Safety Street returns under new format

Safety Street returns to the University of Detroit Mercy this year in a new fashion on Friday, Oct. 21.

The event has been a Detroit Mercy tradition for over 25 years on campus with elaborate cardboard facade cutouts and candy for local children. But with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, as well as continued construction on campus, this year’s event will have a broader focus with various opportunities for kids including reading circles, blan- ket making and free books.

Among the new attractions is an event called “Reading in the Yard,” created to empower and enlighten students to get educationally creative and hosted by the Student Life offices in partnership with the Leadership and Service Department. Assistant Director of Student Life Adam Hollman said the reason the two departments teamed up was that the university “didn’t have a safe location with the ongoing campus renovations to build and paint the cardboard facades” like in prior years.

“When the event started, the school of architecture would build small houses,” said Hollman. “[That] evolved when Residence Life, and eventually Student Life, took over, into the cardboard houses where we would give out the candy.”

Since the start of the pandemic, Safety Street has adapted to become a drive-thru event to accommodate health guidelines and a new format this year has the opportunity to make it feel connected yet again.

The event will take place from 4:30-5:45 p.m. at the McNichols campus at the practice field adjacent to the tennis courts near Calihan Hall.

One thing that’s not changing? The candy, which will be distributed at the end of this year’s festivities. The university says that it has handed out more than 1,000 pounds of sweets since Safety Street started, noting the School of Dentistry also donates toothbrushes, toothpaste and dental floss each year.

Students can volunteer to help at this event in many ways, including participating in the event itself or by donating candy ahead of time.

Any interested student can email Adam Hollman at for more information.