Gary Damon Ringer

Gary Damon Ringer
Location: Detroit, Michigan Cohort Start Year: 2018 Project Topics: Behavioral and Mental Health, Built Environment/Housing/Planning, Community/Civic Engagement, Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Emergency Preparedness and Response, Environmental Justice, Health Care Access, Health Care Quality, Maternal and Infant Health, Public Policy, Public, Population and Community Health, Racial Justice, Social Sector/Non-Profit Populations Served: Adolescents (12-20 years), Adults (21-64 years), African-American/Black, At-Risk/Vulnerable Populations, Children (6-11 years), Children and Families, Drug/Alcohol/Tobacco Users, Homeless Populations, Low-Income Communities, Men's Health, Older Adults (65+), Urban Communities, Victims of Crime, Women's Health, Young Children (0-5 years)
Detroit Fire Department

Before his employment as a firefighter, Gary Ringer worked as a rough framer carpenter, building houses throughout suburban areas in Metro Detroit. The ability to compare vibrant versus volatile communities spurred the desire to become a catalyst for change in the city and community where he lives, works, and plays. The Culture of Health vision he plans to implement starts with a Housing First initiative to combat homelessness, mental health training, and support for First Responders, CPR/First Aid education, and enforcement of healthy home mandates for landlords.

STRATEGIC INITIATIVE: Refine the Joy Southfield Community Development Corporation with a Health Outcome Lens
With funding from invested partners, JSCDC will improve and restructure existing programs to be more intentional. Historically, we’ve accepted random home repair request and prioritized those based on funding and volunteer availability. Also, most individuals clearly identified several common factors inhibiting their access to resources for said repairs; lack of funds, elderly, and health related illness. “To properly understand the correlation between housing and health, reliable and valid instruments for assessing the physical environment are required.” We plan to conduct resident survey’s through a health home assessment information checklist, prioritize our most vulnerable residents for intentional home repairs, and then refer clients to our HHRx program which includes a full home inspection along with a Community Health Worker follow-up for two years. A new partnership with Level One Bank will leverage financial resources for additional repairs.

On June 12, 2000, Gary Damon Ringer entered the Detroit Fire Department’s Fire Training Academy. Over eighteen years of experience as a professional Firefighter instilled emotional, mental, and physical strength to tackle virtually any task at hand. Unfortunately, scars of abandonment, blight, and fire-damaged properties etch that landscape. Having a bird’s eye view of the systematic deterioration of not only a neighborhood, but also an entire city engulfed by an eternal flame whose unparalleled extinguishment is CHANGE! While working as a firefighter, Gary concurrently maintained employment as an emergency medical technician and CPR first aid instructor. This helped prepare him to better observe the numerous health inequities faced by residents in the Cody Rouge community and all of Detroit.


Click here to watch Gary’s Legacy Project video.