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Living in Detroit

Housing Requirement

The majority of SiD students are from the metro Detroit area (a few each semester are from Detroit itself), so we often get the question "Can I live at home while I do the program?" Our answer to this question, barring extenuating circumstances, is no - living in Detroit and becoming a temporary resident is a pivotal aspect of Semester in Detroit. Even if you are from the city, you will have a very different experience living as an independent adult in the city as opposed to living at home with your family. By putting down roots for a semester, students from outside the city become more deeply invested in ways that don’t happen when they commute in and out of the city. Additionally, we find that living with your peers in the cohort provides opportunities for learning and growth that wouldn't be possible otherwise.

Housing Options for SiD Students:

Semester in Detroit helps coordinate housing for students participating in our program. There are generally two housing options:

  1. Cass Corridor Commons
    The Cass Corridor Commons, managed by the Eastern Michigan Environmental Action Council, is a hub of community activism located in a parsonage of an old church on Forest & Cass in Cass Corridor, Detroit. In addition to hosting many of our events and classes, the Cass Commons is home for 6-10 of our students each semester. The third floor apartment includes 5 bedrooms with sparse furnishings, one bathroom, a mid-sized kitchen, and a living room with several couches. Rent costs generally range from $300-$500/month, depending on whether the student chooses a single, double, or triple room.
  2. Dorms at Wayne State University 
    In past semesters, students not staying in the Cass Corridor Commons have rented rooms in unfurnished 2-room apartments at Wayne State's University Towers. Apartments include 2 bedrooms, a kitchen, living area, and bathroom. Rent costs range from $375-$650/month, depending on whether the student chooses a single or double room.

Engaging with the City

In the time since SiD started back in 2008, several areas of the city, including the Cass Corridor neighborhood in which SiD is rooted, now known more popularly as Midtown, have changed drastically.  While we want our students to develop comfort and familiarity with their new neighborhood, we also challenge students to develop a critical and questioning lens towards the forces that are changing Detroit today. In addition, we do our best to encourage students to get out of the “Midtown bubble”, whether that be through guided tours with Jamon Jordan’s Black Scroll History Network, events suggested by Marion’s weekly event update list, internships, or independent exploration.