Neighborhood Legal Services Michigan Partners with Habitat for Humanity Detroit and Tooles Contracting Group, LLC to Assist DPS Parents with Affordable Housing in the Morningside Development

Neighborhood Legal Services Michigan is proud to announce a partnership with Habitat for Humanity Detroit and Tooles Contracting Group, LLC to assist Detroit Public Schools parents in securing affordable housing on the city’s east side.

Using parental involvement workshops and the “Attendance is Everyone’s Business” Initiative, Neighborhood Legal Services will enhance its work to stem truancy while assisting in stabilizing communities through Habitat Detroit’s affordable housing solutions.  Tooles Contracting Group, under the direction of its owner Damon Tooles, is partnering with both NLSM and Habitat Detroit to sponsor a home for a DPS family in need.

Neighborhood Legal Services Michigan, who is a current vendor with Detroit Public Schools, will assist Habitat for Humanity Detroit in selecting a Family Partner for the Tooles sponsored home.  Three additional families meeting Habitat Detroit’s qualification for home ownership will have their utilities paid by Neighborhood Legal Services for the first year of occupancy in the their new home.

Through this partnership, Habitat Detroit and Neighborhood Legal Services Michigan will join together in their efforts for community revitalization.  The main purpose of the partnership is to establish a mutually exclusive partnership with Habitat Detroit to assist NLSM and the AIEB collaborative in stemming the tide of truancy by engaging Detroit Public School parents to commit to a minimal 92% attendance objective. In a collective effort, NLSM and Habitat Detroit will present an opportunity for Home Ownership through the Habitat program, by engaging parents to discontinue living in sub-standard housing and continual renting. This collaboration will engage the parents in a 7-month preparation process that will include pre-qualification, financial literacy, parenting workshops, and 50 hours of “paying it forward” community service hours.

Karen Ridgeway, Superintendent of Academics for DPS, said that attendance has been a major focus in the district this year.

“Students are expected to be in school beginning on the first day of school, and they are expected to attend school every day and stay in school for the entire school day,” Ridgeway said. “Regular daily attendance in school is extremely important. Research indicates that students who attend school regularly are more likely to be successful during their school years. Regular daily attendance helps students develop good habits of being to school on time, builds a sense of responsibility for completing assignments and allows the instruction they receive to be delivered without interruption. ”

DPS thanked its partners for reiterating and supporting the district’s focus on attendance.

The formal announcement of the partnership took place on April 26, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. at Ronald Brown Academy, under the direction of Principal Damon Sewell, Tooles Contracting Group, Habitat for Humanity Detroit and Neighborhood Legal Services Michigan. 


About Habitat for Humanity Detroit

Habitat for Humanity Detroit is an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, a nonprofit ecumenical Christian housing ministry providing decent, safe and affordable housing to low-income families in Detroit. Since 1986, the Detroit affiliate has rehabilitated and/or built new houses in partnership with more than 300 families. Financial support, gift-in-kind donations and volunteer labor allow Habitat for Humanity to continue building affordable homes with those in need of improved housing. For more information please visit or call (313) 521-6691.



About Neighborhood Legal Services Michigan

Develops and implements programs that address pressing community needs.  For nearly 40 years we have established a reputable history of providing effective legal advocacy and prevention education services for a large, multicultural target population: youth, seniors, victims of crime, persons with disabilities, and other under resourced adults and children. NLSM specializes in piloting innovative justice initiatives, educational programming and support services.  We are well versed in providing services to juveniles and have established a strong relationship within the Detroit Public Schools. We have received tremendous support for our Youth Enrichment Programs within the Detroit Public Schools from administrators, parent groups working with the schools, and staff. In fact, we now provide services to parents as well. NLSM has a proven track record of professional service, successful collaborations with other community stakeholders, our knowledge of the target population, and experience delivering these types of services.  For more information contact Aaron Hopson at  or call 313-874-5820, ext 2230.

About Tooles Contracting Group

Founded in 2006, Tooles Contracting Group is a Minority Business Enterprise headquartered in downtown Detroit’s Guardian Building.  Since its inception, Tooles has become one of the City’s most respected construction companies by providing its expertise to a variety of clients throughout the United States, while remaining committed to being a responsible corporate citizen through its local community service projects.  With the Detroit Public Schools as one of its valued clients, Tooles is proud to have successfully completed numerous DPS projects and is scheduled to complete the new East English Village Preparatory Academy, a 221,000 square foot facility that will accommodate up to 1,200 students, when it opens in 2012.

Honored to participate in the Habitat for Humanity 25th Anniversary Blitz Build in 2011, Tooles sponsored the construction of a 1,200 square foot home made possible through the generous donations of both skilled labor and materials from Tooles Contracting Group and the subcontractors currently working on the East English Village Preparatory Academy project.  For more information please visit or call (313) 221-8500.


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