Detroit News: $1.5M in grants to expand services at 3 Detroit schools, neighborhoods

April 29th, 2013
John Van Camp, president of Southwest Solutions.; Sarah McClelland, Chase Michigan market president; Gov. Rick Snyder and Roy Roberts at Western International High School in Detroit. (David Coates / The Detroit News)

$1.5M in grants to expand services at 3 Detroit schools, neighborhoods

By Jennifer Chambers The Detroit News
April 29, 2013

Detroit — Grants totaling $1.5 million will be used to enhance services at three southwest Detroit schools and revitalize surrounding neighborhoods, the district and JPMorgan Chase announced Monday.

The grants, from JPMorgan Chase, will support the Michigan Department of Human Services “Pathways to Potential” programs and DPS’ goal to make public schools community hubs.

The largest grant, $1 million over three years to Southwest Solutions, will fund expansion of the agency’s Centers for Working Families in Harms and Maybury elementary schools and Western International High School. An extra $500,000 will provide services such as job training for youth and parents and financial literacy.

“Michigan can’t be successful without a renewed Detroit, and it will take the public sector and the private sector working together to make Detroit a great city again,” Gov. Rick Snyder said. “We’re pleased that JPMorgan Chase wants to be a partner in that effort and is willing to make such a generous commitment to make a difference in the lives of these students, their families, and this neighborhood.”

Besides providing grant funds, Chase also is providing volunteers to help carry out the initiatives.

“We must stabilize families living in high-poverty neighborhoods by providing high quality educational opportunities and by creating job opportunities,” said Sarah McClelland, president of the Michigan market for Chase.

DPS Emergency Manager Roy Roberts said the partnerships show how DPS’ new five-year strategic plan will help ensure that schools become centers for child and family services.

“We are all responsible for supporting families to the maximum extent possible,” he said. “We want the school to be the place where not only children, but adults receive education and training, where child care services are offered for infants up to pre-K, and senior care may be provided.”

As part of Monday announcement, DHS Director Maura Corrigan said a “success coach” would be added at Western International.

“The grant from JPMorgan Chase to Southwest Solutions is part of Chase’s long-term strategy to help families and the entire community of southwest Detroit thrive,” said John Van Camp, president of Southwest Solutions.

Southwest Solutions’ neighborhood preservation team aims to give 115 homeowners an average of $10,000 to $15,000 in home repair loans and/or grants and to coordinate the deconstruction of 30 blighted properties near the schools.

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