FCA Community: Volunteers Transform Michigan Neighborhood, One House at a Time
There are more than 34,000 homeless people in Southeast Michigan.
To help end local homelessness, Grace Centers of Hope in Pontiac, Michigan, has weaved together supportive services, safe and affordable housing, and neighborhood revitalization efforts to create “Little Grace Village.” Once a blighted neighborhood, this area is now a “community of hope” thanks in part to the hundreds of FCA volunteers who have donated thousands of hours over the course of five years to transform homes for people who are trying to transform their lives.
“When we started working with the organization serving food, we knew there was so much more our team could do to help rebuild the lives of those in our community,” FCA Supply Chain Management Director Christopher Mattingly said. “I’m so thankful that my colleagues are as dedicated to this organization as I am and come back year after year ready to get their hands dirty and hearts full.”
Consisting of 40 single and multi-family homes in Pontiac, these houses are purchased, restored to their original architecture, and rented or bought by graduates of the one-year life skills program at Grace Centers of Hope.
Featured in the video, Dakota Parisi and Jennifer Wischmeyer met through their program after struggling with drug addiction. They are now getting married and aim to build their family in the home FCA volunteers are now working on.
“Once complete, the newly renovated and fully furnished house will bring hope to this young couple as they continue their recovery as productive members of our community,” Grace Centers of Hope CEO Pastor Kent Clark said. “We are so very grateful for the hundreds of volunteers and donors who generously gave of their time and resources to make the home a possibility.”
FCA volunteers do everything from installing drywall to painting and hanging decorative fixtures.
Through the Motor Citizens program, the Company offers salaried employees in the U.S., Canada and Mexico 18 hours of paid time off to volunteer their time, energy and expertise in the communities where they live and work. Many of these volunteers have gone above and beyond.
To learn more about Grace Centers of Hope, visit www.gracecentersofhope.org/.
About FCA Community Stories:
FCA Community explores the efforts of FCA US employees who see a need beyond the walls of their work sites and devote energy outside their daily job to be a source of comfort and a force for change.
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