DETROIT – Toward the middle of December, Wayne County revealed a program meant to support of workers in the restaurant, hospitality, entertainment and fitness industries who have been impacted by COVID-19 restrictions.
The county received $183 million toward the beginning of the pandemic for things like contract tracing, testing and small business loans. About $6 million was left over and is now being handed out to those who need it most.
The program, administered by the Wayne County Economic Development Department, received enough applications in less than two weeks to fully exhaust its $6 million budget.
There have been multiple stories like Jese Hinkley’s, where food service workers struggle to make ends meet without assistance.
“I’ve applied for food stamps and I can’t get it because I’ve made too much money in the past,” Hinkley said. “But it doesn’t make any sense because I’m not working now.”
Hinkley visited Eastern Market Wednesday to pick up a debit card from the Wayne County Cares Program.
“This is kind of what I would call Wayne County stimulus package, since the feds haven’t been able to figure out how to get it done,” said Wayne County executive Warren Evans.
The money is being given to 12,000 Wayne County residents whose jobs have been impacted by the pandemic.
In addition to the Wayne County Cares program, the county devoted resources to support local small businesses and local nonprofits. More information can be found on the Wayne County Cares official website here.
Michigan’s top health director revealed the two “core, science-based ideas” experts are using to decide what should be allowed to reopen and what should remain closed due to COVID-19 in the state.
Robert Gordon, the director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, joined Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and MDHHS Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun on Friday to announce an updated COVID-19 order that reopened some venues but extended restrictions on others.