The Front Porch takes an international trip...across the river to friendly Windsor, Ontario, Canada.



Providing educational and recreational activities and opportunities to youth in Detroit according to their interests, initiatives and needs since 1997.


We started as a part of a block club in 1995 with one volunteer, five kids, some books and origami. Now there is a group of over 50 kids, ranging in age from five to seventeen. The Front Porch extends to all these kids' friends and relatives who visit the neighborhood.


If children have a safe, informal place where they are free to express their opinions and explore their talents and skills, supported by adults, and to meet other kids in their neighborhood within a structure and develop a sense of safety and true neighborhood then we should see a change in the attitude of the children and eventually the whole neighborhood. It should not be just a place to live but an interdependent place in which to grow, communicate, learn and explore: a safe place from which to begin a life not bounded by a neighborhood, but rather a life rooted in a place that is a springboard to the world.


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Front Porch Supporters

Over the years, these include*:

When we say we use every available resource in the community, we mean it.

*in alphabetical order. Every single effort has made opportunity for the kids on the Porch.

Supporters Who Believed in The Porch and Now Rest in Peace

Charlie Rucker

Yale Miller

Gerald Hairston

Grandma Kubica

Grandma Belva

Grandma Buc

Grandma Juanita

Jim Monnig

Pat Moore

Doug Fraser

Dorthea and Clifford Harris

Roberta Fleischmann

JoAnn Sabin

Mr. Morreale

Front Porch Trustees

Jean Vortkamp, Grew up in Detroit, MIS

President, Treasurer and Director

Mary Jo Vortkamp, Grew up in Detroit, MLIS


Rocio Oxholm, Grew up in Detroit, JD

Board Member

Advisory Board

Charlene Firestone, Grew up in Detroit

Ron Cleveland, Grew up in Detroit

President, AWARE

Partners Through the Years

Kids’ Community Service Projects Through the Years

Organization Awards


Above is the WXYZ Channel 7 Story on us for the Detroit 2020 Award

The Front Porch: A Youth Program Based Solely on Relationships in Where Do the Children Play? by Elizabeth Goodenough. Published by Michigan Television in 2007.

Detroit Free Press Article by Desiree Cooper - Change, Peace Begin at Home on the Porch January 28, 2003

Hush Your Mouth Article by Erin Moran.