Franklin Wright Settlements Inc. is a human service agency which began providing service in Detroit in 1881. The agency started as a day nursery to afford working class immigrant families an alternative to leaving children at home while they worked. The agency saw a need in the community and met that need –the result, a better quality of life for Detroit families.
Children have always been the primary beneficiaries of the services provided by Franklin Wright Settlements. Those who have the distinction of benefiting from the myriad of supports offered by Franklin Wright Settlements have been nicknamed “Franklin Kids”.
The list of prominent Detroiters who served at Franklin Wright Settlements or who are “Franklin Kids” is impressive. Eleanor and Edsel Ford of the Ford family met at a dance at Franklin Wright Settlements and were later married. Eleanor Ford dubbed Franklin Wright Settlements as one of her favorite charities. Antique furniture donated by Mrs. Ford remains on display at Franklin Wright Settlements today.
Eleanor Roosevelt, during her many visits to Michigan, always included a tour of Franklin Wright Settlements on her itinerary. On many of her visits she was accompanied by Mary McCleoud Bethune. Boxing great Joe Louis trained at Franklin Wright Settlements and his boxing bag and chain are a part of the many great artifacts on the premises.
Coleman A. Young was the first African American child to be admitted to the day nursery of Franklin Wright Settlements. Of course, Coleman Young went on to become a Tuskegee airman and the first African American mayor of Detroit. Throughout his career he remained a staunch advocate of Franklin Wright Settlements.
NBA great George Gervin often called “the Ice Man” grew up as a “Franklin Kid” and honed his basketball skills there as a youngster.
Wayne County Sheriff and current mayoral candidate Benny Napoleon was also a Franklin kid. ” I just remember being here all of the time. We would study here, play basketball, attend dances, get our teeth cleaned. You name it, it was here. I have very fond memories of Franklin Wright Settlements. It is very impressive to see that the agency is not only still here but thriving. This is just great for Detroit. “
Franklin Wright Settlements is accredited by the highly regarded Council of accreditation. The agency is led by Monique Marks who serves as the President and CEO. Marks stated “We are a high functioning agency. We have an active, well rounded board. Our staff is committed to the mission and does an exceptional job. I am very proud of how we positively impact lives everyday.”
Today, as in the past, Franklin Wright Settlements actively meets the needs of the community. The agency provides services for seniors including respite care, meals, recreation, health and nutrition. For families, in-home counseling and family reunification are also available. Basic needs are provided to those in need of food, shelter and clothing. The agency has an early childhood education program, after school programs, tutorial services, peer mentoring and college readiness programs. Whatever the need in the community, Franklin Wright Settlements is prepared to meet it and improve the quality of life for families.
Franklin Wright Settlements is a 501 © 3 nonprofit corporation. To volunteer or make donations please call 313 579-1000or visit the website at www.franklinwright.org.