The Saratoga Engagement

The Saratoga Engagement

(Detroit, MI October 2018) – 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 Mr. Sample. 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 Sample, 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. We 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 we need help from our community and surrounding areas with donations of money, supplies, and volunteers. For more details please go to and share www.crowdrise.com/the-saratoga-engagement You can also contact Phillip Sample at (313) 424-2652. And please visit www.rahamdetroit.org

Who Will Benefit From The Saratoga Engagement

The Environment: the Saratoga Community, though still the home of several long- time home owners and new members, has become one of the most blighted areas in the city of Detroit; and therefore, one of the most crime infested areas in the city.

If people and things reflect their environment, it would only make sense to believe that in order to improve upon people and things, one must improve upon the environment in which the people and things are in.

The Saratoga Engagement will benefit the environment by balancing, and ultimately tipping the scale of blight and despair with life, color and hope. We believe via life, color and hope; the birds will sing louder, the wind will blow purer and the people will aspire to positive action.

 

The Community: The Saratoga Engagement is far more than a park. It is a space wherein community can truly happen. Neighbors don’t trust nor look out for one the other as they don’t know one the other, nor feel as if they have a mutual investment in where they are.

The Engagement will allow the people to Engage and break bread, watch a movie together and build together, and thereby grow together irrespective of color, class, creed, sexual orientation and/or background.

  

The Youth: The Saratoga Engagement will provide the youth with a clean, supervised and safe space to stretch out and vent. It will also provide them with a space in which to plant a seed and watch it evolve. A space to talk and express themselves; and a space that inspires creativity and stimulates ideas.

 

The Elders: The Saratoga Engagement will reestablish the Elders hope in Community. It will further provide them with a track on which to stroll and/or a bench on which to sit and read a book or play a game of chess. A space in which to have a book club or play bingo. A Garden in which to breath and do things.

 

Formerly Incarcerated Persons: will benefit from the Engagement by having somewhere to go to ascertain aid in reacclimating to society in areas of employment, housing and in general business; such as obtaining identification and creating and/or following an already established plan of action. It will further provide them with a platform from which to develop and launch ideas; obtain skills and be productive in a progressive environment.