ONCE A MENACE TO SOCIETY, MEET THE YOUNG BLACK MAN THAT WANTS TO USE VEGETATION AND RECREATION TO STOP VIOLENCE AND DESOLATION IN DETROIT
Phillip Sample, founder of RAHAM in Detroit
Phillip Sample, Visionary and Executive Director of the Saratoga Engagement and RAHAM Detroit Inc
The Saratoga Community, located in zip code 48205 in the city of Detroit, was once a flourishing and beautiful neighborhood. It was full of homes with manicured yards and businesses owned by people you knew. Children ran the streets from sunrise to sunset; fearless and carefree. "I was one of those children," says Phillip Sample. "This community deteriorated quickly to become one of the most violent and dangerous neighborhoods in the country, due to drugs and deviant youth via gangs and guns. For those reasons this once beautiful, peaceful, family oriented neighborhood was reduced to what it is today - which is one of the most blighted and desolate areas in the city of Detroit."
The passion and drive behind the Saratoga Engagement, comes from the Visionary and Executive Director, Mr. Phillip "UcciKhan" Sample, who was once one of the deviant youth that contributed in the destruction of this community. In 1994, in the endeavor to protect all the squalor and trash he held sacred, Phillip was involved in a shooting at the corner of Saratoga and Celestine, which is in the heart of the Saratoga Community, where a two-year old baby was shot and ultimately died.
"I was charged, tried and ultimately found not guilty regarding the child - but my conscious, to this very moment, holds me profoundly guilty," says Phillip. After serving 15 years for related charges, he has been free for 9 years and has been on a mission to aid in rebuilding and healing the community that he was a part of destroying. He feels it's his obligation to bring life to a community that is full of abandoned homes where families once lived, and vacant lots that are a result of a match that he once lit.
The Saratoga Engagement was birthed through RAHAM Detroit Inc (Response Able Hands And Minds) Inc. which is a non-profit organization established by Phillip, with the aid of some very talented hands and brilliant minds, in name, stems from the word Responsible, and simply articulates, if you can respond, you are responsible.
RAHAM Detroit, Inc. has a 3 Phase, 3 Year Plan to build in that very space; a place where community and learning can happen, a place to inspire the senses, an alternative to incarceration for our youth, a place for resources and opportunity - as well as clearing lots, beautifying lots, establishing gardens and areas of recreation and entertainment and culture. They will be teaching the youth enduring skills in all these fields of endeavor, that they may continue the process of strengthening family and community bonds, which will engender security and collective preservation; and provide opportunity for all members of the community.
In this effort, they need help from the community and surrounding areas with monetary donations, supplies, and volunteers. For more details, please visit and share www.crowdrise.com/the-saratoga-engagement