are being placed to make sure the workforce is there when the job appears. The food scene in Detroit is booming and has recently been placed in a ranking of best places to visit.
I was born in Detroit. I was raised in Alaska. Detroit can't be worse than Fairbanks! It has been awhile since I've been there (2010). I live in a mobile home park that was bought by a company out of Farmington Hills, Michigan which I understand is in the Detroit area. This place is beginning to look like Detroit--things are run down and broken. Once was a nice place. OK I should write about the City of Detroit. Nice airport. I would like to go there and see a Tiger game but I am scared to go there so I don't know. As I recall it had to be the friendliest city I've been in.
Very nice article! I grew up at Grand River and Evergreen and I really miss the Detroit of my youth. Not the same businesses and same vibe, of course, but just living in a city that felt alive. What I’ve been seeing happening since the Super Bowl came here in 2005 has been nothing short of miraculous. None of us ever thought we’d see this in our lifetime. But, as for Michigan people not being “about the outdoors,” gosh, nobody appreciates outside more than people who live in four season places! We are outside much more than people in one or two season places. In summertime we spend as much time outside as possible. My joke is always “how do LA people know it’s nice outside? They look out the window!” It’s so easy to take for granted when it’s sunny and 82° outside every day. But for sure we don’t! I don’t even take off my sandals until my toes freeze!
I visited detroit. When I came to the usa from Australia for a holiday. I found it interesting, the people were lovely and loved the architecture. Such a great place.
Love Detroit, been here 7 years from canada, which is just 5 minutes away by the way. Great architecture, history, museums, riverfront, great eats, wonderful bikepaths , nice people and reasonable, very cool city now !
Leslye L. Jacobs
Hi Jennifer and all of you contemplating a move to Southeast Detroit. Michigan is a beautiful state and we have many fun things for singles and families to do here! I run a nonprofit in large US cities – yet friends and families lured me back here. I grew up – so i know many surrounding areas well and can help you identify what is best for you and your move.
I currently specialize in first time home owners and corporate relocations, so if any of you need help, I would love to work with you. I am a real estate agent out of the Keller Williams office in Commerce, Mi Feel free to calle me or email me at email@example.com.
Walter Blake Knoblock
Not as bad as you think. Detroit is an extremely segmented city and it is only exacerbated by the lack of transportation for people, be that either public or reliable roads and personal vehicles. For people who have a fulltime job, Detroit is a pretty good place to be. Even if you're only making $8 an hour, rent is so cheap in some (safe) parts, you can lead a pretty nice life, barring any prior debt. Routinely, I see neighborhoods that I'd live in renting out rooms for $250 a month, including all utilities. These are places that I'd be comfortable walking around at night, although keep in mind I'm a 6'6" athletic male and I say this fully knowing that bullets and knives don't care how tall you are.
I can't really comment on what it's like to live in the worse parts of the city, although I feel safe in saying that its not good. If you fall away from the 3 mile bubble that radiates from the center of downtown, it can get pretty dicey. I can comment on what it's like to live in the areas that have morphed into safer places with artists, single young professionals, families, and long-time residents, which are more or less the types of people you will run into.
I think Detroit is the same as any other big city in that, if you aren't where you shouldn't be, nothing bad will happen to you. There might be more space by square miles of areas you shouldn't be, but, because of the way the city has grown in recent years, you never really have any reason to walk/drive through there if you don't want to.
Most people here are just living there lives, tinged with that little bit of renegade you'd expect of someone who willingly moved to a city with such negative connotations. You're going to see a of people who work in food and are artists, a lot of people who work 75 hours a week for some Quicken Loans affiliated company, and a lot of people who are trying to start something for themselves in the most fertile economic climate they could find.
It's a good place to live. People are kind here. Nothing different from where you live.
As an international student, I was afraid to live here. I thought Detroit was a dangerous place, full of violence. However, the people living in Detroit has changed my mind.
Once outside the apartment building I live, I met my neighbor for the first time. She said hello to me, and she told me that she has been living in the apartment for more that 10 years.
"This is my car, that one belongs to my mother, she is 71 years old now." She was very proud, I could feel it.
"Nothing bad." She continued,"I like your music, I can hear it."
The music is from my roommate, I am happy that she likes it.
When I was walking outside, people I met were always smile to me. I do see a young person who drives a old fashion car buy a combo for a homeless old guy outside KFC. After giving the combo, he just left. Not like a so called hero waiting for the media. A true hero may not need to drive Bat-mobile, he can also drive a very old used-car.
In my mind, Detroit is not just a "place", or a "city", it's "people".
After living in New York, Atlanta, and random cities across the nation, Detroit is by far the best. It is beautiful, the people have immense soul, and the energy of revitalization is palpable. You're not going to get robbed/killed/carjacked unless you're in a place you shouldn't be - and even then - it's like any other city. The complications around politics and bankruptcy are disturbing but when you look at the city underneath all of the negative press, it will indeed rise - and is rising - as we speak.
"Speramus Meliora, Resurget Cineribus" - Detroit's motto -
"We hope for better things, it shall rise from the ashes"
E Terrell Walton
Good question! Not as bad as many of you think. Yes, the automotive industry has left us with not as many jobs as we would like and corruption by our political leaders in the past has hurt us bad too, but I see Detroit turning the corner now. After filing for bankruptcy, the only place one can go is up. We are starting to see a change. More and more options to shop, eat, and party are available downtown. More professionals are also moving here. The abandoned buildings that used to make Detroit a eyesore to the whole world have been slowly demolished. So, to fully answer your question…. We are on our way.
A major component to our comeback is fixing a crumbling school system, attracting more families to Detroit, and rebuilding the neighborhoods. Yes, it's truly awesome that young professionals moving here, but the real anchor that will solidify Detroit’s revival is seeing families move here and revitalize these neighborhoods again. We need families. It's slowly starting to happen, but not fast enough. I have talked to countless families and many of them stay here for a bit and move to the suburbs because the school system is really bad. When they finally stabilize the schools, I think that more families will rthink Detroit. Personally, I invite you to come see for yourself! There is plenty to do and places to see. I highly recommend it. I'm not a native Detroiter and I love Detroit. Give it a chance.
I have lived in Detroit all my life, and although there are challenges in the city, the people will continue to make Detroit a better place to live. There are many exciting changes taking place in downtown Detroit and the Midtown area, but the neighborhoods are getting left behind in all the development and change taking place downtown. The neighborhoods can't continue to be neglected because the city will not thrive without the unique neighborhoods and people who make Detroit great! I only have fond memories of Detroit. I love visiting Belle Isle, which just happens to be one of my favorite places to visit in Detroit. Michigan is surrounded by lakes, and just getting outdoors and enjoying and appreciating nature in Detroit can provide hours of activities. Detroit has had it's share of ups and downs, but Detroit is looking toward the future and not the past. It will be the future, our strength as a city, and the hard work of the people of, that will define Detroit's future.
Chances are if you aren't from the area (well, even if you are) you've heard less than welcoming commentary about Detroit. I'm here to inform you Detroit is making a comeback (hipsters collect)! The streets of Midtown are busier than they've been in decades. One of my favorite parts about Detroit is their lack of signs and abundance of paintings (AKA Graffiti) decorating the city with character. The city is beating bankruptcy and therefore doesn't carry the arrogant hustle and bustle of most cities. Detroit is humble, kind, and perseverant.
Detroit was once a beautiful city and is slowly making a come back. Detroit has very unique and rich architecture throughout the city. Some of the older Detroit streets are still paved with bricks which where made by hand in Flint, MI. Detroit is a beautiful place to live if you are a young adult who hasn't started and family nor has any plans to start one while living here. Detroit has been plagued with violence for the last 80 or so years. Detroit is a tough city to live in. I love Detroit because without it I wouldn't be the person that I am today. Detroit has some of the most unique entrepreneurs around! I am a product of Detroit. I am just one of the many roses growing through it's concreted cracks. I am Detroit!