Quicken exec: Our commitment to Detroit strong through virus challenges

Jay Farner

The health, safety and well-being of our team members, as well as the communities we call home, is the highest priority for Quicken Loans and the Rock Family of Companies. 

In direct response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, we announced on Friday that the vast majority of our 18,000 team members that comprise the Rock Family of Companies in Detroit would begin working from home until April 7, though it may be lengthened depending on this unique and difficult situation.

This policy extends beyond Detroit — we have asked all our team members across the United States, nearly 30,000 in total, to do the same.

Our team members are the foundation of the Rock Family of Companies — the core of our success. Many of them are mothers and fathers of school-aged children impacted by the necessary and immediate closure of K-12 schools in Michigan and nationwide for the foreseeable future. No team member should have to choose between going to the office or being a parent.

The health, safety and well-being of our team members, as well as the communities we call home, is the highest priority for Quicken Loans and the Rock Family of Companies, Farner writes.

However, we recognize that the reduced presence of the city’s largest employer is undoubtedly going to have a significant impact on our neighboring businesses, retailers and companies as well as their employees.  Please know this was not a decision we made lightly.

Dan Gilbert, our founder and chairman, likes to say that Detroit is the intersection of muscles and brains. Nothing could be truer during these trying times, and it will be our grit and determination that will allow us to persevere. How we collectively respond to this pandemic is going to be a defining moment for us all. That is why we asked ourselves, “With our ‘For More Than Profit’ philosophy, how can we make sure we’re doing what’s best for not only our team members, but also our neighbors and communities?”

As a result, the Quicken Loans Community Fund and the Gilbert Family Foundation Monday announced donations totaling $1.2 million to Detroit-based nonprofits and organizations providing critical support to the community over the coming weeks. This includes a $500,000 investment into the United Way for Southeastern Michigan COVID-19 Community Response Fund, which will help ensure families can address immediate needs like accessing health care, emergency financial support, food and long-term needs as a result of lost income.

More:Quicken charities donate $1.2M to help those affected by coronavirus

As part of this donation, we will invest $250,000 into the United Community Housing Coalition, which will address housing instability, including tenant rights, rental assistance, and additional issues exacerbated by the effects of the coronavirus on the clients they serve. The remaining funds will be provided as flexible funding for small businesses and existing grant partners in the city of Detroit to ensure they can maintain operations.

Our team members have also asked how they can help. As a result, we have established a matching program enabling their support of vital nonprofits in our community including the Detroit Area Agency on Aging, Focus: HOPE, Forgotten Harvest and Gleaners Community Food Bank. We will match every team member dollar so that these organizations can continue to fulfill their mission without interruption.

Jay Farner

We are so proud to call Detroit home and understand the role our team members play in contributing to the ongoing success of the city.  By taking these steps, we can continue to support our team members as well as provide resources to critical organizations as we work to successfully navigate these uncertain times together.

Jay Farner is the chief executive of Rock Holdings and CEO of Quicken Loans, the nation’s largest mortgage company.