LINCOLN PARK, Mich. – Ira Harris and her children were living with family in Detroit but needed a place to call their own.
She heard about Habitat for Humanity in Detroit.
“I heard it on the news, Channel 4 (WDIV), and I looked it up and I fit all the requirements, so why not?” she said.
But it wouldn’t be easy. Ground was broken on the home in Lincoln Park last fall, then the organization hit money issues and needed a financial rehab of its own.
“(We had) a number of houses where we stopped, including this one. In the spring time we were able to put people back to work, resume constructions, getting them finished and getting them into the hands of people like Ira,” said Ken Cockrel Jr., executive director of Habitat for Humanity Detroit.
The gorgeous home wasn’t just given to Ira. She earned it.
DETROIT, MI, June 10, 2016 – Habitat for Humanity Detroit and FCA US LLC kicked off their 2016 collaborative build this morning in Lincoln Park. The early morning celebration began with a few brief remarks before FCA US employees raised the walls for a new home on Park Avenue. The home is the first of three new homes Habitat Detroit is building in Lincoln Park this year.
“Our vital work wouldn’t be possible without the support of great corporate partners like FCA,” said Habitat Detroit’s Executive Director Ken Cockrel, Jr. “FCA volunteers are dedicated to giving back and truly help us in our mission to build homes, communities and hope. We are thrilled to welcome FCA back as a sponsor for the second year in a row and look forward to partnering with them as we make the dream of homeownership a reality for a hardworking family.”
“Service is an integral part of our mission, and we are delighted to partner with Habitat Detroit to help another family realize their dream of homeownership,” Lesley Slavitt, Head of Civic Engagement, FCA US LLC, and CEO of the FCA Foundation said. “We wish the new homeowners well as they make this house a home,” Slavitt added.
The FCA Foundation donated $100,000 to sponsor the project, and over the next few weeks, approximately 260 FCA US employees (Motor Citizens) will work on the home – donating an estimated 1,800 hours of labor. Among the volunteers participating in today’s wall raising event were dozens of Ram Nation volunteers that represent the Ram Truck brand.
“Ram truck owners have a strong sense of community and a natural instinct to lend a helping hand to family, friends and neighbors when a need arises,” said Mike Manley, Head of Ram Brand, FCA – Global. “Helping to raise the walls on the newest FCA US Habitat for Humanity house today is the perfect opportunity for our Ram Nation volunteers to use their knowhow, skillset and willingness to give back for the benefit of our communities and new homeowners.”
Meanwhile, the Habitat Detroit homeowners will complete a minimum of 250 “sweat equity” hours, as well as financial literacy training in order to qualify for a 0% mortgage. Ultimately, the partnership between the homeowners, Habitat Detroit and FCA US will culminate in a home dedication ceremony this summer, where the family will receive the keys to their new home.
About Habitat for Humanity Detroit – Habitat for Humanity Detroit is an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, a nonprofit ecumenical Christian housing ministry providing decent, safe and affordable housing to low-income families in Detroit. Since 1986, the Detroit affiliate has rehabilitated and/or built new houses for more than 350 families. Financial support, gift-in-kind donations and volunteer labor allow Habitat for Humanity to continue building affordable homes for those in need. For more information please visit www.habitatdetroit.org or call (313) 521-6691.
About the FCA Foundation
Since 1953, the FCA Foundation, the charitable arm of FCA US LLC, has invested more $500 million in charitable organizations and initiatives that help empower people, build strong, viable communities, and generate meaningful and measurable societal impacts.
Additionally, FCA US seeks opportunities to support communities through its Motor Citizens® volunteer program. This innovative program enables FCA US salaried employees to use 18 hours of paid time each year to be an Engine for Change by investing their time and talents in community service projects.
Everyone leaves behind footprints in the sands of time, but your footprints will be engraved in stone for future generations to follow. On behalf of Habitat for Humanity Detroit and our family partners, thank you for volunteering for the 2015 Blitz Build and turning dreams of homeownership for families into reality.
Watch this video recap from Blitz Build Detroit 2015 and share with your friends on social media!