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Activist harnesses community service

Wednesday, October 29, 2008 4:10 PM | Michael Mowers

Desiree Cooper, Detroit Free Press, October 29, 2008
(A profile of Ava Tinsley and community service)

A resident of Detroit's historic Boston-Edison district, Tinsley lives in a house that has been in her family for three generations. She wants the neighborhood to be like it was when she was a kid and used to walk long blocks to Sanders for a Bumpy Cake. Back then, all the neighbors watched out for the kids, and the children had few worries....

Tinsley went through the Department of Corrections to link people sentenced to community service with neighborhood clean-up. The crews started in her neighborhood, but now they work all over the city.

"Now I'm out six days a week with the community service workers," said Tinsley. "I make sure the neighbors support them with water and meals if they work more than four hours."

In September, the Detroit Local Initiatives Support Corp., a neighborhood development nonprofit, recognized Tinsley for her efforts. She belongs to more than a dozen community organizations.

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