DETROIT, Mich., Jan. 10, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- If you are poor, you are essentially an illness, an accident, or a paycheck away from living on the streets. On Saturday, January 10, 2015, Toyota Motor Sales, USA, through its "Toyota Walk In My Boots" community outreach project, stepped in to help area homeless women and children by providing new insulated winter boots and socks -- for the fourth consecutive year -- to the residents of The Salvation Army Denby Center for Children and Family Services in Detroit. Often homeless individuals do not have adequate clothing to fight the cold elements of a Michigan winter. While many programs offer winter coat giveaways, a person's feet are often left vulnerable to freezing temperatures and even frost bite. The project offers comfort in a time of need as temperatures dropped to extreme lows this past week. Toyota also gave a $15,000 donation to The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit enabling them to continue to provide refuge for children and families in times of crisis.
The Salvation Army Denby Center currently offers shelter for up to 160 residents -- primarily women and single mothers and their children -- due to job loss, house fires, foreclosure or domestic violence. Residents can remain in the shelter for up to 90 days. "We are so grateful to Toyota for both the monetary donation to the Metro Detroit area, and the footwear donation to the Denby Center residents specifically, which is especially helpful during these harsh winter months," said Major Mark Anderson, general secretary and Metro Detroit area commander, The Salvation Army Eastern Michigan Division. "With the need greater than ever because of the cold winter storms, we are blessed to have support from good corporate citizens like Toyota, who are 'Doing the Most Good' by raising awareness of our mission to feed, shelter and clothe those who are less fortunate."
An estimated 86,000 Michigan residents are homeless, according to the Community Housing Network. More than half of Michigan's homeless population is made up of families; and one in three who are homeless are children. In Detroit alone, two-thirds of people can't afford basic needs like housing and health care, even when family members are employed; and 67% of Detroit families are either under the poverty line or what is identified as "ALICE", asset-limited, income-constrained, employed, says the United Way.
"At Toyota, we want to build more than just great cars and trucks," said Michael Rouse, vice president, Diversity, Philanthropy and Community Affairs, Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. "We want to help build great places to live; and in times like these, we must remember to help one another. We want the work that is being done at The Salvation Army Denby Center for almost 90 years to continue for years to come. And, we hope that our donation of winter boots and socks will help to enrich lives...one step at a time."
One TSA Denby Center resident commented that she walked into the shelter with her daughter both wearing baby dolls shoes. She stated that she was very thankful to Toyota because now they both have boots to keep their feet warm as they walk to the bus stop and other places they need to go.
Through this project, Toyota is also helping to support the Michigan economy. The insulated winter boots and socks were supplied by Moosejaw, a Michigan-based outdoor retailer specializing in outdoor recreational apparel and gear. Moosejaw has six locations in Michigan including a downtown Detroit store.
Toyota also treated residents of the facility to a buffet luncheon catered by Unique Food Management, Inc. Residents expressed their gratitude to receive a down-home cooked meal -- something they have missed since their lifestyle emergencies had taken place.
Toyota (NYSE: TM), the world's top automaker and creator of the Prius, is committed to building vehicles for the way people live through our Toyota, Lexus and Scion brands. Over the past 50 years, we've built more than 25 million cars and trucks in North America, where we operate 14 manufacturing plants (10 in the U.S.) and directly employ more than 40,000 people (more than 32,000 in the U.S.). Our 1,800 North American dealerships (1,500 in the U.S.) sold more than 2.6 million cars and trucks (more than 2.37 million in the U.S.) in 2014 – and about 80 percent of all Toyota vehicles sold over the past 20 years are still on the road today.
Toyota partners with philanthropic organizations across the country, with a focus on education, safety and the environment. As part of this commitment, we share the company's extensive know-how garnered from building great cars and trucks to help community organizations and other nonprofits expand their ability to do good. For more information about Toyota, visit www.toyotanewsroom.com.
About The Salvation Army Denby Center for Children and Family Services
The Salvation Army Denby Center for Children and Family Services has been a refuge for children and families in times of crisis for almost 90 years. Currently, the Center shelters and serves up to 160 residents – primarily single women and single mothers and their children. These individuals have become victims of unfortunate life circumstances such as house fire, job loss, foreclosure or domestic violence. The Denby Center provides residents with shelter for up to 90 days. While in the shelter, residents are able to receive different types of assistance from housing placement assistance, to providing training preparation for future independent life. Special support services are also available to those in need such as utility assistance, down payment assistance toward first month's rent, food and clothing assistance. Through our services, we seek to encourage and empower each individual to achieve their unique potential and to strengthen the family unit. For more information about The Salvation Army, please call 877-SAL-MICH, or visit us at www.salmich.org.