- One in four Americans lack access to safe, reliable and affordable transportation options that limits their ability to access essential services and economic opportunities
- Ford Fund, the philanthropic arm of Ford, is investing in mobility solutions to bridge the gap in access for under-served and under-resourced communities
- Ford is committed to building strong communities everywhere its employees live and work. Its 24 U.S. plant communities are active in supporting local causes and that philanthropic spirit drives these investments in cities where the company has a manufacturing presence
- Initiatives include a "Grocery Express" and "Access to Care" pilot in Detroit
DEARBORN, Mich., Dec. 5, 2023 — Ford Motor Company Fund (Ford Fund), the company's philanthropic arm, announced today a $5 million investment in mobility solutions focused on addressing transportation insecurity in Ford's hometown communities. One in four Americans lack access to safe, reliable and affordable transportation options, which limits their ability to access essential services and economic opportunities.
Ford is committed to building strong communities everywhere its employees live and work. The company employs more UAW-represented autoworkers than any other company, and its 24 U.S. plant communities are active in supporting local causes. That same philanthropic spirit is driving these investments in cities where the company has a manufacturing presence.
Through partnerships with over a dozen nonprofit organizations, Ford Fund is helping bridge the gap between transportation-limited communities and access to resources and services, including healthcare and fresh food. Community partners include United Way of Southeastern Michigan's "Ride United" program and Feonix - Mobility Rising, a nonprofit organization focused on removing transportation barriers in under-resourced communities.
"Feonix is honored by the opportunity to work alongside the Ford Motor Company Fund to address transportation barriers to social determinants of health in urban and rural communities, said Valerie Lefler, executive director and founder. "This investment will provide not only life changing impact locally for residents, but also establish data and mobility service insights that can be expanded across the nation."
Ford Fund is investing $600,000 in Feonix - Mobility Rising to support the launch of three new mobility programs in two Ford communities. In Detroit, a "Grocery Express" program will provide transportation services to and from local grocery stores, expanding access to food for 200 Detroiters each week. Additionally, an "Access to Care" pilot will provide rides to and from medical appointments for Detroit-based maternal health patients. In West Tennessee, Feonix - Mobility Rising is developing a new Transportation Assistance Hub that will connect individuals to existing transportation resources and establish new mobility operations to meet rural community needs in Stanton and the region.
"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 Michigan, 38 percent of households struggle to afford basic needs like transportation. Ford Fund has committed $250,000 to support the evolution and growth of the Ride United program to help Detroiters regain suspended driver's licenses, make needed car repairs, acquire a vehicle, access on-demand rides and integrate with broader United Way supports. Since 2019, Ride United has provided nearly 78,000 rides for about 2,800 clients and now looks to evolve and scale.
"Over the past 4 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."
In addition to Feonix - Mobility Rising and the United Way's Ride United program, Ford Fund is committing funds to support partnerships with several other organizations and programs including:
- Disabled American Veterans, continuing a more than 100-year partnership supporting veterans with transportation to and from medical appointments in communities across the country.
- Wayne Mobile Health Unit, expanding access to healthcare by bringing wellness checks and prescription management programs to neighborhoods across Detroit.
- Vision to Learn, bringing free mobile eyecare services, including exams and glasses to students in schools and throughout communities in Northeast Ohio near Ford's Ohio Assembly Plant and Ford's Cleveland Engine Plant No. 1.
- DoorDash, delivering groceries and/or meals from food banks in Detroit, Louisville and West Tennessee to transportation limited individuals and communities.
Additional organizations receiving grants include: Detroit Bus Company; EVHybridnoire; Family Career and Community Leaders of America; Governors Highway Safety Association; League of American Cyclists; Strive 4 A Safer Drive; and Teen Street Skills.
About Ford Motor Company Fund
Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan, committed to helping build a better world, where every person is free to move and pursue their dreams. The company's Ford+ plan for growth and value creation combines existing strengths, new capabilities and always-on relationships with customers to enrich experiences for customers and deepen their loyalty. Ford develops and delivers innovative, must-have Ford trucks, sport utility vehicles, commercial vans and cars and Lincoln luxury vehicles, along with connected services. The company does that through three customer-centered business segments: Ford Blue, engineering iconic gas-powered and hybrid vehicles; Ford Model e, inventing breakthrough EVs along with embedded software that defines exceptional digital experiences for all customers; and Ford Pro, helping commercial customers transform and expand their businesses with vehicles and services tailored to their needs. Additionally, Ford is pursuing mobility solutions through Ford Next, and provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. Ford employs about 177,000 people worldwide. More information about the company and its products and services is available at corporate.ford.com.
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.