On Wednesday, employees of Citizens Gas, union reps from Local 223, and DTE Foundation President Lynette Dowler presented a check to Joe Williams from LCF and Laura Pipis from UWMLC, and were joined by Adrian Mayor, Angela Sword Heath and Maria Calleja, DTE Program Manager, Public Affairs and DTE Regional Manager, Molly Luempert-Coy.
In the close-knit town of Adrian, a crisis emerged this summer when the Riverview Terrace, home to 200 seniors and persons with disabilities, was condemned due to structural issues. In the weeks that followed, the community worked together to find housing solutions for this vulnerable population.
This included employees at Citizens Gas, which has served the community for 150 years. Joe Lucey, manager, Accounting at Citizens Gas, says, “We heard about the need and started talking about what we could do to help. We wanted to collect donations from the employees, ran some numbers, and decided that as a company, we could match five times the amount raised.”
This led to $1,003 raised from employees, and a match of $5,015 from Citizens Gas, for a total amount raised of $6,018 from the office. The DTE Foundation was so impressed with the effort, they pitched in $5,100, for a total of $11,118. This money went to the United Way of Monroe/Lenawee Counties and the Lenawee Community Foundation (LCF), both of whom are providing direct support to those in need.
“At the end of the day, it’s about the community coming together,” said Joe Williams, President & CEO of LCF. “Citizens Gas is known for stepping up to the plate and being there when the community needs them.”
The high-rise, if reparable, will take 1-2 years to fix. Area agencies like the Department of Health and Human Services, Lenawee Department on Aging, Housing Help of Lenawee, Lenawee Community Mental Health Authority and more have mobilized to help the residents. The mayor has worked with food pantries and restaurants for hot meals for the residents. Some residents moved back in with families, while others relocated to the city-owned Adrian Inn or other hotels. There’s a great amount of need for these residents, from food, shelter, medical supplies, personal care items and even pet supplies. This also highlights the need in the community (like so many others) for affordable housing.
“It’s been extraordinary to see all the different agencies come together,” says Laura Pipis, Executive Director, United Way of Monroe /Lenawee Counties. “These residents already have a lot of needs, and the fear of the unknown can be so difficult. The support from around the community helps us to address these needs immediately.”
If you want to help the Riverview Terrace residents, you can financially donate to the United Way Riverview Terrace Response Fund. For a list of tangible items to donate and drop off to the United Way, contact www.unitedwayMLC.org or call at 734-242-1331. You can also donate to the Lenawee Community Foundation for Riverview Terrace Response Fund.and use the drop down box to identify it for Riverview Terrace Response Fund.