This summer Oakland University began offering nursing programs at Focus: HOPE’s Detroit campus through a partnership launched in 2014, with an estimated enrollment of over 200 students. Upon graduation, students will find jobs with help from the Detroit Medical Center and Henry Ford Health Systems — two major hospitals in the area.
When Focus: HOPE needed to make renovations before leasing space to Oakland University for the programs, it approached IFF for a loan. Over the years, Focus: HOPE has encountered restrictions related to conventional financing. IFF’s $3.5 million to refinance existing debt at a fixed rate over 25 years gives the organization long-term stability and the flexibility to expand services.
Founded in 1968, Focus: HOPE is a nationally known civil and human rights organization working to bridge the racial divide in southeast Michigan through programs related to food, housing, family and youth development, and career training. Since 1981, its career preparation programs have helped over 12,000 men and women and generated over $1.2 billion in economic activity in the metro Detroit area.
Last year, IFF also helped Focus: HOPE to explore options for reconfiguring its child care center to accommodate more Head Start slots as part of its growing early education program. In coming months, IFF will work with Focus: HOPE through a NeighborWorks grant to create a comprehensive housing and community master plan strategy for the HOPE Village neighborhood.