Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency (Wayne Metro) proudly announces its annual Walk for Warmth on Saturday, February 13th, 2016. The goal of the event is to raise awareness and to keep the heat on for people in Wayne County who are struggling this winter. This family-friendly event held at Ford Field draws hundreds of concerned citizens, companies and students from schools across the County to take a lap or two around the concourse at Ford Field and features on-field bounce houses, games, and locker room tours.
The demand for assistance is far greater than the funding available to help. As the heating season wears on, calls into Wayne Metro’s CONNECT™ call center are increasing. This flurry of need points to mounting hardships for area residents during this heating season. For the underserved and at risk populations utility shuts offs can and do result in families and seniors turning to unsafe heating options or being displaced from their homes.
“As a human service organization, it is heartbreaking to have to turn people in need away, said Mia Cupp,” Wayne Metro’s Chief Development & Communications Officer.
The Agency administers utility assistance programs such as the Michigan Energy Assistance Program (MEAP) and the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to eligible residents, but those funds can only help households at or below 150% of poverty which for a family of four cannot exceed $36,450 annually. Walk funds can be used to help those who are above the income and facing significant hardship such as medical issues or job loss.
“Walk donations help our neighbors in crisis – it is a safety net our community counts on. Once we address the utility issue, we can then move on to other needs and provide supports to help people forward and on the path to becoming stable once again,” Cupp states.
The event is made possible through generous donations and support from generous donors and partners including Daly Merritt, Inc., NBS Commercial Interiors, Arrow Office Supply, The Information Center, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan, Michigan Auto Law, KMG Prestige and DTE Energy. This year, the event is being co-chaired by our very own Wayne County Executive Warren B. Evans and Perfecting Church Pastor Marvin Winans.
“I support Wayne Metro’s Walk for Warmth fund raiser because we can help families meet an essential need during the cold winter months,” said Wayne County Executive Warren C. Evans. “Wayne Metro is a partner dedicated to providing social services to children and families in Wayne County and the Emergency Rent and Utility Fund is one of the vehicles that allow them to do that. Please join me at Ford Field on February 13, 2016 where I will serve as an honorary co-chair for the 2016 Walk for Warmth.”
This year’s walk around the Ford Field concourse will include an assortment of family-friendly entertainment and activities. Participants will also have the special opportunity to take part fun on-field activities including a helmet bounce, field goal kick, target toss, Zumba, a slide and mini locker room tours. Team awards will also be given. Registration is $20 per person and event parking is located in the Ford Field Parking Structure Lot 6 on St. Antoine Street for just $4 per car. Participants must enter the arena through Gate G. The first 500 walkers to register will receive an official Walk for Warmth t-shirt.
The event kicks off at 8:30am with a continental breakfast and registration. The opening ceremony begins at 9:30am and at 10:00am the River Rouge High School Band will lead off the walk. The field will open with an assortment of activities including Zumba this year! This is an event you won’t want to miss! You might even have a sighting of our mascot, Puddles the Penguin.