United Way awards grants from COVID-19 Community Response Fund to local organizations

Funds to assist Metro Detroit’s response to coronavirus pandemic


DETROIT – United Way for Southeastern Michigan (UWSEM) is awarding collaborative grants as part of their COVID-19 Community Response Fund to support families impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne Counties.

Related: Coronavirus in Michigan: Here’s where we stand today

UWSEM says it has raised $8 million of its original $10 million goal for the COVID-19 Community Response Fund as of Thursday. The fund has supported more than 120 nonprofit, government and education agencies so far, officials say.

UWSEM listed the following collaborative grant recipients:

  • Detroit Parent Network: The Detroit Parent Network used funds to quickly and collaboratively implement a parent peer-to-peer and child / family support model with a select group of schools, technology, health and mental health and educational partners to deploy an innovative array culturally effective online and telephonic small group workshops, weekly check-ins and coaching to 600 families. 
  • Focus: HOPE: The grant is helping the organization continue services to deliver food boxes to seniors. Additionally, they will conduct virtual workforce development classes and continue to assist families usually served through early education with basic needs support.
  • Macomb Community Action: This collaborative partnership of Forgotten Harvest, Gleaners Community Food Bank, Macomb County Pantries, and the Macomb Homeless Coalition works to supplement the diets of vulnerable seniors and families via a Meals on Wheels program. Funds will make up for the extra vulnerability created by the closure of all senior centers in Macomb County as well as provide additional food resources and healthy food options via a fresh mobile food pantry van. The organizations also expanded housing services, rent assistance and homelessness prevention programs.
  • The City of Detroit Emergency Transportation to COVID-19 Testing Sites: The grant helped launch two drive-through COVID-19 testing sites in Detroit and Dearborn. The testing sites are easing the burden on health care systems and include testing for health care workers, law enforcement and first responders from Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties. The funding will offset the cost of tests and testing machines.
  • SOS/Lighthouse and Oakland Hope: As the largest shelter providers in Oakland County, these organizations will use grant funds to adapt their models to accommodate social distancing and other health-related provisions. They organizations are adding additional pantry access through new satellite locations being developed.

In addition to the collaborative grants, the fund is also assisting 76 child care providers in the community, officials said.

As of Thursday, the fund has approved almost $4 million in grants to 120 different organizations, officials said. UWSEM says it is reviewing applications as quickly as possible.

The organization also announced that more than 500 people have volunteered to help with projects related to food insecurity, education, utility assistance and rent.

Individuals interested in volunteering, donating or learning more can visit their website here.

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