A group of local and national foundations have announced strategies to meet emerging community needs linked to the COVID-19 crisis. The initial funders include the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, DMC Foundation, Facebook Community Fund, and the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation.
“To complement the work of other efforts, address identified needs as they emerge, and provide support to area nonprofits so they can withstand this crisis, we are establishing funds to focus on unmet needs,” says Mariam Noland, president of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan. “In full participation with our foundation partners, we are making grants to provide support for targeted community needs arising from this crisis.”
The group has first established a fund to focus on urgent and emerging health needs, and 14 grants totaling $700,000 were immediately awarded as follows:
- $300,000 to the city of Detroit for expanded access to COVID-19 testing with priority for first responders and health care personnel.
- $100,000 for Wayne State University to test sheltered and symptomatic individuals experiencing homelessness for COVID-19.
- $100,000 for the Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, and Detroit health departments to increase their capacity to provide support during the COVID-19 crisis.
- $100,000 to four area community health clinics – Gary Burnstein Community Health Clinic, Central City Integrated Health, Covenant Community Care, and Honor Community Health for support for the care of community members disproportionately affected by COVID-19.
- $100,000 to four community organizations – the Detroit Area Agency on Aging, Area Agency on Aging 1B, Senior Alliance Inc., and Universal Dementia for outreach and support to older adults and their caregivers.
Additional grants will be made as fundraising continues throughout the outbreak and recovery process. Those interested in supporting the needs can find more information here or by calling the Community Foundation at (313) 961-6675.
In related news, Detroit’s Hudson-Webber Foundation last week announced 13 grants totaling more than $1.6 million to support arts and culture programs, built environment, policy and research, community and economic development, and building safe communities.
The organization’s most recent initiatives include support for development of a new research center focused on economic equity across the city; programs working to reduce incarceration rates, including development of an opioid abuse diversion program; façade improvement initiatives in northwest and southwest Detroit; financial support for the city of Detroit’s 2020 Census outreach campaign; an outreach and marketing plan for the Detroit Institute of Arts; and operating grants to organizations that advance policies that are aligned with the foundation’s mission.
“Our funding strategy seeks to increase opportunity and prosperity in the city, and these grants reflect our emphasis on helping to increase the capacity of organizations to deploy a range of tools that help ensure that neighborhood-level efforts and concerns inform broader city and state policy goals,” says Melanca Clark, president and CEO of the foundation. “We are also supporting efforts that recognize the urgency of setting and holding ourselves accountable to ambitious benchmarks that lead us toward the shared goal of building a more equitable future for all Detroiters.”
Specifics of the grants from December and March are as follows:
- Live6 Alliance and the Southwest Detroit Business Association have each been awarded $75,000 grants for façade improvements throughout Detroit. Live6 will create a program to improve the McNichols and Livernois retail corridors in northwest Detroit. SDBA will create a design and façade improvement program in southwest Detroit, primarily working with small, minority, and immigrant-owned businesses.
- Detroit Future City has been awarded a $150,000 grant to support the creation of the Center for Equity, Engagement, and Research, which will provide evidence-based research into economic equity in Detroit, develop indicators to measure long-term impact of policies, and create greater community engagement and inclusion.
- The Detroit Local Initiatives Support Corp. has been awarded a $600,000 grant to support general operations to enable implementation of an economic development agenda to revitalize neighborhoods and support small business development and job creation in Detroit.
- GroundTruth Project has been awarded a $57,000 grant to support a staff reporter position at the Detroit Free Press focused on covering systematic challenges affecting returning citizens and their families, and to create customized distribution efforts and listening sessions for target audiences.
- Force Detroit has been awarded a $25,000 grant to support the creation of the Ceasefire Learning Community in Detroit, bringing together the city’s police leadership, national experts, and the Live Free Detroit Coalition to create strategies and recommendations to reduce gun violence without increasing incarceration rates.
- The Michigan Center for Youth Justice has been awarded a $50,000 grant to support the completion of strategic planning processes to develop community-based solutions for Michigan’s justice-involved youth.
- The Southwest Detroit Community Justice Center has been awarded a $150,000 grant to provide funds for the Detroit Police Department’s LEAD Opioid Abuse Diversion Program pilot, which will work to connect individuals to treatment, housing, and mental health services.
- The Detroit Institute of Arts has been awarded a $50,000 grant to support the creation of a regional multi-media marketing and outreach plan that will focus on generating new visitors and awareness about the DIA through broad communications.
- The Detroit Employment Solutions Corp. has been awarded a $75,000 grant to support community outreach and communications operations for the city of Detroit’s 2020 Census Campaign, aiming to achieve at least a 70 percent self-response rate in the city.
Hudson-Webber’s board of trustees also announced grants for general operating funds for four organizations that are focused on achieving inclusive and shared prosperity for Detroit residents:
- The Center for Michigan has been awarded a $100,000 grant to further its mission to encourage greater understanding and involvement in policy issues among the state’s citizens and to make sure their voices are regularly heard.
- The Citizens Research Council has been awarded a $50,000 grant to continue producing nonpartisan analyses of the most important policy questions facing Michigan, including education, health care, public finance, and economic development.
- The Michigan League for Public Policy, which has recently deployed community engagement staff in Detroit to help better connect community members to state government decision-makers through training and tools, has been awarded a $50,000 grant to advance its economic opportunity policy agenda.
- Michigan Future Inc. has been awarded a $100,000 grant to support research, communication, and advocacy that advances a statewide agenda with the goal of rising incomes for all Michigan residents.