Since opening in 2013, the Ford Resource and Engagement Center (FREC) in Mexicantown Mercado has become a bustling community space for Southwest Detroit residents to receive a wide range of social and cultural services.

Photo: Sean Work

With services ranging from free tax preparation to legal advising to job placement services and more, the FREC has provided assistance to more than 80,000 local residents returning an average of $3 in services for every $1 invested by Ford and the nonprofits that provide services out of the Southwest location.

One of the most utilized services provided at the FREC Southwest location is the Gleaners Community Food Bank which has delivered well over 1.2 million pounds of food to residents of the Mexicantown community.

Photo: Zach Heimbuch/

Even with the body of goods and services offered at the FREC, it is dedicated volunteers like retired Ford Motor Company employee, Bill Bialkowski that give it heart. Bill has volunteered his time and energy at the Gleaners Community Food Bank on a consistent basis for nearly three years.

When Bill, comes in he takes the lead, he receives the delivery, stocks the shelves and if he sees we are shorthanded on volunteers he also steps in to help the families shop,” 

said Carmen Mattia, Senior Managing Director of the FREC.

Photo Courtesy of Bill Bialkowski

It is this kind of leadership and generosity that makes it possible for the FREC to thrive, grow, and serve thousands of members of the Southwest community.

FREC volunteer Bill Bialkowski is a true neighborhood hero! Check out his profile below.

For more information on volunteering at the FREC contact:

Carmen at FREC Southwest, 2826 Bagley Ave, Detroit, MI 48216 | PH: 313.962.4888  
Justin at FREC East, 15491 Maddelein St., Detroit, MI 48205 | PH: 313.733.1240  


The Ford Resource and Engagement Center (FREC) is a client-directed community center where people can learn new skills, obtain needed services, develop new talents and celebrate community. Made possible by grants from Ford Motor Company Fund, The Ford Resource and Engagement Center brings together non-profit partners to serve the surrounding community. 

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