Ford Fund, Nebraska mobility firm to bridge transportation gaps in Detroit, elsewhere

LINCOLN–Mobility Rising announced a strategic partnership with Ford Motor Company Fund as part of a $5 million investment aimed at addressing transportation insecurity in Detroit, as well as Stanton, Tenn.

The Access to Care program will provide transportation to prenatal healthcare and wrap-around supportive resources for mothers and infants in Detroit living in low income households.

One in four Americans lack access to safe, reliable, and affordable transportation options, which limits their ability to access essential services and economic opportunities. According to a recent study conducted by Michigan State University and the University of Michigan, 24% of the residents of Detroit communities in persistent poverty face challenges accessing grocery stores, and 1 in 5 patients among them is missing or delaying their healthcare appointments due to lack of transportation. Feonix’s collaboration with Ford Fund will help break down these systemic mobility barriers, aiming to eliminate the disparity in socioeconomic opportunities by improving underserved communities’ access to them.

Valerie Lefler, founder and executive director of Feonix, said, “Feonix is honored to have the support of Ford Fund and the opportunity to work alongside community partners in expanding access to healthcare, healthy affordable food options, and employment.”

In partnership with Ford Fund, Feonix – Mobility Rising in Detroit will offer two programs: Grocery Express and Access to Care. The Grocery Express shuttle service will provide older adults and families from low-income households with transportation to and from a variety of supermarkets and local stores in the region. The Access to Care program will provide mothers and infants with no-cost transportation to prenatal healthcare and wrap-around supportive resources. In Stanton, Feonix will be working alongside community leaders to understand the current residents’ mobility needs and to establish an action plan for the deployment of a local transportation assistance hub.

Alex Buznego, senior manager of mobility programs at the Ford Fund, explains, “Access to safe and reliable transportation is key for people to move out of poverty. Our investments in mobility solutions are focused on grassroots collaborations designed to bridge the gaps in access for underserved and under-resourced communities. We know that connecting people to transportation can unlock incredible opportunities for them—from healthcare and fresh food to employment and education.”

In addition to supporting Feonix – Mobility Rising, Ford Fund is also partnering with over a dozen nonprofit organizations to provide transportation-limited communities with access to resources and services, including healthcare and fresh food.

Headquartered in Lincoln, Neb., Feonix is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating transportation insecurity. With the support of local stakeholders, Feonix reduces transportation barriers by deploying advanced technology, transportation partners, and volunteer driver networks, advocating for resources, and building robust community partnerships. For more information about Feonix, visit www.feonix.org.

As the global philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Co., the Ford Fund focuses on providing access to essential services, education for the future of work, and entrepreneurship opportunities for under-resourced and underrepresented communities. Ford Fund’s partnerships and programming are designed to be responsive to unique community needs, ensuring that people have equitable opportunities to move forward. For more information, visit fordfund.org.

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