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Automakers, United Way Give $200,000 To Help Detroiters With Water Bills

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Michael Brennan. (credit: Vickie Thomas/WWJ) File Photo.

Michael Brennan. (credit: Vickie Thomas/WWJ) File Photo.

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DETROIT (WWJ) — Officials gathered at the United Way 211 Call Center to announce $200,000 in contributions to the Detroit Water Fund on Monday. John Blanchard with General Motors said the automaker kicked in $50,000.

“We’re just committed to the city of Detroit and the things going on,” Blanchard said. “We have a great partnership with the United Way and with the city of Detroit.”

United Way CEO Michael Brennen announced that the organization will be contributing $100,000 to the cause and Jim Vella announced that the Ford Fund also donated $50,000.

“Obviously, as a company that’s based here and been helping the community for 100 years, it’s really important for us to help our neighbors and our friends,” Vella said.

Teams from Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan’s office along with the Detroit Water Department will be working throughout the week to help city residents faced with having their water shutoff.

Duggan said that time is running out for people to make payment arrangements and that struggling residents can attend the Water Affordability Fair, which will take place at Cobo Hall on August 23.

“You have this week to come into one of our service centers, ” Duggan said. “All day on Saturday we will be at Cobo Hall, the staff will be there and be able to help you with those payment arrangements.”

Duggan said that hundreds of Detroiters have already finalized affordable payment arrangements.

“If you can’t afford to pay, we do need to collect,” Duggan said. “This is the last week of the moratorium. Next week — for those who haven’t taken advantage of this time — the water shutoffs are going to resume.”

Duggan urged residents to take action and thanked the companies that donated money to help residents pay their overdue bills.

“We’re saying to everybody, please take advantage in the next week because we don’t want to turn off anybody’s water,” Duggan said. “If you show up and ask for help we’ll work with you and help you and with the assistance of Ford, GM and United Way today, it just got a little bit easier.”

The deadline to make arrangements is Monday, August 25.

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