DETROIT, Mich. (WXYZ) — “We hug to embrace to say we love each other and we’re a family and we’re going to do this together,” said Monique Marks.
Monique Marks is the president and CEO of Franklin Wright Settlement, a nonprofit helping the Detroit community help themselves since the late 1800s.
“The Ford Plants went up; the other plants went up and people were eager to find better work, better opportunities in a very thriving city and so they migrated here,” said Marks.
Originally a nursery and kindergarten, the Franklin Wright Settlement has evolved into a three-campus community staple.
“We’ve kept the same premise, that we embrace the entire family,” said Marks.
They offer daycare, parenting classes and ensure our seniors remain healthy-safe and independent.
“They get enhanced fitness,” Marks said. “They get socialization because many of them are just sitting at home. They’re lonely or they just have the need to connect to other people.”
The center is caring for every generation.
“We like to look at a family as a whole so we have a holistic approach to families and so when we’re serving the children, we’re educating the children, we equally educate the parent,” said Marks.
The mission giving families self-direction and growth during good times and bad.
“She makes sure we have everything we need. This program is ran like a family. She brings a lot of community love here to this building,” said Pre-school teacher Theresa Copeland.
When families need help with food, shelter or utilities, Marks is there 24 hours a day for her families.
“We’ve had some amazing success rates with our families. Over 97% of our families that come see us are successful and we’re striving for that 100.”
Many employees came to Franklin Wright when they were growing up and are now working here and some of the best hires are seniors reentering the work force.
“I believe in paying people what they’re worth and treating them with dignity and respect,” said Marks.
From teeth cleaning to college tours and in-house entertainment, Marks makes it happen.
“She brings love to the center,” said Copeland.
Monique Marks – making a difference for every generation in her community!