I live in the neighborhood and FWS is my home away from home. Ms. Marks is my mentor and I know she cares a lot about me. The staff treats me so good. I really like the activities we get to do like going to the baseball game and visiting Belle Isle. My favorite part is the college tour. I never thought about going to college before going on the trip and now I am for sure going.
Review from Guidestar
I stumbled upon Franklin Wright on Woodward while I was searching for a preschool for my daughter who was then a year and six months old. I took a tour of the place, observed the interaction between the teachers and the children, and decided to enroll her. It was not long that I began to see improvements in my daughter’s intellectual and social development. She was always excited about playing with her friends on the play ground, doing preschool projects and going on field trips. The early preschool program provided a solid foundation for her and facilitated her admission to kindergarten. My two other children are currently enrolled in the early heads start program. As a full time graduate student with limited time, I am fortunate to have a pre school like Franklin Wright settlements that provides my children with the opportunity to learn end have fun at the same time.
Review from Guidestar
The preschool program is the best! My grand baby goes there and is learning things I didn't know to teach her. I like the fact that she is with kids her own age and that look like her. Her teacher was real good at helping both of us with our separation anxiety. I think everyone should enroll their little ones here.
Review from Guidestar
I work in our Senior Outreach Services program. I love the clients. We bring them to FWS where they can socialize and eat lunch. While the seniors are with us, they exercise- some have even stopped using their canes and walkers. I love coming to work everyday! I started out as a mature worker with DAAA. When my time was up, Ms. Marks said, "We can't loose you. Would you like a job?" How could I say no?
Review from Guidestar
Wow. Most reviews are negative regarding the actual support they have received from this agency. Now, Franklin-Wright seems to have validated that criticism by hiring the ex-Detroit school principal who is under Federal indictment for stealing and bribery. No wonder their financial disclosure statements are not readily available.
I can't even begin to express my deepest concern with the way our city has allowed Franklin Wright and Sophie Wright to be ran in the ground by the corrupted management that had been there for years. Myself and other community residents have decided to voice our concerns and maybe even let Lansing know by letters asking for support in gaining supportive services that are given to our local center but doesn't become available to us but the staff keeps it for personal use like it was in the past (the food baskets, free social events, free supplies are just a few examples. We are not even allowed to utilized the building for community meeting, social events, etc... Without a cost given by CEO Marks, Deputy Brown, Finance Director May Lee, and the final person is HR Director C. Jenkins to just get an answer about our center and the available hours. It's sad that Franklin Wright Settlement and the sister site Sophie Wright was once a pillar of our community on the east side but now it is corrupted by greedy, low down individuals who don't respect us at all and they say their serving the community. Yea right!
FWS is THE WORST managed charitable organization I have ever worked for. I was continously appalled by the lack of respect, professionalism, honesty and integrity displayed by the President & CEO. She only works 2 days a week most weeks and when shes there most employees hide or get called into ridiculously LONG meetings where she tells tales of how wonderful and great she is. However, that couldn't be more further from the truth. Truth is she's corrupt; morally and spiritualy. She hires stafff and businesses but refuses to pay them when they've completed the work. She finds some fictitious reason not to pay. She forces contract employees to work under employee rules and its known that if you complain you will get loudly yelled and cursed at and rudely escorted out of the building by the DRUNK ex-deputy director who still "works" there daily while collecting Social Security for his blindness. This man has shown up to important events and meetings stumbling, loud and reeking of alcohol. I feel sorry for his son who pretends to work there in the summer along with CEO's son while her daughter as the director of Early Start with only an art degree. She has learned from her mother to mistreat her employees as well. There hasn't been any promotions in the 3 years I was there. She never acted as a leader and allowed her management staff to flourish she only brow beats them. But I guess she really can't lead by example to show them how to uplift and motivate the employees. She tells unsubstantiated lies about her staff to their spouses, other agency directors and anyone else who will listen.
The most horrific acts were due to her corrupt and fictional spiritual compass. She steals from the agency on a regular basis to benefit the church where her husband is pastor. She has the maintenance staff work at the church while they are on the clock at FWS. I have photos to prove this. She buys things with FWS money but they disappear only to show up at the church: christmas trees, tv's , food, yellow rubber flooring pieces meant for Early Start children and many other items. She buys memberships to local attractions but only the children from her church have benefited.
I always wanted to go to the board but that was a joke since seats are filled with all her relatives, flunkies, and business partners. The last time members tried to investigate she made the finance personnel give her the information and documentation the board had requested and she lobbied successfully to get rid of those members. This whole situation reminds me of Detroits former mayor and how he used funds intended to improve living conditions to take luxury trips and live a cushy lifestyle. Hope someone checks her expenses reports for receipts to Detroit Seafood Market where she regularly takes her family after church in Sunday and charges it back to FWS.
I finally decided that knowing this corruption and deceit was happening and doing nothing to report or stop it was almost as bad as knowing who a killer is and not reporting it.
This is an organization where the professional, moral, and ethical fabric is in sheer decay and deplorable corrosion existing particularly at the macro level which spirals out of control into the micro levels of daily functioning. There are layers of fiduciary mismanagement, misappropriations, oversights, and lack of integrity which appears to be wittingly intentional. To say the least, it is an understatement that there is an extreme fragmented disconnect in what is presented to the public (community) and what is actually taking place within the infrastructure of the Franklin Wright-Settlements, Inc.; in fact they are polar opposites on the spectrum. What is most unfortunate and disheartening is the loss of the true rich historical context of the mission of Michigan's first Settlement house since the late 1800's until today's poor existence of a mission in the realms of nepotism, cronyism, and favoritism. The understanding is that this review is of a candid and personal nature and because of the fear of retribution this is the least I could do as a professional means of conveying to the public the traumatization of my very brief, but psychologically exhausting experience. There needs to be an immediate and complete overhaul with a solid corrective plan of action for this organization; the status quo needs change. This includes, but is not limited to an in-depth financial audit, restructuring of organizational leaders including the board of directors, and definitely feasible and efficient programming. This organization has been and continues to be a pillar in the community; it needs to remain being a pillar in the community with accountability and responsibility but without carelessness and neglect.
Review from Guidestar
It was the best experience of my life, I learned so much, the staff was great and the CEO hand on. They are ranked very high with all accredited agency, all audits were the best in non profit, my professors had suggest I work at FWS and I was grateful for the opportunity to work on my skills in social work.
I worked at this organization for several years and I can't begin to explain the massive mismanagement that went on before and during my tenure. The Executive Director stole money and filtered it through her husbands Baptist ministry and the Program Director was drunk everyday. Working at this organization was the most depressing time of my life and I'm glad that I found new employment before I went crazy. I still have nightmares of the lies and deception that I was ordered to manifest in order for everyone to get paid. Worst job ever.