Moving to Detroit
The other big question mark for young people putting down roots in the city is education: Sokoly admits that if he were married and thinking about having children, sending them to the struggling Detroit Public Schools "would be a long, hard thought."
Craig Regester had that long thought--and left. The director of U-M's Semester in Detroit program, Regester lived in southwest Detroit for eighteen years. But last year, he and his wife made the painful decision to move to suburban Berkley.
Regester explains that they wanted their two kids to stay in public schools but in ones better than they were attending. "I loved my neighborhood," he tells me. "It was truly diverse." But he loved his kids more.
For many Detroiters, moving isn't an option. Longtime residents, black and white, have seen the city erode around them for decades as old neighbors die or move away. Many young people either have no jobs or wait for the bus to take them to minimum-wage jobs in the suburbs. For them, the green shoots along Woodward are little more than a distant rumor.