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Today in the Mission Yearbook

Detroit’s Warriors on Wheels has the drive to thrive


Program is grateful to the Presbyterian Committee on the Self-Development of People for its ‘support from the very beginning’

July 6,  2022

The Presbyterian Committee on the Self-Development of People has a longstanding relationship with Warriors on Wheels of Metropolitan Detroit. (Photo courtesy of WOW)

When the Covid pandemic hit, Warriors on Wheels of Metropolitan Detroit decided to start a grocery delivery service to help vulnerable people stay safe. The delivery service for people who are disabled or who are older adults is just one of the ways that Warriors on Wheels (WOW) has assisted people in Michigan with the help of the Presbyterian Committee on the Self-Development of People and other supporters.

“In addition to grocery deliveries during the pandemic, we also provide car services to individuals who no longer have attendant care in Michigan due to the change in laws,” Lisa Franklin, WOW’s founder and chief executive officer, wrote in a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) questionnaire.

WOW describes itself as a grassroots nonprofit advocacy organization of people with disabilities for people with disabilities. “We serve with compassion and dedication to our community because we believe that what is good for us is good for us all,” Franklin said.

The organization got its start in 2006 as Women on Wheels, and then it became Warriors on Wheels in 2008 as men became involved. The nonprofit has monthly meetings to discuss issues, find solutions, support families and provide resources. It also engages with city and state governments on issues relating to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The nonprofit organization has been a strong advocate for people who need a voice, with the main audience being the disabled Black community, Franklin said.

“WOW was one of the lead organizations that fought for and won the advancement of an Office of Disability Affairs in the city of Detroit government,” Franklin said. “We fought for 10 years.”

The group also fights stigma, a problem that has hindered disabled people “for centuries, creating a society of ableism,” Franklin said. That type of behavior “alienates, segregates (and) demeans” very viable human beings and violates human rights.

 WOW became aware of SDOP as an indirect result of attending Detroit City Council meetings to speak out about ADA violations in the area. An ally approached them and told them about the PC(USA)’s mission and invited them to a board meeting.

“We appreciate SDOP for your support from the very beginning,” Franklin said. “Your initial support provided us with the funding to revamp an accessible minibus, which we use to attend meetings, extend our advocacy and provide light transportation services to the underserved population in the disability community.”

The relationship has continued with follow-ups, site visits, church visits and emails, Franklin said. “We have been spotlighted for our work by SDOP a few times to share our experience with other potential awardees,” she said. “SDOP makes you feel like family.”

WOW’s members have been tightknit with each other during the pandemic, holding Zoom meetings and social activities to keep from feeling isolated.

“We have not lost one member to Covid, and we believe that providing resources, grocery delivery, masks and just a kind word of encouragement have kept us out of harm’s way; and prayer is our foundation,” Franklin said.

 The Presbyterian Committee on the Self-Development of People is one of the Compassion, Peace & Justice ministries of the Presbyterian Mission Agency. Its work is made possible by your gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing

Darla Carter, Communications Associate, Presbyterian Mission Agency

Today’s Focus: Detroit’s Warriors on Wheels

Let us join in prayer for:

PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Myoung Ho Yang and Ji Yeon Yoo,  Mission co-workers serving in Hong Kong, Presbyterian Mission Agency
Cindy Yates, Maturities Specialist, Presbyterian Foundation

Let us pray

God of mercy, remind us of our affluence, and call us to a sacrificial lifestyle. We pray that our brothers and sisters will continue to find ways to overcome poverty. Through our prayers and gifts, may they be blessed! Amen.