Detroit nonprofit makes a difference for less fortunate

Ivory Graves working to feed the homeless for 13 years

Local group working to help feed homeless population in Metro Detroit

DETROIT – Love Only is a nonprofit that has been working to feed the homeless for over a decade.

It is more than just a hot meal here and there. The ones behind the organization have started a life goal to help those who are less fortunate especially in the African American community.

“It makes me happy to feed people. My mom kind of showed me that and it made her really happy to do it and it makes me happy,” said Love Only founder, Ivory Graves.

Graves has been working to feed the homeless for 13 years and is widely known as Tree.

“My mom did it in another type of way for years and I was young, and I watched it. But I didn’t understand it,” said Graves.

“As time went by and my mom passed, I decided I was going to take on the role and so I started doing it every Tuesday the best I could.”

Since then alongside Sen. Marshall Bullock of Michigan’s 4th district every single Tuesday has been set aside for delivering food to those looking for their next meal.

“It’s really a tribute to both of our mothers. My mother passed first. His mother passed second. But they instilled in us. This service is in our DNA,” said Bullock.

“Our families just taught about service and so Tree on his own started feeding Cass Park right here from his business and then he got his friends involved and we all jumped in right after another.”

But these days the friends helping out are going to be DJs from a nightclub Graves also owns right here in Detroit. The group was working on getting chicken wings ready.

Love Only uses its own transportation and the money to cook food that comes directly out of pocket.

So far the organization has fed up to 50,000 people over the years. That’s enough to feed everyone seated at Comerica park.

“It didn’t start off that way. It started off with 10 to 12 people in the park and it just got bigger and bigger,” said Graves.

But more importantly, they’re hoping to be role models for others in the African American community to show that a little love goes a long way and anyone can make a difference.

“Just to see somebody else eat and have a good time and taste my food is good,” said Graves.

READ: More Black History Month coverage

About the Authors:

Victor Williams joined Local 4 News in October of 2019 after working for WOIO in Cleveland, OH, WLOX News in Biloxi, MS, and WBBJ in Jackson, TN. Victor developed a love for journalism after realizing he was a great speaker and writer at an early age.