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Ilitch Charities Invests $50,000 in Innovative Community Programs
Date:4/1/2008

there is viable opportunity to leverage creative assets in the region to stimulate economic growth and new jobs, which leads to an increase in the amount of disposable income in the community. The fund is being established to provide needed capital to entrepreneurs and small to mid-size companies to help them grow their creative businesses. Advertising, marketing, public relations, architecture, design, media, film, video, music and performing arts are examples of creative economy industries. Similar investment funds established in other regions have been successful in helping to grow creative economy businesses, thereby having a cascading effect that ultimately addresses the increased social challenges that can result from a slowed economy.

The second grant is a $25,000 contribution to United Way of Southeast Michigan in support of the innovative 2-1-1 program that provides people with easy access to health and human services on a 24/7 basis. A major community benefit of 2-1-1 is its ability to partner and collaborate across sectors in order that citizens in need of everything from food and shelter to help with mortgage foreclosure or assistance with prescription drugs and Medicare are linked to more than 10,000 programs and services throughout the region. Diverse and customer-focused, dialing 2-1-1 immediately connects a person in need with a specially trained operator who speaks English, Spanish or Arabic and begins the process of getting that person in contact with the right program for what they need.

"The announcement of these two grants directly supports our new mission," explained Ilitch. "Both Detroit Renaissance and United Way of Southeastern Michigan are community partners in the One D Initiative, and both organizations are committed to developing innovative and collaborative programs that advance community and economic development across our region. We believe the Creative Economy Initiative and the collaborative benefits of the 2-1-1 prog
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