Detroit’s economic renaissance has been building for decades, led by creative public, private and nonprofit entities that believe in the city’s potential to create a new, vibrant local economy. Expansion of education opportunities has played a major role in the city’s rebirth, and Green Living Science (GLS) is working to ensure that environmental and STEAM-centered education programs are creating the city’s science leaders of the future.
GLS is a nonprofit founded in 2011 to address issues of waste and recycling in Detroit. Working in partnership with Detroit schools, the organization’s programs are educational initiatives designed to foster behavioral change and create a sustainable society. Since its launch, GLS has reached over 200,000 students and taught more than 40 schools about recycling programs.
During COVID, GLS continued to provide youth learning in a virtual format and offered learning opportunities beyond the classroom, such as a corporate sustainability education and certification program for businesses in Southeast Michigan.
COVID restrictions forced GLS to modify its service delivery model, significantly changing the way the organization interacts with the community. Even though the organization continued most of its programming, revenue and funding did not keep up with the demand for services. As a small organization, GLS knew it needed help in the form of a PPP loan.
After a referral from the Kresge Foundation, GLS completed a PPP Second Draw loan application from CRF. Executive Director Natalie Jakub experienced a simple and straightforward process and received immediate support from CRF when she had questions about filling out the application.
For Jakub PPP financing has been a useful tool for keeping programs running and continuing to fulfill the organization’s mission of fighting for climate justice in Detroit. Without PPP funding, GLS may have been forced to close its doors. In March 2021, Jakub was able to hire an additional employee to help GLS turn the corner on the path toward economic recovery.