DETROIT (WWJ) – Looking to help city residents in need, Ford Motor Company opened a new community center in southwest Detroit Friday.

Located in the renovated Mexicantown Mercado Building, the “Ford Resource and Engagement Center” will offer a variety of non-profit programs to help city residents in need.

Ford Chairman Bill Ford told the gathering that big companies often write big checks and that’s kind of all they do.

“To me it’s all about making a diffence in communities and individual people’s lives,” Ford said.

“You’ll have different players in this as the years go on you’ll have different clients taking advantage of it – so it’s not a static thing,” Ford said. “It’s a very much living breathing thing that can work here, there’s no reason we can’t replicate this in other communities.”

Also joining in the celebration was Detroit Mayor Dave Bing … who spoke of the important role the “Blue Oval” has played in supporting the greater metro area.

“They have come to the table on so many occassions to help this city out,” said Bing.

“It’s easy for all of us to feel bad about where our city is – Detroit is not dead. We are alive and well and on our way back.”

Ford added that it was important for the company to start in their hometown.

The center will include a Gleaners food service hub, and services ranging from college classes and anti-bullying training, to tax preparation support.

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