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.
Federal Government – State Gets $300M for Local Governments and First Responders
The state of Michigan is distributing $300 million in CARES Act funds via two grants to help first responders receive premium hazard pay and reimburse local governments for payroll costs incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Effective immediately, eligible local units of government can apply for a grant from the First Responder Hazard Pay Premiums Program and the Public Safety and Public Health Payroll Reimbursement Program.
The First Responder Hazard Pay Premiums Program offers $100 million to fund additional compensation for first responders. Eligible first responders performed hazardous duty or work involving physical hardship related to COVID-19.
Cities, villages, townships, counties, public airport operators, and certain ambulance operators can be reimbursed up to $1,000 per eligible employee, with no single applicant receiving more than $5 million. Applications from qualifying units of government will be funded on a first-come, first-served basis.
The Public Safety and Public Health Payroll Reimbursement Program makes available $200 million to reimburse cities, villages, townships, and counties for eligible public safety and public health payroll expenditures incurred from April to July 2020.
Cities, villages, townships, and counties can participate in the program if they have eligible public safety and public health payroll expenditures.
This program will potentially have two application rounds.
The first application round will be available for reimbursement of April and May 2020 eligible payroll expenditures. If funding is available after the first application round is completed, a second application round will be available for reimbursement of the June and July 2020 eligible payroll expenditures.
Local units of government with questions about the grant programs can call the Treasury CARES Grant Programs Hotline at 517-335-0155 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Applications for the programs and more information are available on the Treasury COVID-19 webpage under Local Government and School Services.
Market Fridays Returns to Cadillac Square July 10
The Detroit Downtown Partnership is offering a socially distanced version of its popular Market Fridays in downtown Detroit.
Tomorrow through Sept. 18, Market Fridays will be open in Cadillac Square from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visitors will learn about local farmers or food purveyors each week, offering a chance to safely shop outdoors or grab takeaway foods. The event is curated by Ask Jennyfer, a Detroit-based firm specializing in branding and promoting small businesses.
“We are giving small business owners the opportunity to have their very own pop-up in the heart of Downtown Detroit,” says Jennyfer Crawford, owner of Ask Jennyfer. “During these uncertain times we are still able to help them build their brands while we all stay safe.”
This year, Market Fridays has instituted special safety measures to protect shoppers and vendors.
“We all must do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep the parks and public spaces safe for all to enjoy and experience,” says David Cowan, director of public spaces and programming for the DDP. “When visiting, please wear a mask, stay at least 6 feet apart from others, and frequently sanitize your hands at one of many park handwashing stations.”
The organizers suggest all visitors plan ahead and check out All Things Ticketing or the Downtown Detroit Partnership Facebook page to see a list of participating small businesses.
Detroit Experience Factory Resumes In-person Tours, Adds Virtual Option
The Detroit Experience Factory (DXF), a local nonprofit that introduces locals and visitors to all things Detroit, has resumed in-person tours as part of its schedule for summer 2020.
Starting this month, those interested in learning more about Detroit’s history and beyond can book walking tours, which now include precautions to keep participants safe amid COVID-19.
DXF requires participants to bring headphones and a phone, as tour guides will provide narration through headsets. This will ensure that participants can properly social distance without missing any information. All participants also will be required to wear a mask. In addition to in-person experiences, DXF has also launched a virtual tour program.
“With virtual tours we can provide even more context than we normally do by utilizing historic photos, infographics, and other tools that add to the narrative,” says Chloe Seymour, program director at DXF. “This program also gives us the opportunity to introduce Detroit to more people outside of Michigan and even around the world.”
The virtual tours will take place via Zoom led by a guide using Google Maps and Street View, photos, and infographics to enhance the tour narration.
For a full list of available tours and pricing, visit here.
U-M Awards Grants to Address Poverty and COVID-19 Across Midwest
An organization at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor has awarded six grants totaling $150,000 for projects to improve economic mobility and address the impact of COVID-19 throughout the Midwest.
With the grants, the Midwest Mobility from Poverty Network, led by U-M’s Poverty Solutions aims to accelerate collaborative community-university projects that will leverage data and apply research to have real-world impact on economic mobility.
The projects include:
- A Lansing-based initiative that seeks to enhance economic mobility through job training and community partnership for service industry and restaurant workers led by Michigan State University, the Allen Neighborhood Center, and the Restaurant Opportunities Center of Michigan.
- A collaboration between Wayne State University researchers and the Urban Neighborhoods Initiative to alleviate poverty related barriers to school attendance in Detroit’s Springwells neighborhood.
- Ongoing work by the U-M Center for Health and Research Transformation to COVID-19 response analysis for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and Council of Michigan Foundations, as well as other health-related organizations.
- A collaboration between the University of Chicago, the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, and the City Clerk of Chicago to determine how Chicago’s nonprofit organizations can better support marginalized communities amid COVID-19.
- A Randomized Control Trial evaluation of participation in a tech skills training program for youth in Milwaukee and Chicago by the University of Notre Dame and i.c.stars, a workforce training organization.
- A collaboration between Wichita State University, the Greater Wichita YMCA, Opportunity Wichita: Project Wichita, and the city of Wichita that seeks to help remove barriers to student success, such as technology and internet access, in the wake of the educational impacts of COVID-19.
“We know that improving economic mobility requires action-based partnerships across the nonprofit and for-profit sectors, government and universities,” says H. Luke Shaefer, director of Poverty Solutions and a professor of social justice and social policy at U-M. “The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a bright spotlight on economic inequality, and we need to support these strategic partnerships to improve economic mobility more than ever.”
For more details on the projects receiving grants, visit here.
Food Support for Children
Forgotten Harvest of Oak Park is sponsoring the Summer Food Service Program offered by the Michigan Department of Education’s Office of School Support Services. Free lunches will be available at 14 sites in Detroit and one each in Oak Park, Pontiac, Ecorse, River Rouge, Warren, and Lake Orion.
All children up to 18 years old are eligible for the program as well as persons up to age 26 who are enrolled in an educational program for the mentally or physically disabled that is recognized by a state or local public educational agency.
The meals will be provided without regard to race, color, national origin, age, sex, or disability, and there will be no discrimination in the course of the meal service. Sites may provide several lunches to serve children between distribution days.
The suburban locations include:
- Oak Park Recreation Center (14300 Oak Park Blvd.), Wednesdays, 9 a.m-noon on Wednesdays. Woodside Pontiac (830 Auburn Ave.), July 10 and 24, and Aug. 14 and 28, noon-3:30 p.m.
- The International Gospel Center in Ecorse (375 Salliotte), Fridays, 9 a.m. and noon.
- The Preparatory Academy in River Rouge (1121 W. Jefferson Ave.), Wednesdays, 9 a.m.-noon.
- Warren City Hall (1 City Square), Mondays, 9 a.m.-noon.
- Woodside Lake Orion (2500 Joslyn Rd.), Mondays, 9 a.m.-noon.
The Detroit distribution areas include:
- Second Mile Center (18391 Morang), Monday-Thursday, 12:30-2 p.m.
- Church of the Messiah (231 E. Grand Blvd.), Wednesdays, 12:30-1:30 p.m.
- Central Detroit Christian (1550 Taylor St.), Monday-Thursday, Noon-1 p.m.
- Gateway Church of the Nazarene (213 Marlborough St.), Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, Noon-1 p.m.
- Inner City Youth (13031 Chandler park Dr.), Tuesday and Friday, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
- Unity Temple (17505 @nd Ave.), Thursdays, Noon-3:30 p.m.
- Latino Americans for Social and Economic Development (7150 W. Vernor Hwy.), Mondays and Wednesdays, Noon-1 p.m.
- Downtown Boxing Gym (6445 E. Vernor Hwy.), Monday-Friday, Noon-3:30 p.m.
- Eastside Community Network (14711 Mack Ave.), Mondays and Thursdays, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
- Vernon MBC (15125 Burt Rd.), Wednesdays, 3-5:30 p.m.
- Ebenezer Church (14601 Dequindre), Tuesdays, 9 a.m.-noon.
- Eastside Mothers Club (8726 Seven Mile Rd.), Wednesdays, 9 a.m.-noon.
- Pilgrim Baptist (18474 Binder), Thursdays, 9 a.m.-noon.
- Second Canaan (9425 Hayes), Thursdays, 9 a.m.-noon.
Salvation Army Launches Summer Fundraising Campaign
The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit is kicking off its Summer in the City fundraising campaign presented by Toyota. From July 13-Aug. 7, the nonprofit will look to the community to help raise $250,000 for metro Detroit residents who are struggling financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Summer in the City Campaign will provide food assistance and utility bill payments, as well as adequate access to medications, prescriptions and transportation assistance.
Led by a $77,777 matching donation from Toyota, the four-week fundraiser will be chaired by Alva Adams Mason, director, multicultural business alliance and strategy for Toyota Motor North America and a Salvation Army National Advisory Board member.
Donations of any amount made to the Summer in the City Campaign are welcomed, and because all gifts up to $77,777 will be doubled and fully matched, dollar-for-dollar by Toyota, a $1 donation becomes $2, $25 becomes $50, $100 becomes $200, etc.
“At Toyota, we want to build more than just great cars and trucks,” says Adams Mason. “The success of our communities is key to a healthy nation. We are proud to continue our support of The Salvation Army and its mission of helping families and individuals in need, especially during these uncertain times that have been brought on by the coronavirus. We’re all in this together, and we must combine our resources to help those in need, no matter where we live.”
To contribute, visit here, text SUMMER to 24365, calling 877-SAL-MICH, or send a check payable to The Salvation Army to 16130 Northland Dr., Southfield, MI 48075.