COVID-19 Update: “Revolutionize” in Detroit Launched, GM and Detroit Regional Chamber Launch Annual NeighborHUB Grant Program, and More

Here is a roundup of the latest news concerning the COVID-19 pandemic in addition to announcements from local, state, and federal governments, as well as international channels. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.
chart of coronavirus cases by day in Michigan
Courtesy of Bridge

Here is a roundup of the latest news concerning the COVID-19 pandemic in addition to announcements from local, state, and federal governments, as well as international channels. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.

Mayor Duggan: New Initiative to “Revolutionize” How Detroit Helps Most Vulnerable Residents
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan Wednesday announced a new initiative he says will revolutionize how the city can change quality of life for its most vulnerable residents.

For many Detroiters, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated previously existing issues related to everything from food, housing, and utility insecurity to behavioral health support, job training, and employment.

To address this, the city has created a new Community Health Corps, which will be funded initially with $3.5 million in federal CARES Act funds. It will send community health workers and peer counselors door-to-door across the city to identify families in need of any services and support programs to improve their economic mobility, health, and quality of life.

“What we have been finding is that too many of our residents in need of the available services and programs offered simply aren’t aware of them and don’t know where to go for help,” says Duggan. “The CHC team will help identify the needs within each household and connect family members with the appropriate programs. They also will assess the talent and skills of each family member for referral to Detroit at Work training and employment programs.”

Once City Council approves the plan, the city of Detroit through Detroit at Work will begin hiring its initial team of approximately 20 staff, which the Duggan expects will start hitting the streets in October. Later, the CHC would scale up to serve a much larger number of households, once it is able to measure and demonstrate its effectiveness.

Initially, the CHC team will focus on 160 pre-identified customers of the water department that it knows to have struggled paying their bills, as well as households served by the Housing and Revitalization Department, and visit those families.

“The goal of the CHC is to identify and reach out to these individuals and families ourselves, so they don’t need to find us,” says Conrad Mallett, deputy mayor, who has led the development of the CHC.

Community Health Corps. will use licensed social workers, social work generalists, nurses, and community health workers to make up the team of case managers and peer counselors. Counselors and case managers will work with individuals and families to apply for resources and identify support services wherever needs may be identified. Team members will be trained to provide trauma-informed care, mental health first-aid, and hold a certified health worker certificate in addition to undergoing cultural sensitivity training prior to engaging with residents as part of the program.

Residents working with CHC will be assigned a case manager who will serve as an advocate for their clients and help them navigate applications to enroll in various support programs and speak with them regularly to meet clients’ definition of success. Peer counselors will help the case managers stay in touch with the client and support the client/case manager effort as residents apply for and receive wrap around services offered by social service providers. Through partnerships with nonprofits and human services organizations, CHC also will work to address barriers that prevent residents from accessing resources that would prepare them for employment and economic mobility.

“Building the Community Health Corps using the Detroit at Work infrastructure will help us connect more Detroiters to job training and employment opportunities to let them truly improve their standard of living,” says Nicole Sherard-Freeman, executive director of Workforce Development and Detroit at Work. “What was missing until today was the critical link between direct, door-to-door outreach, helping people solve their day-to-problems, and staying in the trenches with residents to long enough to get them onto a better path in their lives.”

In Related News: The College of Nursing at Wayne State University in Detroit and the Central Detroit Christian Community Development Corp. have opened the new Taylor Street Clinic in the Virginia Park neighborhood of Detroit for video, phone, and in-person appointments.

The clinic is located at the former Tried Stone Baptist Church (1550 Taylor St.), which also houses CDCCDC’s headquarters.

“It’s been our desire to open a clinic in the Detroit community for quite some time, and this is our opportunity to do that,” says Ramona Benkert, associate dean for academic and clinical affairs in the WSU College of Nursing. “It is a full-service, nurse practitioner-run family practice clinic, treating everyone from infants to older adults.”

GM and Detroit Regional Chamber Launch Annual NeighborHUB Grant Program
NeighborHUB, a collaborative effort between General Motors Co. in Detroit and the Detroit Regional Chamber designed to empower residents to affect change in their neighborhoods, has opened the application period for its third annual grant program.

Nonprofit organizations in Detroit, Hamtramck, and Highland Park may apply between now and Sept. 18 for grants of up to $30,000 and additional business support. Ten awardees will be announced this fall.

Given the impact of COVID-19 on the community, the NeighborHUB grant program has introduced new criteria and awards for the 2020-21 cohort:

  • The total amount of grants that will be given out has doubled to $300,000, providing funding for five additional organizations.
  • Small businesses, among the hardest hit financially by the pandemic, can partner with nonprofits that meet the criteria on an application.
  • Eligible projects will be paired with GM volunteers who have expertise in areas such as marketing, engineering, law, information technology, etc.
  • PPE supply also will be available all awardees.

“General Motors is proud to double this year’s NeighborHUB grant awards and offer our partners more capacity-building services and expertise,” says Terry Rhadigan, executive director of corporate giving for GM. “Each year, we hear directly from our neighbors about the challenges their communities are facing and the ideas they have to drive change. While this year might look a little different, Detroiters’ resiliency is unmatched and with that brings great hope for our future.”

Over the past two years, the program has awarded 13 grants totaling $390,000 to community nonprofits that have launched spaces designed to foster collaboration, change, and positively impact their neighborhoods.

“The lasting impacts of COVID-19 to the city of Detroit cannot yet be realized but have created ongoing challenges for the neighborhoods and their businesses,” says Tammy Carnrike, COO for the Detroit Regional Chamber. “Seeing past NeighborHUB grantees use their spaces during the pandemic to help is exactly why we created this program to empower neighborhoods from within their community.”

Successful proposals will have programming centered around a physical space and address a specific need or needs within the neighborhood.

A committee with representatives from local organizations helps with the selection of grant recipients. In addition to the chamber and GM, the committee includes representatives from Michigan Community Resources, the city of Detroit, Co.act Detroit, BLAC Detroit Magazine, and Techtown.

Chemical Company in Adrian Expands Distribution to Medical Applications
Wacker Chemical Corp. in Adrian (west of Monroe near the Ohio border) has extended its partnership with its distributor, H.M. Royal in New Jersey and California, to include chemicals to support the medical industry.

Starting Sept. 1, H.M. Royal will begin distributing Wacker’s Silpuran, a line of liquid silicone rubber and high-consistency rubber specifically dedicated to medical applications.

“Many of our customers’ processes include silicone rubber for multi-industry applications,” says Ian Moore, vice president of the North and Central America regions for Wacker Silicones. “With the Silpuran product line consisting of a large portfolio of HCRs and LSRs, the extended partnership with H.M. Royal creates a one-stop shop for customers’ LSR and HCR silicone needs.”

The products in the Silpuran portfolio are designed specifically for applications such as wound dressings, medical adhesives, gels, intravenous administration sets, needle-free valves and seals, drainage and feeding tubes, urinary catheters, syringe seals, respiratory masks, and similar medical applications.

For more information, visit here.

Pontiac Partners with Boys and Girls Clubs to Expand Programming in City
The city of Pontiac and Boys and Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan are partnering to expand access and resources to the city’s youth through the Pontiac Youth Recreation and Enrichment Center and providing club memberships free of charge.

“Now more than ever, youth need a safe place to go which provide them with the activities and resources needed to become successful adults,” says Shawn H. Wilson, president and CEO of BGCSM. “We’re honored to be a part of the successful PYREC center’s growth model and look forward to contributing our whole family economic mobility focus.”

As part of the partnership, BGCSM will bring programs including Passport to Manhood, SMART Girls, Triple Play, Power Hour, Virtual Club, career exploration, and youth entrepreneur and small business start-up trainings to Pontiac youth ages 4 to 21 years old to the Pontiac Youth Enrichment Center.

“Two years ago, our citizens passed the millage to open the youth center here in Pontiac, which was a testament to how important it was to provide access to health and wellness activities as well as growth and enrichment programs to our youth,” says Deirde Waterman, mayor of Pontiac. “We’re proud to have BGCSM as a strategic partner and to have a club location back in our city again.”

Community stakeholders, companies and nonprofit organizations joined forces with city of Pontiac and BGCSM to donate more than $350,000 to support program operations for the youth of Pontiac. Funders include United Way of Southeastern Michigan with $200,000, Williams International Education Fund with $150,000, and Pontiac entrepreneur Ed Bahoura donated $5,000 toward the effort.

The PYREC club will become the 11th BGCSM site location across southeast Michigan. The partnership conducted a soft launch with Pontiac youth over the summer with access to the BGCSM Virtual Club.

PYREC powered by BGCSM officially will reopen on Sept. 8. All clubs will offer a full day (8 a.m.-6 p.m.) of virtual and on-site activities and guided learning to support parents with youth’s virtual school experience and minimize the learning loss that may have occurred during school closures.

Southfield Chamber to Host Restaurant Week
The Southfield Area Chamber of Commerce will present its 17th annual, Restaurant Week, A Taste of Southfield Aug. 24-30 in a safe, socially distanced manner.

The event kicks off Aug. 24 with a Community Day kick off at the Southfield Chamber of Commerce (20300 Civic Center Dr. #1102) from noon to 4 p.m.

This year’s Restaurant Week offers lunch, dinner, and family special pricing from local establishments with diverse dining options. Additionally, it provides an opportunity to strengthen the business and community relationship through virtual experiences in a community atmosphere.

Online events include an ultimate burger chef competition and a nutrition webinar.

For a full list of participating restaurants and events, visit here.

Mackinac Island Continues Fudge Festival Tradition
The Mackinac Island Fudge Festival will take place Aug. 28-30 with a modified format featuring traditional and virtual experiences to enhance access and safety.

“Our members have worked overtime to make the 2020 Fudge Festival a fun, safe reality for fans on the island and beyond,” says Tim Hygh, executive director of Mackinac Island Tourism.  “From implementing best practice safety measures and proliferating PPE to reformatting select events to offer a strong virtual experience, we are proud to bring this event to life again in spite of the uncertainty everyone has faced this year.”

The festival will feature programming throughout the weekend, including live and virtual fudge making demonstrations, a new fudge flavor reveal at May’s Candy Shop, and an exploration of the history of fudge.

For a complete list of this year’s Fudge Fest festivities, visit here.

Dodge Announces Pricing for New 2020 Challenger SRT Super Stock Package
The Dodge brand of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in Auburn Hills has set the starting MSRP for the new, drag-strip-ready 2020 Dodge Challenger SRT Super Stock package at $3,000, for a total of $79,595 (excluding destination charge).

The 2020 Challenger SRT Super Stock package includes a 3.09 gear ratio, standard Nitto drag radial tires, lightweight Brembo brakes, a racing-tuned suspension, and 18-by-11-inch wheels. It delivers 807 horsepower, a 0-60 time of 3.25 seconds, and a quarter-mile time of 10.5 seconds.

“Your car is only as fast as your tires,” says Tim Kuniskis, global head of Alfa Romeo and head of passenger cars for FCA – North America. “The 2020 Challenger SRT Super Stock gives our weekend warriors the ability to upgrade to 18-inch drag radials without having to spend a ton of money on changing out brakes and suspension components. The racing community has figured out very quickly that this package is a hot setup.”

The Dodge Challenger SRT Super Stock is powered by the same supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI high-output V-8 that powers the Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye but features a revised powertrain calibration that increases rated power output to 807 horsepower.

Dealer orders will open later this month for the 2020 Dodge Challenger SRT Super Stock with production starting at Brampton (Ont.) Assembly Plant this fall. Deliveries to Dodge//SRT dealerships are scheduled to begin later this year.

ACC and United Way Join Forces for Student Backpack Giveaway
The ACC, a nonprofit human service organization serving southeast Michigan, in partnership with the United Way for Southeastern Michigan, is distributing 500 student backpacks on Aug. 14 at Troy Union Elementary School (1340 E. Square Lake Rd.) at 11 a.m.

The backpacks, targeted to students in need, will be filled with paper, notebooks, pocket folders, markers, crayons, erasers, a pencil sharpener, glue stick, 10 disposable face masks and two containers of hand sanitizer. They will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

“Through the generosity and collaboration with the United Way for Southeastern Michigan, we are pleased to offer these school and essential PPE items to our neighbors in need, says Haifa Fakhouri, president and CEO of ACC. “We are grateful for their support as we continue to serve the needs of the community through the pandemic.”

The backpack event is part of the ACC’s new Oakland County COVID-19 relief program, funded by United Way for Southeastern Michigan.