Last night we were joined by Linda Smith, President of U Snap Bac, a non-profit operating in the City of Detroit for 38 years providing services to create healthy neighborhoods, advance racial equity, increase housing stability, and affordable homeownership. Linda has been part of the organization since June 10th, 1995, and has been the president of U Snap Bac for 29 years.

Recently, U Snap Bac has established 64 units of affordable housing by Mac between Alter Road and Wayburn. Linda was part of the first affordable and sustainable home projects in Detroit. Starting with a marketing budget of $0, and through sole word of mouth, Linda has helped find buyers interested in their new housing units. U Snap Bac provided a year-long course for the new home buyers of those units that were once a week and helped these people manage their homes and stay residents, some for over 20 years.

On the west side of Alter Road, Linda partnered with the northeast guide center and helped them obtain the land from residents, to build new housing for families with mental illnesses who are now able to seek help right on the site. There are 10 units of affordable housing she has helped attain land behind for right behind the Rite Aid on Alter. One of U Snap Bac’s missions is to work with families purchasing a home for the first time, or people who have never owned a home for longer than three years, to get a grant of $25,000. They also help find all sorts of resources to keep families in their homes. The organization is also launching a home repair grant, along with a senior citizens program help that's helped 25 seniors get up to $2,000 in grants to help them improve the conditions of their homes. 

U Snap Bac invites speakers and volunteers from all over to help residents with everything from wealth management, to home ownership, and estate planning. Many people in Detroit are living in homes left to them by their parents, but these homes are owned by the land bank. Linda has tried to help these people become homeowners. Instead of telling these people what they need to change about their house, her new approach is to show them ways that are safer and healthier, taking a step back and not assuming that she has all the answers. 

Word of mouth is their main type of communication, but they have just launched a hotline for people to call who are looking for resources to help them. Rotary can help by volunteering, from distributing food on Saturdays to coming in to speak and give advice on wealth management and homeownership at their office.