DETROIT (WJBK) - Abandoned for 30 years, the station is about to get a facelift from ford motor company but the new owners didn't want to just destroy the art inside.
"It's the city - right - it's about arts and culture and all of that comes together in this initiative," said Shawn Wilson with the Ford Fund.
This initiative involves the company Rebel Nell, where graffiti is turned into wearable art. It's beautiful jewelry that also benefits Detroit's homeless -- all of the workers are women who've been hired from a Detroit shelter and the latest collection from the train depot's graffiti is having an even greater impact.
"Our company exists to provide jobs for women who are transitioning out of homelessness as a result of this partnership with Ford we were able to bring on two more," said CEO and co-founder Amy Peterson.
Rebel Nell has now hired its 20t employee from one of Detroit's homeless shelters but the impact of the Michigan Central Station collection will reach even more people. All of the proceeds from the limited edition collection will go to four charities that work to fight human trafficking and provide housing and other services to those in need. Cots, Covenant House, Vista Maria, and Love Runs will all share in the proceeds.
"It's just a great public-private partnership that results in some great organizations getting some additional resources," Wilson said.
Only 300 pieces are available and are expected to bring in $35,000-$40,000 for the charities.
"You can almost see from the texture of it where it was hanging on the wall - that's definitely unique and something we don't see on a regular basis. ... The train station pieces are very unique and special - a lot of bright colors - a lot of solid colors not a whole lot of mixing like we usually see but I think that that makes them even more beautiful in their simplicity," Peterson said.
For Peterson, it's a dream come true to partner with Ford to preserve the past from this iconic space while providing future help for those who need it.
"We were able to hire two more women as a result of this partnership. That's a pretty amazing experience for such a small company like ours so we're really grateful," she said.