Focus: Hope http://michiganradio.org en U of M, Focus Hope team up on Detroit community development inititaive http://michiganradio.org/post/u-m-focus-hope-team-detroit-community-development-inititaive <p><a href="http://www.focushope.edu/">Focus Hope</a>, a well-known social services organization in Detroit, has spent decades providing food, career training and other services to people throughout southeast Michigan.</p><p>Now the University of Michigan&#39;s Graham Sustainability Institute is kicking in roughly $200,000 to help the nonprofit with its Focus Hope <a href="http://www.focushope.edu/page.aspx?content_id=3&amp;content_type=level1">Village Initiative</a>. The goal of the initiative is to transform the 100-block area around the Focus Hope campus, where thousands live at or below the poverty line.</p><p>John Callewaert is leading the U of M side of things. He says they&rsquo;ll be working on six projects ranging from legal issues around vacant land to developing playgrounds to &quot;moving towards college readiness&quot; within the community.</p><p>He says the strategies developed could be used as a model for other areas with &quot;lots of open space and economic decline.&quot;&nbsp;</p><p>According to Focus Hope, their Village Initiative is based on a successful model being used in New York:</p><blockquote><p>This initiative is inspired by the adage that it &quot;takes a village to raise a child.&rdquo; Much like the <a href="http://www.hcz.org/">Harlem Children&rsquo;s Zone</a> in New York, the HOPE Village Initiative will bring together whatever resources are necessary to transform our community. Already, parents, businesses, retirees, educators, block clubs and others are working together to create opportunities for our children.</p></blockquote><p>Each of the six projects will receive up to $30,000 over 18 months. Mon, 23 Apr 2012 18:55:01 +0000 Jennifer Guerra 7157 at http://michiganradio.org U of M, Focus Hope team up on Detroit community development inititaive Federal cuts devastate Focus: HOPE http://michiganradio.org/post/federal-cuts-devastate-focus-hope <p>About two-dozen people learned Wednesday would be the last day of their Information Technology certification course at Focus: HOPE. Some were nearly in tears, and most were reluctant to leave.</p><p>In all, about 225 people face an <a href="http://www.focushope.edu/page.aspx?content_id=337&amp;content_type=news">abrupt end to job training courses like this one.</a> That&rsquo;s because of Congress&rsquo;s inaction on the Workforce Investment Act.</p> Wed, 23 Nov 2011 23:10:23 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 5132 at http://michiganradio.org Snyder hails Detroit-based partnership as job training model http://michiganradio.org/post/snyder-hails-detroit-based-partnership-job-training-model <p>Governor Snyder says the partnership between a Detroit non-profit and an automotive supplier can serve as a &ldquo;groundbreaking model&rdquo; for job placement and workforce development.</p><p>Android Industries began leasing space at Detroit&rsquo;s Focus: HOPE about two months ago. There, employees trained by the Detroit non-profit churn out parts for the Chevy Volt, which is manufactured at the nearby Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant.</p><p>Android CEO Jerry Elson says his company was only interested if the partnership made business sense. He&rsquo;s now convinced it does.</p> Mon, 19 Sep 2011 22:36:28 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 4215 at http://michiganradio.org The Legacy of Eleanor Josaitis http://michiganradio.org/post/legacy-eleanor-josaitis <p>http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/michigan/local-michigan-981319.mp3</p><p><font color="#000000" face="Arial" id="role_document" size="2"><font size="4"><font size="4"><font size="4">By now, everybody knows that Eleanor Josaitis lost her battle with cancer yesterday, and that she, with the late Father Bill Cunningham, was one of the founders of Focus Hope.</font></font></font></font></p><p><font color="#000000" face="Arial" size="2"><font size="4"><font size="4"><font size="4">Focus Hope is that rarest of social welfare organizations; one&nbsp; praised by liberals and conservatives alike. It started out as a private food distribution program in the aftermath of the horrendous Detroit riot of nineteen-sixty-seven.&nbsp;They still provide food to tens of thousands. But that&rsquo;s not primarily what they are about.&nbsp; Focus Hope takes the poor and uneducated, the unskilled and under skilled, and does its best to give them what they need to support themselves.</font></font></font></font></p><p><font color="#000000" face="Arial" size="2"><font size="4"><font size="4"><font size="4">They trained hundreds of machinists, and when demand for machinists started to slip, they diversified. These days, their biggest program by far is Focus Hope&rsquo;s Information Technologies Center, which is on their forty-acre campus of beautifully restored industrial buildings in Northwest Detroit.</font></font></font></font></p><p><font color="#000000" face="Arial" size="2"><font size="4"><font size="4"><font size="4">Focus Hope has saved thousands of people and given them the ability to lead productive and meaningful lives. Hopefully, the men and women who run it will go on helping many more.</font></font></font></font></p><p> Wed, 10 Aug 2011 15:33:58 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 3680 at http://michiganradio.org The Legacy of Eleanor Josaitis Focus: HOPE co-founder Eleanor Josaitis dies http://michiganradio.org/post/focus-hope-co-founder-eleanor-josaitis-dies <p><a href="http://www.focushope.edu/Default.aspx">Focus: HOPE</a>&rsquo;s co-founder Eleanor Josaitis died of cancer Tuesday morning. Focus: HOPE provides vocational training and food assistance. Josaitis and her partner Reverend William Cunningham founded the social services organization in the aftermath of the Detroit riots. Cunningham died in 1997.</p><p>Tim Duperron is the chief operating officer at Focus: HOPE who worked with Josaitis for 13 years. He says she had strong ties and loyalty with many people.</p> Tue, 09 Aug 2011 16:53:06 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 3668 at http://michiganradio.org Focus: HOPE co-founder Eleanor Josaitis dies