While riding my bike through a far eastside Detroit neighborhood, I came across an interesting office. It wasn’t the typical office where employees may be seen answering phones, meeting with clients in a conference room or sitting at desks busily at work staring into a glowing computer screen. From what I could tell, this particular place had none of that. In fact, the spray painted name on the outside of building read “the office”. I’m not sure what this office is though.
Based on the variety of spray painted words and names found on the weather-beaten, run down commercial building, and on an adjacent garage, it almost appears to be some type of counseling center. Many of the words seem to be names of people with dates right after them. Based on the RIP tombstone crudely painted on one of the walls near the names, I would assume they are individuals that have died. Also on the building, was a makeshift spray painted sign with directions to Grosse Pointe, Downtown (Detroit), the river and to I-94.
In addition to the many spray painted messages and names found on the exterior of the one-story building, there is also a large section where many color photos have been posted. Most of the ones I saw were of kids and teens. Perhaps they play on a community sports team, are part of a church group or merely from the neighborhood and have been counseled in some way at this office. It could also be a place for mentoring young people, teaching them the right things to do in life. It’s hard to tell what this curious place’s mission was.
Whatever this may be, near the corner of Freud and Clairpointe streets, it appears those involved are trying to make a difference for those living in that old, tattered Detroit neighborhood.