How Detroit Inspired us Today – Focus: Hope

Focus: Hope
Focus: Hope is a 45-year-old program aimed at fighting hunger and advancing education in Detroit.

People talk about the growth of the technology industry in Detroit as if the city’s the only one getting the good end of the deal. We, as technology organizations, are helping to revitalize the city – that’s what we hear. But here’s the thing: Detroit’s helping us to grow, too. This city inspires us every day.

Thursday, our team took time away from the office to volunteer at Focus: Hope. That’s where we found our inspiration for the day, so we thought we’d highlight it.

Focus: Hope launched in Detroit just after the riots, in 1968. It started with the purpose of providing food to mothers and children left struggling in the aftermath. That’s only part of what it does today. Focus: Hope expanded its food distribution recipients to include senior citizens. It also provides career-training opportunities.

The government-funded program is spreading a good vibe around the 100 blocks that surround it on Detroit’s west side, too. Literally. The group is targeting its surrounding area in hopes of minimizing blight and maximizing education. Focus: Hope is also continuing to make sure that underprivileged senior citizens and mothers and children in not only Detroit, but surrounding counties are being fed. And they’re always looking for volunteers to help them accomplish these goals.

LevelEleven at Focus Hope
LevelEleven CEO Bob Marsh, CTO Kevin O’Hara and Account Executive Felipe Gonzales-Paul at Focus: Hope

After our three hours of preparing food boxes for senior citizens and experiencing some fun team bonding, we came away happy to recommend Focus: Hope as a volunteer opportunity, especially for organizations. You’ll come across people like the woman we met, who packs up food for seniors regularly as a thank you to Focus: Hope. She raised her kids on the program. Today, one’s a model and the other went to Princeton. Or the teenager who grew up in the city and comes to Focus: Hope to help package food and stay out of trouble. Everyone there is just as passionate about Detroit as they are about Focus: Hope. And, well, we couldn’t help but be inspired.

If you’d like to contact Focus: Hope, click here

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