Detroit's formerly homeless to make solar panels for Puerto Rico

Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press on

Published in Weather News

Bonnie Melendez said she hopes the aid coming in to Puerto Rico soon will be able to be better distributed to the people in need.

"It's not that the United States isn't sending help," Melendez said. "They are. They have many, many National Guard on the ground. My mother-in-law can hear them working. They are trying. But it's just so overwhelming."

When Fowler told her about the plan to build the solar panels, she said: "I thought it was a wonderful idea, and I can see where in this situation, it would be really beneficial to these people."

Fowler said Cass Social Services is taking donations to raise money to build more solar panels, with hopes that enough money can be raised to make a true impact on the people.

"If we get a real rush of donations, and can order supplies to build more, we'll put out a call for volunteers," she said. "The sooner we can get them there, the better."


SOLAR PANELS: To donate to Cass Community Social Services, which is building solar panels to help with hurricane relief in Puerto Rico, go online to or send a check to Cass Community Social Services, 11745 Rosa Parks, Attn: CR, Detroit, MI 48206.

"Just let us know it's for the solar panels so it's designated for that and we'll use it exactly in that way," said the Rev. Faith Fowler, executive director of the nonprofit organization.

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