DETROIT, Mich. – Today, the Pope Francis Center took delivery of a new Ford E-Transit van, customized by Livonia-based MobilityTRANS, to provide safe transportation for guests requiring additional assistance.
MobilityTRANS, a division of Forest River Bus, installed a flexible seating system, wheelchair lift, security mechanisms, passenger assist steps, grab bars, windows, and a climate control system. In addition, MobilityTRANS has provided a Level 2 charging system for the Pope Francis Center to charge the all-electric vehicle at its new Bridge Housing Campus.
The Pope Francis Center, which supports people experiencing homelessness, will use the van as eco-friendly transportation for guests to attend medical and dental treatment appointments, job, and other interviews, and for moving people to safer environments during extreme weather. The van can accommodate up to 10 passengers or eight if a wheelchair is in use.
“We are honored to collaborate with the Pope Francis Center, donating this Electric E-Transit van,” said Dave Brown, general manager of MobilityTRANS. “It perfectly aligns with our mission of providing accessible transportation solutions and improving the well-being of individuals facing adversity. We are grateful for the opportunity to support the Pope Francis Center’s impactful work.”
The van will be a critical part of the new Pope Francis Center Bridge Housing Campus in the Core City neighborhood. Scheduled to open next year, the Campus will provide 40 apartments and wrap-around services to guests transitioning from homelessness to permanent, supportive housing.
“This vehicle will literally help save lives,” said Fr. Tim McCabe, SJ, executive director, Pope Francis Center. “Whether it’s a severe weather emergency or the urgent need for medical attention, we now have a way to move people without options to a place of safety. We could not be more grateful for this extraordinary gift.”
The upfitted E-Transit van customized by MobilityTRANS was delivered to Fr. Tim and the Pope Francis Center at today’s special ceremony.
MobilityTRANS extends its deepest appreciation to the Pope Francis Center for its ongoing dedication to serving the community. This collaboration is a testament to the power of partnership and an important step toward a more accessible, sustainable, and compassionate future for all.
Located in the heart of downtown Detroit, the Pope Francis Center provides vital services to the city’s homeless. On an average day, we welcome nearly 200 guests and provide them with nutritious meals, showers, laundry and access to doctors, dentists, lawyers, housing providers, and job training through our free clinics. We have been serving Detroit’s most vulnerable citizens since 1990, and we are committed to eradicating chronic homelessness in our city. For more information, popefranciscenter.org. You can also follow Pope Francis Center on Facebook and Instagram.
Operating in metro Detroit since 1991, MobilityTRANS specializes in manufacturing paratransit vans and is a division of Forest River Bus, North America’s largest shuttle bus and van manufacturer. For more information, visit mobilitytrans.com and forestriverbus.com.