DBusiness Daily Update: CHASS Center Gets $80K Empowerment Foundation Grant, NBA Foundation Grant to Help Boys & Girls Club, and More

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies, including updates about the COVID-19 pandemic. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.
CHASS Center in southwest Detroit has received a $80,000 grant from the Empowerment Foundation to bring a mammography machine to the center. // Courtesy of CHASS Center
CHASS Center in southwest Detroit has received a $80,000 grant from the Empowerment Foundation to bring a mammography machine to the center. // Courtesy of CHASS Center

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies, including updates about the COVID-19 pandemic. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.

CHASS Center Gets $80K Empowerment Foundation Grant

The Community Health and Social Services (CHASS) Center in southwest Detroit has received a $80,000 grant from the Empowerment Foundation to bring a mammography machine to the center.

The grant supports a one-year lease of the mammography machine along with staff support needed to provide screening mammograms for CHASS Center patients. The first mammogram at CHASS Center is projected to take place in October during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

“We are very grateful for the generous support from Empowerment Foundation in helping us make it possible to bring this life-saving equipment to the center,” says Dr. Felix Valbuena Jr., CEO of the CHASS Center. “This gift will allow for us to provide immediate screening for breast cancer to our patients — screening early allows for earlier detection and treatment, which ultimately saves lives.”

The Empowerment Foundation, founded in 1998 is a private, charitable foundation engaged in work that empowers people to change their world by funding projects that focus on education, health, self-reliance and technology with a focus to support disadvantaged communities. The Foundation was established by Bhagwan P. Thacker, philanthropist, and owner of DSSI, a global provider of procurement services, based in Southfield.

“Breast cancer is the second most common cancer among women in our country, making access to a mammogram vitally important,” says Bonnie Hill, a spokesperson for Empowerment Foundation. “It is a privilege to be able to support CHASS Center in adding this lifesaving equipment to their center as they continue to provide quality care in the Southwest Detroit community.”

CHASS, a community-based, not-for-profit health and wellness Center, is actively fundraising during National Health Center Week (Aug. 8-14) to raise additional funds towards the mammography machine lease and staffing, to provide care for patients for years to come. The Empowerment Foundation has made a commitment to match up to $40,000 now through December 2021. To donate, visit here.

National Health Center Week Activities

  • CHASS Mercado, Aug. 10, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. — Seasonal produce market, storytime, face painting, scavenger hunt and prizes, COVID-19 vaccines, and hygiene kits.
  • Cardio Drumming + Toning Class, Aug. 11, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. — Open to all fitness levels, no registration required, 20 people maximum, snacks, gift basket drawing, crafting table, COVID-19 vaccines, and hygiene kits.
  • Tenemos Sabor, Aug. 12, 3-4 p.m. — Cooking Demo on Facebook Live.
  • Pop-Up Event at Urban Neighborhood Initiatives (Varga Pavillion), Aug. 12, 3:30-5:30 p.m. — Resources, kids’ activities and prizes, hygiene kits.
  • CHASS 5K Run/Walk and Kids’ Superhero Race, Aug. 14, 9 a.m.

NBA Foundation Grants Help Three Local Groups

The NBA Foundation in New York announced $6 million in grants to 22 organizations, including the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan, Detroit Employment Solutions Corp., and Sphinx Organization to create employment opportunities, further career advancement, and drive greater economic empowerment for Black youth.

The grant recipients were named as part of the NBA Foundation’s third grant round on the one-year anniversary of its incorporation.

“We’re thrilled to celebrate our one-year anniversary by awarding 22 deserving organizations with new grants that will further their efforts and our shared mission to create short- and long-term opportunity for Black young people,” says Greg Taylor, executive director of the NBA Foundation. “The commitment shown by NBA players, teams, and governors in our inaugural year has been inspiring, and we look forward to deepening our efforts and operating with intention to reach more youth in additional cities in the years to come.”

The foundation grants went to the following local organizations:

Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan: The Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan offer programming that enables youth to become career, start-up, and homeowner ready.

Detroit Employment Solutions Corp.: A nonprofit formed to maximize impact and add value to Detroit residents and employers by providing quality services, connecting them via ‘Detroit at Work’ to resources and the support needed to thrive.

Sphinx Organization: A group that transforms lives through the power of diversity in the arts, focused on fulfilling that mission through artist and ensemble development, music education, and by creating opportunities to support diverse talent in classical music and the performing arts.

The NBA Foundation also is working with several programs that reach into multiple markets, including Black Girl Ventures, College Possible, Equal Opportunity Schools, iMentor, and the The Hidden Genius Project.

The foundation says it will continue to collaborate with all 30 of its teams, their affiliated charitable organizations, and the NBPA to support national and local organizations, utilizing the collective $30 million annual commitment from the NBA Board of Governors as well as additional funding sources.

Detroit Assists in $18.2M Project for 71 Units of Affordable Housing with Develop Detroit

The City of Detroit’s Housing and Revitalization Department announced today that Develop Detroit has begun an $18.2 million, 100 percent affordable housing project that will upgrade and preserve existing affordable housing in the city’s North End, as well as add new units.

Marwood + Marston represents 71 units of affordable housing located at 53-111 Marston St., including a renovation of the 59-unit Marwood Apartments, a historic 1924-built building, just east of Woodward. The development also includes the construction of six new townhomes and six apartments.

The infill part of the project will follow the City of Detroit’s new urban design guidelines, allowing it to provide for greater amenities and an improved sense of safety. The development is anticipated to begin leasing late this year or early 2022.

The properties will lease units at a range of affordable incomes, ranging from 30 percent to 80 percent area median income (AMI). This equates to $19,200 to $51,200 annually for a family of two. The AMI breakdown roughly equates to 35 percent of the units at 30 percent AMI; 17 percent at 50 percent AMI; and 48 percent at 80 percent AMI. Monthly rents range from $598 for a renovated efficiency at 50 percent AMI to $1,277 for a new-construction, two-bedroom apartment at 80 percent AMI.

The Marwood Apartments was the first building acquired by Develop Detroit after it was launched in 2016 to address housing needs in underserved neighborhoods. The start of construction was delayed because of the need to address abandoned single-family homes in the surrounding area.

Develop Detroit has preserved affordable rental homes for over 300 Detroit families in the North End, Woodbridge and Martin Park neighborhoods, and, since 2018, it has created dozens of homeownership opportunities in the blocks surrounding the Marwood + Marston development.

When leasing begins, interested applicants can contact MarwoodApartments@kmgprestige.org or call 313-888-9522 for more information.

Purpose Jobs Highlights Detroit and Ann Arbor as Emerging Tech Hubs  

Purpose Jobs, the Midwest’s largest startup and tech community announced today that it will be stopping in Detroit and Ann Arbor on August 17 as part of its Summer Road Trip series, highlighting emerging tech markets around the Midwest. Purpose Jobs connects top talent with purpose-driven companies based on values, experience and culture contribution. During Purpose Jobs visit to Detroit and Ann Arbor, the company will host a virtual career fair and live-streamed talks with local tech and community leaders highlighting the perks of working in the cities.

According to Crunchbase, no state has seen its venture money increase in the last five years as much as Michigan. Venture dollars in Michigan have spiked nearly 886 percent since 2016, growing from around $300 million to about $3.1 billion last year.

Until about a decade ago, most venture money the state saw went to startups focused on life sciences but in more recent years, that has changed as enterprise B2B software sees about as much capital as life science startups, especially as new talent starts pouring into the state from boomerangs who are returning to their home cities from the coasts.

Virtual Career Fair

Once they set up their Purpose Jobs profile, job seekers will have the opportunity to browse and easily apply for hundreds of startup and tech jobs. At 4:00pm ET, candidates can also virtually chat with hiring managers, ask questions and introduce themselves. Open jobs include mid-level software engineering, design, product, marketing roles and more. Jobseekers can RSVP for free here. Companies looking to hire in Detroit and Ann Arbor can register here.

Detroit and Ann Arbor Living and Working Benefits

Alison Todak, Director of Platform at Plymouth Growth Ann Arbor and the Ecosystem Development Manager at Bamboo Detroit will kick off the event. Next, boomerangs, tech leaders, community developers will spend time highlighting culture in the cities, inclusive communities, cost of living, and world-class opportunities along with the best places to live, eat and hang out.

Speakers include Monica Wheat (Venture Catalysts, Techstars), Paul Riser (TechTown), Phil Santer (Ann Arbor SPARK), Emily Heintz (EntryPoint), Ivana Kalafatic (Detroitisit), and more.

Tech Culture and Opportunities 

Dive into why the Detroit and Ann Arbor area is a booming hub of talent and innovation. Workit Health, Blumira, Signal Advisors and Autobooks are some of the startups that will share what it’s like to work at a top startup, DEI, tech jobs, and company culture.

Boomerangs, tech workers originally from the Midwest who’ve been working on the coasts, are returning to the region to start companies, live sustainably, have a better work/life balance and find meaning in their work. This trend of people leaving coastal cities like San Francisco and New York for more affordable, sustainable lifestyles was occurring before March 2020, but there’s no doubt that the pandemic has accelerated this migration.

“Purpose Jobs has found that 93 percent of employees we place at our partner companies stay longer (a retention rate of over two years) at their jobs compared to coastal workers who tend to job hop more frequently,” said Ryan Landau, CEO of Purpose Jobs. “The pandemic has made it clear that a ‘job’ is only part of the equation to a balanced life: closeness to extended family, health and an affordable lifestyle are now being seen as just as important. People are also realizing that returning to their hometowns and building a company from the ground up or settling there for remote work can be incredibly fulfilling.”

As part of their Road Trip series, Purpose Jobs will visit Detroit/Ann Arbor, Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago, Pittsburgh and Indianapolis featuring talks with local startup leaders, community organizers and VCs in each city. They’ll also spend time highlighting the best places to eat, drink, create and recharge. Those interested in attending the job fair or any of the streamed talks can RSVP for free here.

DTE Energy Foundation awards $80,000 in grants to Michigan-based nonprofits

The DTE Energy Foundation has awarded eight Michigan-based nonprofits each a $10,000 grant and the option for DTE employee volunteers. The Your Cause, Your Choice contest is one way the company is demonstrating its commitment to community investment and development, committing energy to the community and building upon a long and proud history of employee volunteerism and charitable giving.

“DTE Energy and the DTE Energy Foundation are focused on being a force for good in communities across Michigan where we live and serve,” said Lynette Dowler, vice president of public affairs at DTE and president of the DTE Foundation. “The pandemic has required us to reimagine the ways we mobilized our team in support of our customers and communities, and the Your Cause, Your Choice contest is just one example of how we expanded our commitment to helping communities on a grassroots level. It’s our hope that these grants and volunteers can bolster the winning nonprofits, helping them expand their missions.”

The Your Cause, Your Choice contest launched in June through which Michigan-based nonprofits throughout DTE Energy service territories were nominated by DTE employees. Eligible nonprofits were then opened to public voting.

“We are honored to receive a grant from the DTE Foundation and volunteers from DTE Energy,” said Erin Maten, executive director at Northville Art House (NAH), Inc. “This past year and a half has been a group effort between our staff, volunteer boards, NAH members and community business partners to fulfill our mission here in Northville. We are looking forward to having DTE volunteers onsite during our monthly, Live @ 5 Artists Receptions, which are outreach youth programs in the community, along with our annual summer Arts & Acts Festival in 2022.”

Listed are the winners and their missions:

  • Christy’s Legacy Of Hope in Taylor, MI
    • Christy’s Legacy Of Hope aims to put smiles on children’s faces throughout the world that have not been blessed with parents.
  • Downriver for Veterans in Wyandotte, MI
    • Downriver for Veterans is dedicated to enhancing the pride and patriotism in all Michiganders by building a stronger, more supportive community around those who served.
  • Soroptimist of Trenton Area in Trenton, MI
    • Soroptimist is a global volunteer organization that provides women and girls with access to the education and training they need to achieve economic empowerment.
  • Sparrow Freedom Project in New Hudson, MI
    • The mission of the Sparrow Freedom Project is to build a survivor community to support and empower exploited and trafficked individuals on their journey to achieving independence through services and prevention.
  • Motor City Mitten Mission in Detroit, MI
    • The Motor City Mitten Mission is dedicated to helping the homeless, the needy, the sick and those striving for a better way of life while educating, partnering and collaborating with other organizations, schools, churches, clubs and businesses.
  • Northville Art House in Northville, MI
    • Northville Art House Inc. is an art facility where over 20,000 artists and community patrons come together annually to gain exposure and appreciation for the visual arts, experiment and learn art techniques, and unleash their imagination and self-expression in exciting ways.
  • Colors of Heroes in Rosebush, MI
    • Colors of Heroes is dedicated to rebuilding confidence for combat wounded veterans and gold star families through new relationships and outdoor adventures.
  • 22 2 None in Mancelona, MI
    • 22 2 None’s goal is to stop the inconceivable number of veterans who take their own lives by reaching out and supporting those who have sacrificed themselves for this country and now fight a daily inner battle with demons no one can see.

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