Sunday, December 18, 2005

Pewabic, Southwest Solutions garner accolades

Congratulations to Pewabic Pottery and Southwest Solutions, two Detroit non-profit organizations recently recognized as Metro Detroit's "Best Managed Non-Profits" by Crain's Detroit Business.

Pewabic Pottery took the title for the contest's "under $3 million budget" category, while Southwest Solutions won the prize for the best managed non-profit in the "over $3 million budget" group.

Pewabic: making strides

Pewabic, a working pottery in Southeast Detroit started in 1903, not only doubled its visitorship in the last ten years - it increased the number of students in its ceramic arts instruction programs from 500 to 7300 during the previous eight.

Also during that same eight-year time period, Pewabic - which has operated as a non-profit since 1991 - beefed-up its real estate portfolio by acquiring three nearby properties.

The award-winning educational and retail establishment will renovate its current home, a two-story structure designed in the Tudor-Revival style, and use the newly-purchased properties, all located on Cadillac Boulevard, to expand. Its plan to modernize the pottery also include updating the parking lot and the landscape surrounding the property.

Southwest Solutions: a well-deserving organization

Southwest Solutions, parent company of Southwest Counseling and Development Services and Southwest Non Profit Housing Corporation, took the prize for Crain's best-managed non-profit in the "over $3 million budget" category, and it isn't difficult to see why.

The company, which has traditionally functioned as a behavioral healthcare provider, discovered in 1996 that many of the people it treated couldn't find affordable housing in the area. In addition to shedding light on this important and overlooked subject, Southwest did one better: it created a subsidiary organization, Southwest Housing Corporation (SWHC), to specifically address the issue.

Nearing its tenth year of operation, SWHC is responsible for creating 238 affordable housing units inside 14 properties. Aside from creating safe low-income housing for people in need, SWHC has also helped clean up the community of Southwest Detroit; many of its properties were burned-out and vacant prior to Southwest's actions.

Along with the integral services it provides in the behavioral medicine and low-income housing sectors, Southwest Solutions' contributions to Detroit also include the creation of a 20-member strategic team called Community Partnership of Southwest Detroit (CPSD).

CPSD, a strategic group created to ensure that community members receive the help they need when they need it, was formed when Southwest uncovered that its ability to treat youth in immediate need was limited to one out of every four. Today, because of the collaborative effort of two dozen agencies, high-risk youth are immediately treated based on the type of help they need.

Pewabic Pottery and Southwest Solutions will be honored at Crain's annual Newsmakers luncheon in February.

To learn more about either Pewabic Pottery or Southwest Solutions, please visit or

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