Early in the documentary “Life in Osborn,” Marcell Copeland tells how the MAN Network community policing organization patrols Osborn to make the streets safer. Since February, he has been using his MAN experience to neighboring Denby as the Six Day Project manager for Life Remodeled.
His task is daunting, overseeing more than a dozen task force teams that will lead 10,000 students, community, business and church volunteers in tackling blight on 300 blocks, remodeling more than 50 homes and completing a $1.5 million makeover of Skinner Park during the first six days of August.
Beginning in June, professional contractors donating hundreds of thousands of dollars of material and labor will take on the biggest jobs in transforming Skinner Park — a vision cast by 2013 Denby High School graduates as their capstone project – into a community gathering place.
Marcell says he sees a big difference in the Denby Project from last year’s Life Remodeled effort in Osborn, where oversight and planning was concentrated among a few leaders.
“This year, with an extra administrator, work is being distributed among more people,” Marcell said. “Most importantly, I believe the community is in the forefront. It is the community organizations that are really driving this project.”
Even so, Marcell has had a few nights where sleep hasn’t come easily. “I have visions of a million people coming at one time. How will I manage all this? I hope I don’t fall on my face. But through Jesus, I can do all things.”