City of Detroit seeks faith-based & non-profit partners to add up to 30 summer activity centers

  • City issues Request for Proposals for Summer 2020
  • Summer curriculums will include literacy, athletics, science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) programming and meals from June to August.
  • Selected applicants will receive a one-time $20,000 grant for program related capital improvements.
  • Program will be completely free to residents.


DETROIT – In an effort to expand summer recreational activities for Detroit youth, the City is seeking to partner with local places of worship and other non-profit organizations to create approximately up to 30 free Summer Activity Centers next year.   


The City today issued a request for proposals seeking partners that have the appropriate facilities to host up to 60 youth each in groups of twenty where youth can take part in a range of programming, including literacy, athletics, science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics between June and August of 2020.    The RFP sets a range of 10-30 centers, however officials expect at least twenty.


The effort will bring to more than 50 the number of city operated or supported centers available to youth during the summer.  The city and its partners currently operate 19 recreation centers, as well as 12 Summer Fun Centers operated through a partnership with the Detroit Public Schools District.  In 2015, the city had only 11 centers after closing Kemeny Recreation center, which reopened last year after being fully renovated.


Summer activity centers will serve children ages six to fourteen.  They will be created in the existing structures of Detroit-based organizations not currently operating summer programming and provide STEAM, athletic and literature curriculum.  Youth also will receive two meals as well as a snack each day.

“While we have significantly expanded our summer recreation opportunities in recent years through our partnerships, we still need to do a better job of providing summer recreation opportunities for our children that are close to their homes, said Mayor Mike Duggan.  “These 20-30 additional centers would have the potential to provide recreational opportunities every day to more than 1,000 Detroit youths.”



How it will work

The City will provide a center supervisor and up to four play leaders.  A hiring fair will be held at selected host sites to ensure that Detroit residents in the community have access to the open positions.


Prior to the general enrollment period, there will be a 30-day pre-enrollment period for youth affiliated with the host site to provide youth the opportunity to attend the program closest to their home. Students enrolled in the program have the opportunity to attend the program closest to their residence at no charge.


The City is offering a one-time $20,000 grant for program related capital improvements once an organization has been approved for participation. The City of Detroit encourages the use of Detroit based businesses and or Detroit residents to perform the capital improvements.


Requirements for becoming a host activity center

Organizations interested in being a host activity center must be able to accommodate 30-60 children, Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. June 15 – August 24, 2020.


Additional criteria to qualify include:

  • Three indoor activity spaces suitable for 20 youth concurrently
  • One large indoor space available for participant meals
  • One large indoor space for activities and athletic programming
  • One outdoor space for active play and athletic activities
  • Kitchen with working sink and refrigerator for 90 meals
  • Tables and chairs for all participants
  • A minimum of 35 sq. ft. per pupil
  • Inaccessible indoor and outdoor space for the general public during programming hours
  • Daily janitorial services and minimal building maintenance


While any Detroit-based non-profit or faith-based organization is invited to apply to host programming, preference will be given to locations in close proximity to high youth densities. Multiple organizations can apply together to operate the program jointly at one facility.   Prospective applicants who do not have all of the required amenities are encouraged to partner on their proposal with other nearby churches and non-profits that have them.


RFP Workshop Oct. 7 for interested parties

Organizations are encouraged to attend the request for proposal (RFP) workshop being held in at 4:00 p.m on October 7 at the Northwest Activities Center to learn more and have questions answered including those related to licensing.  Awards will be granted in December 2019.


Proposals can be viewed and downloaded now via this link. You can also access the RFP as a PDF here