Beyond Homes Around a Mosque: Muslim-Led Community Development in a Major U.S. City


  • Hazel Gómez



Dream of Detroit, community development, housing justice, Muslim-led initiative, faith-inspired, gentrification, equitable development, urban neighborhood


This paper examines Dream of Detroit (DREAM), a Muslim-led community development initiative, and its impact on Muslim community-building and Detroit's Dexter-Linwood neighborhood. DREAM addresses housing, economic development, sustainability, and cultural preservation. Born from diverse community efforts, it aims to combat housing insecurity, blight, poverty, and racial disparities.

DREAM has successfully renovated vacant homes, engaged local youth, and empowered residents to shape their community's future. While facing funding challenges and gentrification risks, DREAM's commitment to equity, inclusion, and partnerships positions it as a model for sustainable community development rooted in Islamic values.

This case study showcases the power of faith-inspired, community-driven approaches and comprehensive strategies in revitalizing marginalized neighborhoods. It offers insights for practitioners, policymakers, and researchers seeking effective community development models in diverse urban settings.