FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - The MADE Institute has been awarded more than $250,000 for the Justice Fund, which is an initiative of the Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan.
The founder of the institute calls it a wonderful gift.
"With this $300,000 gift we have been given. We are currently working on a major project called self made ventures," said Leon El-Alamin
MADE Institute in Flint is a nonprofit with a unique niche. They provide services to men and women who have been formerly incarcerated. El-Alamin said the grant is seed money for Self MADE Ventures.
"Last year, we were able to work with our local land bank and purchase a commercial building on Flint's north side," he said. "It's an old like retail plaza store that's been damaged and been sitting for a minute, and what we are seeking to do is run our job program and our skilled trades and begin to redevelop this building."
The total costs of the project is $2 million.
"So we are still fundraising and going after grants and things to see the full fulfillment of it to see the full renovation. But this (grant) is a huge start something that will get the first phase going," said El Alamin.
Among its many resources MADE Institute provides skilled trades training for returning citizens. Some of those graduates will have an opportunity to work on rehabbing the vacant building on Flint Park Boulevard.
"It's going to be a culture hub, business incubator that produces social enterprises. So we are going to be producing jobs, we are going to be providing, it will eventually be our north side headquarters," he said.
The building will also have office space.
"It will be a combination of things that will uplift the population that we serve, but the general population as a whole," said El- Alamin.
Construction is scheduled to bein in the spring.
MADE Institute was founded in 2015. El-Alamin said they have assisted more than 1,000 men and women rejoining society after incarceration.
The goal is to keep them from returning to prison. El Alamin said they have a 95% success rate.