Join us to participate in the upcoming 2019 City:One Challenge. 

Request to partner

I am an award-winning grant writer for community development, community-led and managed initiatives in this impact area.

Photo of Alina J Johnson

Written by

As a longtime resident, and having participated in several community meetings over the years, there are a few that stand out. Let's discuss and get it on paper...I have several ideas!

How will your solution benefit residents, workers, or visitors in the Michigan Central Station impact area? (1,000 characters)

One idea was a hub transportation station to allow parents of multi-age children to get to work on time and the kids to get to and from school.

Describe your solution's stage of development

  • Initial Design - you are still exploring the idea and have not tested it with users

Insights from previous testing (500 characters)

The idea seemed to be readily acceptable but is not the only option. Of course, those with children more closely empathized with this idea but many families exist: those with no children but still need to get to and from (work/school/religious ceremonies/grocery shopping/social events) in a timely manner. The basic idea, a transportation hub, can be retrofit to the needs of the communities being served. Our community includes Hubbard-Richard, N. Corktown, and yes, Corktown

Tell us about your team or organization (500 characters)

I can work with anyone: ready and willing to partner with the right organization!

Size of your team or organization

  • I am submitting as an individual

Are you submitting as a student team?

  • No

Are you submitting as a team from the Impact Area?

  • Yes

Funding Request

  • $200,000

Rough Budget (500 characters)

I requested the full amount to show seriousness in needing to account for a physical mode of transportation, extensive surveying of ideas for implementation, hiring of staff to survey/outreach/partner, ongoing discussions for input, any technical needs (up to and including laptops), marketing, and operations/staffing from community residents. If any idea is implemented, we want to be able to do it right the first time so that it becomes self-sustaining.

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

1. Extensive surveying in a variety of media (phone, email lists, social media, advertising signage at key targeted places throughout the community where people gather) to determine concentration of needs - seniors, youth, families, single people, and couples; 2. Determine technical requirements to implement a final solution, with the most probability of success, based on community input; 3. Hire appropriate staffing, ranging from volunteers to drivers, to professional staff to manage operations, and use in-kind donations, where necessary and available...partner with others!; 4. Listen to and actively engage with partners to present a united front and to give each a competitive advantage as these ideas can be managed in modules, with each one fully compartmentalized with a single vision. Again, I am willing to partner with any organization ready to get solutions in pkace for implementation.

Describe how you would measure the success of your pilot (1000 characters)

Develop planned targets and document success. Projects should be iterative and able to adapt quickly should one idea or aspect change, so that another should be able to quickly and seamlessly take its place. This is traditionally thought of as quantitative, but there are qualitative methodologies that bring visions and interest and a more complete analysis towards future efforts and planning efforts.

Sustainability Plan (500 characters)

If the ideas were implemented, it is quite likely that residents and business owners would be active participants and help to manage and subsidize a community-led effort(s) to revolutionize community transportation modes. These ideas could serve as a national model, bringing other communities the ideas of the greatest minds of Detroit...with a little initial up-front funding from Ford, to do so. The Motor City and Ford would once again be at the forefront of Smart Mobility solutions!


Join the conversation:

Photo of Stephanie Morris

Good Morning Alina:

I have 2 proposals - (1) I want healthy/fresh food choices for my family, but I can't get there, because I don't have the financials means and (2) I want to work, but I can't get there, because I don't have the financial means or other obstacles that himder me from getting employment.

I would love to meet you and see if we can possibly partnership. I am considering starting a non-profit and seeking grants to move my platform.

Your thoughts and ideas would be appreciated. Please check out my website -

Thanks - have a good day - Stephanie Morris

Photo of Alina J Johnson

Hi Stephanie

I would love to meet with you to discuss, as I did some research a few years back on the food/agriculture industry with the Detroit Regional Chamber and I know they have amassed a great collection of resources. I can share all of this with you so please keep in touch!

Stephanie, today I am submitting my application for the challenge grant (due today), so although it's too late to work with me on this, we can work on your idea!

Do you have my email?

Photo of Stephanie Morris

Good Morning Alina:

Sounds good - my email is - - when you are done with your application, I would love for you to check out my website -

Good luck in the challenge.

Photo of Alina J Johnson

Hi Stephanie

Thanks again - I did check your website and this service is awesome! Just what Detroit communities need.

We are looking for partners to achieve our goals so please check your email and looking forward to speaking or even meeting you in person!

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