President Obama Recognizes Former Piquette Square Veteran Now Working at Ford

January 7th, 2015
Ramone Davis meets President Obama at the Ford plant

[Detroit — January 7, 2015] In his speech at the Ford plant today, President Obama spoke about Ramone Davis, a formerly homeless veteran who then lived at Piquette Square and secured employment at the Ford plant through Southwest Solutions’ Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Program (HVRP).

The President spoke at the Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, where Ramone works. At end of his speech, the President said:

“So I’ll just close with a story of a guy named Ramone — because we’re rooting for guys like Ramone. Ramone spent eight years in the military, served in Afghanistan, served in Iraq. Ramone here? Raise your hand, Ramone.

So Ramone is somebody who fought for our freedom, fought for our security. But sometimes we give lip service to supporting our troops, and then when they come home they get lost. So when Ramone came home, he had a hard time finding a job because it was a tough economy. He didn’t want to be a burden on his family, so he moved into a homeless shelter, took whatever work he could get. And then, one day in 2012, a counselor that he’d been working with handed him an application from Ford. Ford was hiring for new shifts.

Imagine what Ramone felt the day he knocked on his grandpa’s door — his grandfather who had spent 25 years building Mustangs in Dearborn — and Ramone was able to tell his grandfather he got a job at Ford. And now Ramone has got his own place. And now Ramone has got a good job right on the line here in Wayne. And every day, he’s doing just what his grandfather did. And he’s proud. He’s punching in and building some of the best cars in the world.

If you want to know what America is about, about grit and determination and hard work and sacrifice and looking out for one another and not giving up, think about Ramone. Think about Detroit. Think about the auto industry…”

Ramone was excited and humbled by the Presidential shout-out. “I will never forget this for the rest of my life,” he told the Wall Street Journal.

Ramone served as an Army medic both in Iraq (Operation Iraqi Freedom) and Afghanistan. He was awarded several medals for his exemplary service and good conduct.

Ramone left the Army in April 2011 and returned to his hometown of Detroit. Unable to find a job after months of searching, Ramone went to a Salvation Army shelter.

Through Southwest Solutions’ HVRP program, Ramone was placed in an assembly-line job with Ford and also applied to live at Piquette Square, which provides housing and support services to 150 formerly homeless veterans.

“Piquette is awesome,” Ramone said after moving into his apartment there. “My life has improved so much by living here and because the staff is so helpful.”

Piquette Square helped Ramone stabilize his life and the job at Ford allowed him to become financially self-sufficient. As a result, Ramone was able to leave Piquette and live independently.

 

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