True Life: I’m Saving Detroit is a serious look into the hardships and struggles that a majority of Detroiters battle constantly. In this episode MTV explores:

When the housing crisis hit Detroit, many residents left in fear of the rising mortgages. With the option to take flight or fight, three young women stay and try to save their city.”

The thousands of abandoned buildings and vacant homes that the national media has exploited over and over again via images known as ‘ruin porn’ are much more than just that. These ‘eyesores’ are breeding grounds for crime; drug-dealing, violence and even assault. This much anticipated MTV documentary focused on three female high-schoolers living in different areas in Detroit fighting for their neighborhoods and their school communities. With apprehension from their families, they push on through challenges for positive change in a city that doesn’t function properly.  Due to the financial crisis, it cannot afford to respond to these kinds of  real, everyday problems that exist in Detroit.

This documentary show some common problems that the people in this American city face. It’s hard to watch, especially for someone who hasn’t been to the city. When the women in the documentary start to show the cameramen where their houses and schools are in relation to the abandoned houses and debris, the conditions these young people come to accept as ‘the daily norm’ becomes apparent. They try to fight and rally people in their neighborhoods to care and do something about it with them, and struggle to do so. A group of volunteers called Motor City Blight Busters eventually is called to help tear down the worst properties featured in the documentary. Bringing awareness to these issues is critical to focus the larger community on how to help and make a difference.

And here is why Detroit is a tale of two cities; as much as there is of blight and crime, there are so many people who have stood their ground, and fight every day to make a difference against what seemingly can’t get any worse.

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UPDATE: Alyssia from True Life: I’m Saving Detroit is raising money to go to college with an online fundraiser.