Ford Donates Transit Van to Assist in Feeding Detroit’s Homeless

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Blue Oval’s donation to Ark Association replaces charity’s unreliable vehicle used to deliver meals in city’s Corktown neighborhood

Karen Gates and her team of volunteers at The Ark Association are on a mission. Every Saturday for the past 17 years they have set up shop at Detroit’s Roosevelt Park in front of Michigan Central Station to provide food, clothing, and hope to the hungry and homeless. Recently, the vehicle used to transport food and supplies broke down, limiting The Ark’s ability to serve members of the community who have come to rely on the meal service.

On Saturday, Ford Motor Company delivered a 12-passenger Transit van to help Gates and her team continue their mission. The delivery occurred outside the Ford Resource and Engagement Center (FREC), a community center in nearby southwest Detroit that provides residents with a variety of services.

“Ford is continuing to be a good neighbor and responding to an urgent need that will make people’s lives better,” said Shawn Wilson, multicultural manager, Ford Motor Company Fund. “Our goal is to strengthen communities and many of the people served by The Ark would also benefit from the food hub, tax, legal and other free services provided at the FREC.”

Last month, Ford announced it acquired the iconic Michigan Central Station and plans to transform it into the centerpiece of a vibrant new campus in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood that will serve as an innovation hub for Ford’s vision for the future of transportation.

Ford’s purchase of the 105-year old train depot is a cornerstone of the company’s vision to become the world’s most trusted mobility company. Ford’s investments also include the former Detroit Public Schools Book Depository, two acres of vacant land, the site of an old brass factory and the purchase of a refurbished former factory that is now home to the company’s autonomous and electric vehicle teams.

Ford and Ford Fund provide nearly $20 million a year for education, arts, culture, hunger relief and more in and around the city of Detroit. In addition, the Ford Volunteer Corps has worked some 10,000 community service projects in the local area over the past 10 years.

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