Hostel Detroit is dedicated to being the catalyst for educational and cultural exchange between Detroit and the global community.
Hostel Detroit works to educate travelers about the past, present, and future of the city of Detroit. We seek to create experiential connections between Detroiters and visitors to foster creativity and global understanding of an often misunderstood city.
Hostel Detroit truly began in November 2010, when founder Emily Doerr and a dedicated group of volunteers, realized there was a need for a space where curious travelers could come stay, explore, and learn about Detroit. As an avid traveler and Couchsurfer, Emily often hosted guests in her Corktown neighborhood condominium – sometimes as many as 10/week. The influx of visitors gave her an idea: “Let’s open a hostel in Detroit!”
We leased a building in Detroit’s oldest neighborhood, Corktown. Hundreds of hours of volunteer renovation work and thousands of dollars were donated to get our physical space together. After countless volunteer hours spent building, painting, planting, and cleaning, it was ready. Hostel Detroit hosted its first guests on April 17th, 2011. In 2016, we purchased our building with the intention of becoming a permanent resource in the city of Detroit.
Hostel Detroit is a 501(c)(3) educational non-profit that looks to connect visitors to Detroit with the people and places that make our city great. We seek to provide context in an often misunderstood city. Our goal is to teach each of our visitors about the history and evolving future of our city. We want our guests to leave Detroit with the perspective of someone who has experienced it first-hand and was able to interact at a hyper local level. We want them to eat from our urban farms, cycle our streets, enjoy the cities thriving small business community, connect on a personal level and take in our festive atmosphere. We help Hostel guests tap-into what’s happening in Detroit. We offer maps, “adventure-planning”, self-guided explorations, and personalized tours led by local volunteer ambassadors.
There are as many Detroit’s as there are Detroiters. We can’t give you our experience of the city, but we can help you have yours. We believe Detroit is a special and important place for the history and future of our planet. We believe that the narratives spread about the city are not capturing the full truth and we want to help those that are curious to have unparalleled access to the city to discover something beautiful and real.