United Way for Southeastern Michigan Joins Ford Fund’s $5M Initiative to Bridge Transportation Gaps in Metro Detroit and Other U.S. Cities

DETROIT, MI – December 5, 2023 — United Way for Southeastern Michigan is proud to announce a strategic partnership with Ford Motor Company Fund (Ford Fund) as part of a $5 million investment aimed at addressing transportation insecurity in Detroit.

One in four Americans lack access to safe, reliable, and affordable transportation options, which limits their ability to access essential services and economic opportunities. United Way’s most recent ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) Report shows that 39-percent of families across the state struggle to meet their basic needs like utilities, childcare, and transportation. This collaboration will help bolster stability opportunities, and our collective goal is to eliminate the disparity in accessing social and economic opportunities for those most in need.

“Over the past four years, we have uncovered an enormous need for the Ride United program,” said Megan Thibos, Director of Community Impact Innovation. “The barriers to transportation in Detroit are deep, wide, and persistent. In one recent instance we helped a client regain their driver’s license after 17 years. This investment from Ford Fund will enable us to enhance our systems, laying the foundation to scale our impact and help more people more efficiently and effectively overcome long-standing transportation barriers.”

“Access to safe and reliable transportation is key for people to move out of poverty. Our investments in mobility solutions are focused on grassroots collaborations, designed to bridge the gaps in access for under-served and under-resourced communities,” said Alex Buznego, senior manager of mobility programs at the Ford Fund. “We know connecting people to transportation can unlock incredible opportunities – from healthcare and fresh food to employment and education.”

In addition to supporting United Way, Ford Fund is also partnering with over a dozen nonprofit organizations to connect transportation-limited communities with access to resources and services, including healthcare and fresh food. Other partners include Feonix – Mobility Rising, a nonprofit organization focused on removing transportation barriers in under-resourced communities, and several others.

About United Way for Southeastern Michigan
United Way for Southeastern Michigan, a member of the United Way Worldwide network and an independently governed 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, works to help households become stable and ensure children have the support they need to thrive. For more than 100 years, United Way has been a leader in creating positive, measurable, and sustainable change in communities throughout southeast Michigan. United Way works in partnership with donors, agencies, corporate and municipal partners to help families meet their basic needs of housing, food, health care and family finances, and ensure children start school ready to learn and graduate ready for life. To give, advocate, volunteer or learn more, visit UnitedWaySEM.org.

About Ford Motor Company Fund
As the global philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company, Ford Fund focuses on providing access to essential services, education for the future of work and entrepreneurship opportunities for under-resourced and underrepresented communities. Ford Fund’s partnerships and programming are designed to be responsive to unique community needs, ensuring people have equitable opportunities to move forward. Harnessing Ford’s scale, resources and mobility expertise, Ford Fund drives meaningful impact through grantmaking, Ford Resource and Engagement Centers and employee volunteerism. For more information, visit fordfund.org or join us at @FordFund on Facebook and Instagram.