National research has shown that between 45- 51% of gang members are of Hispanic descent with almost 33% under the age of 18. In a 2010 survey conducted by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 80% of student respondents indicated that gangs were present within their schools. Unfortunately, this creates opportunities for gang recruitment at public educational facilities from as early as elementary school. This trend is more likely to occur in high-poverty schools, where over 35% of Latino American students receive their education, compared to only 4% for white students.

In 1997, Angela Reyes decided to take action against the growing tide of youth gang-related deaths in the southwest Detroit community and formed the Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation (DHDC). She has since grown it into a community-based organization offering 14 programs focused on youth violence prevention, gang retirement and reintegration, family services, and continuing education within the Latino community of southwest Detroit.

The Challenge

While DHDC has an incredible 19-year record of service and impact, opportunities exist to further strengthen the organization as it moves forward. Mission Throttle was inspired by the potential to bring a market-based lens to DHDC’s programming and to collaborate on developing independent and diversified revenue streams.

How We Helped

Analysis of DHDC’s model, operations, impact, funding structure, and management team confirmed that opportunities exist to help DHDC become more operationally and financially sustainable. Mission Throttle’s findings highlighted the existence of opportunities around funding and capacity to serve, as well as a need for more robust systems including data management, accounting, and process improvements to inform data-driven decision-making. Additionally, Mission Throttle recommended impact metrics can be better utilized to ensure programs are resulting in desired outputs and outcomes. Mission Throttle presented actionable plans in line with project objectives for DHDC to follow in order to accelerate its impact.

Our Impact

Mission Throttle identified 16 different social enterprise models DHDC can pursue and house within its existing space for additional earned revenue. Of these, DHDC has selected four models that it will analyze for strategic fit, marketability, profitability, and impact. With these findings, DHDC will look to develop earned revenue sources to increase financial sustainability and programmatic resiliency.

“The market based approach and the study that went into the recommendations were very well done and give me a fresh sense of hope and enthusiasm for the work at DHDC and what it could become at the next level. The level of business acumen applied to this report and the examples shown gave me a much better feel. Now I am excited to see how these could be applied.”

— Joaquin Nuno-Whelan, Board Chair, Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation