Cass Community UMC
11850 Woodrow Wilson
Detroit, MI 48201
At Cass, the Holy Spirit invites all in. Old tires dropped off in empty lots are sought after because this community sees purpose and value in the discarded. They know that these are not simply old tires but treasures ready to give new life by creating employment and community. Yet people are sought after even more. Everyone has value, gifts, and something to offer. (Sandy Devoid, UM Christian Educator, “Ministering with the Poor at Cass Community UMC“)
Cass Community UMC in Detroit, Michigan and its affiliated not-for-profit, Cass Community Social Services, are located in post-industrial, economically stressed neighborhoods in Detroit. Cass includes many folks who lack a roof over their heads, along with people struggling with addiction and people coping with physical and mental disabilities–“three dimensional, flesh and blood” people with their own talents, hopes, and dreams (This Far By Faith, x). Cass offers welcoming and spirited worship at the church on Sunday mornings, and at “The World Building” on Wednesday evenings.
Cass offers many ministries and programs, including those relating to food, health, housing, and jobs, and other services and activities that foster a community-centered future of economic and spiritual growth for those living in inner city Detroit. These programs include:
- Cass Green Industries, a collection of environmentally-friendly, job-creating endeavors including Detroit Treads, a company that produces sandals made from illegally dumped tires. The company provides steady work for over a dozen people and produced 3,000 pairs of sandals in just five months. Green Industries as a whole employs over 85 people.
- Two Free Clinics on Wednesdays at the World Building and on Saturdays at the Activity Center, offer medical care and medications to patients free of charge.
- Street outreach, emergency shelters, transitional housing and permanent supportive housing for over 300 people through Cass Community Social Services.
- A food program that serves a million meals a year. Matt Prentice, a well-known and respected restaurateur, trains staff, supervises volunteers, and prepares food.
- An urban gardening program that began in 2010 comprised of garden beds and plots all over the Cass campus as well as a hydroponic greenhouse. The program grows more than 40 varieties of fruits and vegetables for use in Cass’ commercial kitchen.
- Cass Community Publishing House, which produces books on social change that traditional publishing companies might not embrace, including Rev. Faith Fowler’s memoir about her first twenty years at Cass, This Far by Faith.