Metro Detroit nonprofit Community Housing Network has formed a coalition with seven other organizations competing in the Pepsi Refresh Program competition this month, with a goal of leveraging votes in the contest.

All eight organizations, local and throughout the United States, focus on issues related to homelessness, including Community Housing Network, which seeks a $50,000 prize to purchase furniture for formerly homeless families.

Said C.J. Felton, who is heading up the Pepsi Refresh campaign at Community Housing Network and spearheaded creation of the coalition: “The Pepsi Refresh competition is pretty cutthroat, believe it or not, and we think we’ve found a group of trustworthy partners who are invested in winning, competing fairly and having fun at the same time. We were careful in forming a group of organizations who have a similar cause — helping those who are homeless — which makes it easy for people who care about homelessness to vote for all of us.”

Community Housing Network is a nonprofit organization committed to providing homes for people in need through proven strategies of homelessness prevention, housing assistance and development, community education and referral, advocacy and additional services. The organization carries out its work in Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties. For more information, visit

Coalition members have pledged to encourage their supporters to vote for all of the members via media such as emails, flyers, websites and social media. This includes posting messages on Facebook, and Tweeting to encourage people to vote for the entire group.

Coalition organizations include the Macomb Charitable Foundation in Macomb County, Mich; The Salvation Army Eastern Michigan Division; The Salvation Army in Knoxville, Tenn.; Spokane Community Warehouse, Spokane, Wash; Help Minnesota Veterans, Rosemount, Minn.; OASIS Food Pantry in St. Charles, Mo.; and We C.A.R.E. Kit Project in Prospect, Conn.

“Ours is a common goal, to reach out and help those less fortunate in our community. When we align ourselves with others who are like-minded, we all win,” said Shelly Penzien, president of the Macomb Charitable Foundation, who was the first coalition partner to join forces with Community Housing Network.

“People helping people is why we started the We C.A.R.E. Kit project,” added Tracey Scott, who co-founded We C.A.R.E. along with her two children, ages five and seven. “Being part of Pepsi Refresh and this coalition shows my kids the power we can possess – the power to ask, the power to love, the power to care, the power to help.”

Each coalition member hopes to be within the top ten vote-earners in its dollar category, effectively winning that amount.

A link featuring the list of coalition organizations can be found on by clicking on the “Vote Now” button. The list of partnership organizations can also be found here:

(c) 2010, WWJ Newsradio 950. All rights reserved.

  1. C.J. Felton says:

    This is a great project that could bring $305,000 in funding to three organizations right here in SE Michigan. Please support these very worthy causes!

  2. Gary Jenkin says:

    This is a an easy way to help the homeless in our community and across the country just by clicking on our link and texting our project code 100560 to Pepsi (73774) Please vote every day!

  3. Audrey White says:

    I recently did a lease signing for a participant. The very next day he called and stated that he is in his empty apartment with nothing but a bed and wanted to know where he can get furniture. The furniture bank in his city recently closed. Winning the Pepsi Refresh grant would allow us to provide furniture for him and many others in need. Please vote for this worthy cause.

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