Recently, I attended Go Further with Ford, a three-day conference sharing information about global trends. One highlight of the trip was taking part in deliveries for Habitat for Humanity Detroit, made possible by the Ford Motor Company Fund and the fleet of Ford F150’s they provided us.
Living thousands of miles away, what has happened to Detroit just didn’t hit me fully. It wasn’t until I saw it in person that I could get a better idea of how hard the city had been shaken by economic hardships. Our path to the construction site took us through Morningside Commons, an area where Habit for Humanity is making a huge difference.
To help you understand Detroit as I saw it, imagine your street. Have everybody move out, except for maybe every third house. The empty homes are boarded up, burned, looted, or in other states of extreme disrepair. For you and those that remain in their homes, you are surrounded by the ghosts of the neighborhood, the memories of what it was. Your family was one of the lucky ones who got to stay in your home, but you are surrounded by a suburban wasteland.
And what about all of those families who have gone?
The home to be built using the materials we delivered will be the 100th home constructed by Habitat for Humanity Detroit in the Morningside Commons neighborhood. In addition to building new homes, Habitat for Humanity Detroit rehabilitates vacant and foreclosed homes. Some of their other accomplishments include:
- More than 325 homes built and/or rehabilitated
- $35 million in private donations attracted and invested in five Detroit communities
- More than 500 vacant lots returned to municipal tax rolls
- Removing nearly 1,000 children from lead exposure in substandard homes
The Ford Motor Company Fund has given millions in funds to this great effort. However, they are supporting Habitat for Humanity Detroit not just with funds, but with their hands. Ford employees are making it happen as they take time off of work to rebuild Detroit.
I appreciated the opportunity to participate in the Go Further with Ford events. I hope that the next time I travel through Detroit, I get to see the rebirth of communities like Morningside Commons made possible by Habitat for Humanity Detroit.