Focus: HOPE gears up for annual Eleanor's March 4 HOPE in Detroit
March to raise awareness for 2020 U.S. Census
DETROIT – The 45th annual Eleanor's March 4 HOPE, presented by Local 4, will be held Sunday to benefit the civil and human rights organization Focus: HOPE.
Thousands of people will march side-by-side during the event to bring awareness to Focus: HOPE and its mission.
"Every year, in an effort to bring the community together and elevate important issues, we have a march," said Jasahn Larsosa, director of community for the organization.
This year, the group's focus is the 2020 U.S. Census.
"It is true that black and other people of color and immigrant communities are oftentimes the most under-counted, and we want to raise awareness on that issue," Larsosa said.
While the issue is a serious one, the march is designed to be a fun, family-friendly event, with music, dancing and food.
Anyone who attends is helping support Focus: HOPE.
The organization has helped people such as Tracey Truesdale, who was unemployed and unable to get a job a few years ago.
"I owe it all to them, as far as getting employment, because it was hard for me on my own," Truesdale said. "When I was younger -- we make mistakes. So I had a felony."
She enrolled in Focus: HOPE's workforce development program, which gave her the skills and confidence she needed to land a job.
"Affirming that you are going to be employed, that you are no longer a victim of your past, that you are going to be successful -- speaking those things, hearing them turns you into a believer, and ultimately, you begin to wear that confidence," said Jewel Chapman, director of workforce development and education at Focus: HOPE.
"Before, I was paying people for my resume," Truesdale said. "But I can do my own now. I learned that through Focus: HOPE, and I got a job on my own."
Now Trusedale works at Flex-N-Gate. She said she's no longer weighed down by her past.
"That old Tracey is gone," Truesdale said. "This is the new Tracey."
The march is free, but donations to Focus: HOPE are always welcome. Registration begins at 11 a.m. Sunday.
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