The City of Detroit was hard hit by the crack epidemic in the 1980’s. The crack epidemic literally destroyed families and communities. As a result of the crack epidemic, crime and violence grew rapidly especially among youth. The news was inundated with stories of young people being murdered at the hands of their peers. The stories weighed heavily on Deann’s heart especially following the murder of her best friend Tony in 1998.
As the years went on, the crime and violence worsened in the City of Detroit. Deann knew that something had to be done to save the youth. Deann began praying and seeking to find her purpose. In 2003, God gave her the vision for Circle of Friends Youth Foundation. She envisioned a center where the young people could participate in various programs and receive services such as mentoring, tutoring, violence and drug prevention, job training, mental health referrals, scholarships and more importantly LOVE.
It is Deann’s hope and desire that the programs and services offered will prevent the youth from getting involved in a life of crime and violence that would ultimately ruin their lives.
The name Circle of Friends Youth Foundation was named as a result of Deann’s friendship with Tony and four other classmates from Detroit’s Pershing High School. They were all friends with Tony individually and he introduced them to each other. The five of them became good friends. Tony was the link to the Circle of Friends.