DBusiness Daily Update: Rocket Community Fund, Home Depot Foundation Invest $750K in Veteran Housing, Jefferson East Receives $100K from AT&T for Resource Hub, 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.
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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.

Rocket Community Fund, Home Depot Foundation Invest $750K in Veteran Housing

The Rocket Community Fund and The Home Depot Foundation today announced a mutual investment to bolster permanent housing for homeless veterans in Detroit.

Located at a facility operated by Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries in Highland Park, the 61 new apartments include kitchenettes, upgraded fixtures, and renovated common areas that will meet the needs of veterans to serve as permanent, sustainable housing. Renovations are supported through equal donations from the Rocket Community Fund and The Home Depot Foundation.

“Everyone deserves the peace of mind that comes from stable housing; especially our nation’s heroes,” says Jay Farner, CEO of Rocket Mortgage and Rocket Cos. “Veteran homelessness is a crisis in our country, but we are confident that we can solve it in Detroit by 2026 – while continuing to support Built for Zero’s ongoing efforts to end veteran homelessness across the nation.”

The Built for Zero initiative helps communities deploy data-driven methodology to reduce veteran and chronic homelessness. The national initiative allows communities to drive improvements to their local homeless response system, helping people experiencing homelessness receive access to housing and assistance.

Built for Zero is led by nonprofit Community Solutions and includes more than 80 communities working to measurably end homelessness. With support from Rocket Community Fund and community partners, Detroit has seen a 42 percent decrease in veteran homelessness since 2018.

“Thanks to the vision of our partners, and the new permanent housing facility at 211 Glendale, the community is one step closer to ending veteran homelessness in Detroit,” says Rosanne Haggerty, president of Community Solutions. “This conversion models one important and innovative way that communities can expand access to safe, permanent housing for its veterans.”

Currently, there are 162 homeless veterans in Detroit, while 928 Detroit veterans have been housed since 2018. The organizations involved are targeting an additional 40 percent reduction in 2021 as they work toward achieving “functional zero,” a milestone where fewer veterans are experiencing homelessness than can be routinely housed.

The Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries operates and administers the building at 211 Glendale where the 61 transitional units are being converted into permanent housing units. All other units are funded through the Veteran Affairs Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem Program and serve homeless veterans through the efforts of the Detroit Continuum of Care.

Initial renovations at 211 Glendale are slated to be completed by end of summer. The Rocket Community Fund and other partners are actively evaluating opportunities for further investments and enhancements to the building to be completed in the near future.

Jefferson East Inc. Receives $100K from AT&T for Neighborhood Resource Hub

Jefferson East Inc. has received a $100,000 contribution from the AT&T and its Believe Detroit initiative to help support the launch of a new Neighborhood Resource Hub in the heart of the historic Jefferson-Chalmers district.

Located at 14300 E. Jefferson Ave., the 3,500-square-foot facility will serve as the home office of JEI’s Housing & Neighborhood Services team. The Neighborhood Resource Hub will allow the team to serve more than 1,000 residents annually with a range of services designed to keep them in their homes and apartments.

“With the final piece of support from AT&T, we have the opportunity to move our housing team back to the neighborhood where JEI was founded, allowing us to provide an enhanced level of service for Jefferson-Chalmers residents and surrounding neighborhoods along East Jefferson,” says Josh Elling, CEO of JEI. “The Neighborhood Resource Hub will provide a home base where residents can easily access our housing services, ensuring that all Detroiters are able to benefit from and be a part of the city’s continued resurgence.”

Over the past several years, JEI has developed one of the most impactful housing stabilization and resident services models within the city of Detroit. JEI’s team members are HUD certified housing counselors, offering an array of housing, financial empowerment and health and safety services through an “integrated one-stop” access model. This approach allows residents to create an individual action plan with the strategy and resources needed to ensure they can remain in their homes.

Over the past three years, JEI has helped nearly 200 homeowners avoid foreclosure through the Homeowner Property Tax Assistance Program, assisted residents in securing more than $1.6 million in 0 percent home improvement loans and provided in-depth counseling services to more than 850 homeowners and renters.

“Investing in our communities is what Believe Detroit is all about, and we are proud to help JEI expand its critical services that help improve outcomes in Detroit,” says David Lewis, president of AT&T Michigan. “JEI is strengthening equity and development from the ground up and AT&T is lucky to help amplify their important work.”

Erb Family Foundation Creates Sustainable Business Network of Detroit

A new coalition has formed in Detroit, the Sustainable Business Network of Detroit (SBN Detroit), focused on creating a sustainable business ecosystem through a network serving as a hub for idea-sharing, programming, content, mentoring, and more.

The Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation formed SBN Detroit to address concerns about climate change, social inequities, and water scarcity stressors across Michigan.

“Sustainability is a critically important driver of business globally and in our region — it impacts economic value and regional development, and how it is done greatly impacts social sustainability and equity for all,” says Neil Hawkins, president of the Erb Family Foundation. “We are at a global and regional tipping point. For southeast Michigan businesses to survive and thrive, we must collaborate and accelerate change to meet emerging issues and opportunities across the whole triple bottom line of economic, environment, and social sustainability.”

The network is led by a coordinating team of business and academic leaders assembled by the Erb Family Foundation including: The Erb Institute at the University of Michigan; Inforum; Southeast Michigan Sustainable Business Forum; TechTown Detroit; and Wayne State University.

SBN Detroit kicks off with a free, virtual inaugural event on June 16, from noon to 1:15 p.m. The event, “Detroit’s Moment: Accelerating the Sustainable Business Revolution,” will focus on how businesses and organizations of all sizes can mobilize to make southeast Michigan a global leader in sustainability, economic inclusion and social justice.

At the event, Andrew Hoffman, professor of sustainable business enterprise at the University of Michigan, will address the importance of global sustainability trends to businesses today and how collaboration and creativity can advance the transition to a just and sustainable Michigan. Following his remarks, Hoffman will moderate a panel of recognized regional leaders in sustainable business: Bob Holycross, vice president of sustainability, environmental, and safety engineering at Ford Motor Co.; Amy Peterson, co-founder and CEO, Rebel Nell; and Carla Walker-Miller, founder and CEO, Walker-Miller Energy Services.

To register for the event, visit here. For more information on SBN Detroit, visit here.

Darren McCarty, Others Share Journeys to Reinvention at Phoenix Center Benefit

The Detroit Phoenix Center (DPC), in conjunction with Yelp Detroit, are presenting a virtual fundraiser, “A View from the Top,” via Zoom featuring three metro Detroit celebrities on June 2.

The event, which takes place 6-7 p.m., is free and open to the public, but a $25 donation is encouraged.

Attendees will hear from FOX 2 Detroit’s Amy Andrews, former Detroit Red Wing Darren McCarty, and musician Polo Frost. The evening will include an open and honest conversation about mindset, actions, and faith that led these individuals down their paths of greatness.

Registration is now open and required here.

“Success isn’t achieved overnight,” says Courtney Smith, founder and CEO of Detroit Phoenix Center. “It takes drive, focus, a burning desire in one’s soul and, sometimes, it’s about going with the flow. The three individuals featured have been an inspiration to so many of our youth and others over the years. This event is an opportunity for attendees to hear how they made their way to the top of their field, and then also to walk away with tools to push harder, listen intuitively and to know when to stand down and allow their talents to rise.”

EMU, GameAbove, Reggie Jackson Celebrate STEM Outreach in Detroit

Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, the EMU alumni group GameAbove, and baseball Hall of Fame member Reggie Jackson’s Mr. October Foundation, celebrated the joint STEM outreach progress made in Detroit area K-12 schools over the past year with an event at Hope Academy.

The event celebrated the work delivering hands-on programming to students in underserved communities around southeast Michigan, providing a unique opportunity to stay engaged in STEM education.

The event was hosted at Hope Academy in Detroit, an EMU charter school that is one of the schools that has benefited from the STEM outreach efforts.

Reggie Jackson discussed his Mr. October Foundation STEM efforts and the importance of giving more young students across the country access to hands-on STEM programming — particularly urban areas where it is especially lacking.

Jackson also welcomed EMU alum and NBA legend George “The Iceman” Gervin who focused on the need for a team to come together, much like in sports, to support a project such as this in order to be successful.

Impact100 Metro Detroit Grants $100K to Developing KIDS, Freedom House

Impact100 Metro Detroit named nonprofit organizations Developing KIDS and Freedom House as the recipients of two $100,000 grants during its annual Big Give event. An additional $52,000 will be divided among the remaining finalists, Accent Pontiac, Brilliant Detroit, and LifeBUILDERS, making this event the biggest Big Give in the foundation’s six-year history.

“This wasn’t an easy decision for our 252 members — we were all so moved by the incredible work these organizations do in the community and beyond impressed with the proposals we received for this year’s Big Give,” says Amy Bouque, president of Impact100 Metro Detroit, which unites women philanthropists to award high-impact grants to local nonprofits and fuel transformation in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties. “We know our grant dollars will have an enormous impact on these nonprofit heroes.”

Developing KIDS seeks to operate its programs in a new teen drop-in center in Detroit for youth from ages 3 to 24. The funds will also allow for the creation of a new early childhood program, with a focus on year-round literacy intervention.

Freedom House will use the funds to redesign their front yard to create a shared community space that will foster positive well-being among residents and neighbors alike; give children a safe, fenced-in area in which to play, and add to the beautification of the neighborhood.

The Big Give also featured a local artist who created a mural to capture the joy of collective giving, which will be repurposed into wearable art for purchase by Rebel Nell, a Detroit-based, women-owned, mission-driven company that provides employment, equitable opportunity, and wraparound support for women with barriers to employment. The jewelry can be purchased here.

To learn more about Impact100 Metro Detroit, visit here.

Populist Cleaning Co. is Hiring and Training for Several Positions in Southeast Michigan

Populist Cleaning Co. in Ypsilanti is accepting applications for part-time and full-time positions as evening cleaners, day porters, and floaters throughout southeast Michigan.

Areas include Ann Arbor, Belleville, Brighton, Brownstown Charter Township, Canton Township, Chelsea, Detroit, Dexter, Farmington, Farmington Hills, Howell, Livonia, Northville, Novi, Pittsfield Charter Township, Plymouth Township, Redford Charter Township, Saline, Southfield, Troy, Van Buren Township, Westland, Wixom, and Ypsilanti.

The commercial cleaning and janitorial services company says it is offering competitive pay, a benefits package including health care and 401K, bonuses, flexible start times, and training.

For more information, visit here.

Village of Rochester Hills Hosts Hiring Fair June 5

The Village of Rochester Hills will be hosting a hiring fair on Saturday, June 5 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Interested applicants will have a chance to interview for open positions in-person as well as a chance to enter-to-win a $50 gift card to The Village of Rochester Hills.

There are a wide variety of full-time and part-time job opportunities available. Applicants can apply online prior to the event or bring their resume to The Village. Appointments are not needed.

For a full list of available jobs, visit here.