DETROIT – Focus: Hope started more than 50 years ago with a goal to help others -- a mission that’s more important than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic.
It’s been nearly four months since people started losing their jobs or had their salaries cut due to the outbreak. As people continue to struggle to get by, volunteers at Focus: HOPE are helping those in need.
“As it turns out, nobody wants to purchase purchasing office buildings when they’re not sure if they’re going to be in business in six months,” said Ryan Timmis.
Timmis is a commercial real estate broker that has had some spare time on his hands, so he’s been volunteering at Focus: HOPE Detroit.
“I am working as essentially a delivery person,” Timmis said. “I’m making deliveries of food to senior citizens who are low income and would otherwise have difficulty getting sufficient food.”
Food delivery is just one way Focus: HOPE hope is helping. The group is also helping people like Danielle Works. Due to a lack of child care services, she can’t find work, so money is tight for the mother of two.
“There’s someone really reaching out in checking on you to see how you and your children are doing,” Works said. “I come here to the center, get diapers wipes, you help out a lot so you don’t have to spend money that you don’t have coming in.”
While these are services that Focus: HOPE has always provided, their need has recently grown.
“I mean for food, we saw that we probably added another 2,500 people -- seniors in particular -- who needed food,” said CEO Portia Roberson.
Roberson said donations and volunteers are always needed, but for those who can’t give right now, Focus: HOPE is here to help.
“There’s no shame in coming up here, so we’re going to try to continue to do as much as we can for as long as we can,” Roberson said. “Do it as long as we’re all in this thing together.”