Harvey Ovshinsky

Open City

Open City, Detroit’s service organization to the free community, has begun operation. So far most activity has centered around people calling in problems to the switchboard.

Although many of the calls regard minor services like telling callers who is at the Grande or where they can read material on LSD, many calls have been of a more serious nature.

Synanon, the drug rehabilitation center, called and wanted to know what Open City could do for two addicts who didn’t want to get into a three-year Synanon program but still wanted to get off hard drugs.

The operators gave the callers the Medical Aid committee number and they arranged interviews for out-patient treatment at Lafayette Clinic for the addicts.

The Music therapist from Ypsilanti State Hospital called about getting some newer records for her patients. The people at the switchboard went to WABX and Mixed Media and were given over 250 albums.

The fame of the Open City project is spread to such a point that when two switchboard operators were visiting friends at a local hospital an orderly gave them a ten dollar donation when he found out where they were from.

The Housing and Job committees are revamping their approach to their tasks. Previously they had been going through the daily papers to find a list of housing and jobs available, but this has proved to be fairly unproductive. Both are in short supply at this time.

The committees hope to be able to rely on persons with jobs and housing available to call in to the Open City switchboard at 831–2770 and create a listing for persons calling in.

The Food Committee is ready to open a food store as soon as they can find a manager and a decent location. Meats, produce, vegetables and health foods will be the chief items sold there.

The Self-defense committee headed by Doug Larkins is looking for enough people to organize a Karate class in the spring. Interested people should call the switchboard.

The Street Theatre Troupe is so much in the streets these days they haven’t called Open City to tell us what they’ve been doing. Look for them at the WABX free concerts this spring.

LSD (Legal Self Defense) is about to join Open City. Those citizens busted and who don’t have money or feel their rights have been abridged should call the switchboard.

The Nursery School committee has already looked into purchasing a large house and Jane Forest still wants to hear from interested parents.

The Free University at Wayne will be an extension of the school at U of D. Classes in the Warren-Forest area should start within a month. Frank Lucatelli is still in final negotiations with University officials and various other people about where the classes will be held.

The biggest news for Open City is about a benefit that’s going to be held at the old Studio 1 (Livernois at Davison ) Tuesday, April 1st.

The benefit will start at 8:30 p.m. and will be headlined by Shirley Clark’s brilliant film “Portrait of Jason” and the animation classic “Lapis.” The entire evening will be a mixed media mind blast with light shows, music and live drama.

Tickets are $3.50 and are available in advance at Mixed Media (Cass at Palmer), Full Circle Record Store (4860 Cass), the Gas Company (290 W. Ten Mile Rd., Royal Oak), The Other Place (17346 Lahser Rd. at Grand River) and through the mail at the Open City office, 4726 Third St., Detroit, MI 48201.

All tickets sold at these locations will go to financing the switchboard in April and May. Tickets sold at the door will not benefit Open City.


Fifth Estate #75, March 20-April 2, 1969