DETROIT (April 29, 2020) – The Pope Francis Center, a day center in Detroit that serves people experiencing homelessness, is pleased to be the recipient of a $250,000 donation match to provide “Hope in Harrowing Times” – which will allow the nonprofit to continue providing critical and lifesaving services to hundreds of guests each day during the COVID-19 pandemic.

From May 1 – 10, all donations up to $250,000 made to the Pope Francis Center will be doubled, dollar-for-dollar, thanks to generous business partners in the community.

Led by $75,000 establishing donations from the Ford Motor Company Fund and Magna International, as well as a $50,000 gift from the J. Addison Bartush and Marion M. Bartush Family Foundation, these organizations, along with other businesses throughout Southeast Michigan, are helping to ensure the needs of Detroit’s most vulnerable citizens are met during this crisis.

Pope Francis Center has continuously adapted and modified its existing services in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic in order to provide essential services for Detroiters experiencing homelessness. In just the first few weeks of providing emergency relief, additional costs to feed, serve and empower guests exceeded $45,000 – and before Pope Francis Center can return to its regular services, it will cost the nonprofit an additional $72,000 per month above normal operating expenses. The day center has also increased from serving 200 to nearly 300 guests and providing 400 to 600 meals each day, Monday through Saturday.

COVID-19 doesn’t discriminate, but its disproportionate effect on those with pre-existing health conditions and limited access to proper hygiene, medical care and proper nourishment is undeniable – and that’s why we need to keep safely delivering our services to Detroiters experiencing homelessness,” said Father Tim McCabe, executive director of the Pope Francis Center. “Thanks to the help of our amazing business partners and community advocates, we can continue to add to our emergency fund so we can feed, serve and empower our guests.”

Pope Francis Center has moved all of its operations outdoors to comply with social distancing recommendations – and now serves meals in sealed to-go containers; portable bathrooms and handwashing stations; heated tents where guests can take shelter at a safe distance; regular medical care and a mobile shower unit for guests to wash themselves.

Donations from metro Detroiters make a major difference throughout the year – and especially right now, during the COVID-19 pandemic. For example:

  • $50 provides one day of care for one guest
  • $100 provides towels, clean clothes and hygiene items for 50 guests
  • $250 provides one day of health and hygiene support for 10 guests
  • $500 provides ten days of complete care for one guest

As a 501C3 nonprofit organization, donations to the Pope Francis Center are tax deductible by:

    • Visiting www.pfcovid19.com
    • Calling (313) 963-5134
    • Sending a check (payable to Pope Francis Center) to: 438 St. Antoine St., Detroit, MI 48226

The Pope Francis Center is firmly committed to standing with the community’s most vulnerable citizens throughout this harrowing time and beyond. While other nonprofits are being forced to greatly reduce or completely stop service during the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to the strength and support of metro Detroiters and generous community partners, Pope Francis Center is resolute in continuing its mission to eradicating chronic homelessness by 2030.

“The Ford Motor Company Fund is very pleased to be working with Pope Francis Center in order to meet the needs of some of Detroit’s most vulnerable citizens,” said Mary Culler, president of Ford Motor Company Fund. “We know there are new faces coming every day to the center, including families with children who are no longer receiving meals at school – and helping the Pope Francis Center exemplifies the Ford Fund’s mission to strengthen communities and help make people’s lives better.”

“As the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic spreads, the demand for food, basic hygiene, shelter and medical attention continues to grow throughout the city, which is why Magna International chose to become involved with Pope Francis Center’s mission,” added Jim Tobin, Executive Vice President. “The center’s support is essential to keeping Detroiters experiencing homelessness safe throughout this crisis and well beyond”.”

The Pope Francis Center is also proud to partner with the J. Addison Bartush and Marion M. Bartush Family Foundation, an organization that has supported the nonprofit numerous times in the past – including previous gifts to transform a former mezzanine into a clinic space, as well as funds to purchase land for the nonprofit’s future Bridge Housing Facility, a facility which will allow Pope Francis Center to provide guests with 24/7 care and address the unique needs of the chronically homeless, while working to transition individuals from life on the streets to permanent housing and independent living.

“The Bartush Family Foundation has an incredible history with the Pope Francis Center because we strongly believe in the amazing work they do for the community,” said Susan Bartush Cugliari of the J. Addison Bartush and Marion M. Bartush Family Foundation. “From Father Tim’s compassion toward the guests, to the dedicated staff and volunteers on-hand every single day who help make everything happen, the Pope Francis Center shines in its unwavering commitment to helping Detroiters experiencing homelessness.”

The ‘Hope in Harrowing Times’ campaign is also supported by American Axle, Beaumont Health, The Blake Company and Mutschler Kitchens, Clark Hill, Myefski Architects and The Thomas and Carol Cracchiolo Foundation.

While the Pope Francis Center has had to suspend all volunteer shifts to limit the spread of the coronavirus, a team of dedicated employees is working around-the-clock to ensure all vital services continue. The staff has asked members of the community to visit Pope Francis Center’s Amazon Wish List if they wish to make non-monetary donations of food and essential clothing.

Pope Francis Center has faithfully served Detroiters experiencing chronic homelessness for 30 years. For more information or to donate to the “Hope in Harrowing Times” campaign, please visit PFCOVID19.com.

About Pope Francis Center

The Pope Francis Center is the only day center in Detroit to provide nearly 200 guests, Mondays – Saturdays, with two made-from-scratch, nutritious meals, along with access to laundry and shower facilities and rotating medical, dental and legal clinics and housing assistance. Pope Francis Center has been feeding, serving and empowering Detroit’s homeless population for 30 years – and is dedicated to eradicating chronic homelessness in Detroit by 2030. The day center, located at 438 St. Antoine St. in Detroit, operates from 7 a.m. until 11 a.m. In addition to its everyday services, the center also provides guests with access to social work and mental health support, employment assistance, mail services, bike repair and grooming services. For more information about Pope Francis Center, please visit www.popefranciscenter.org. You can also follow Pope Francis Center on Facebook and Instagram pages.

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