United Way’s COVID-19 Impact

Before COVID-19 hit our region, more than 40 percent of Southeastern Michigan households were already struggling to meet their basic needs like food, housing and health care. According to United Way’s ALICE report, these households were only one bad day away from financial struggle.  

Now, these families — and many more — are in crisis.  

United Way is working with hundreds of partners to give these families the support they need to weather this crisis and reach stability, as well as to ensure they can help their children thrive and learn.

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Since the pandemic began in March 2020, United Way has dedicated itself to providing immediate and crucial support to Southeastern Michigan organizations, nonprofits, schools and child care facilities. With the support of dozens of corporate and foundation partners, as well as individuals, we launched the COVID-19 Community Response Fund to aid in front-line efforts to support families affected by this crisis. 

United Way’s 2-1-1 helpline has served as a go-to service for people looking for help and information, whether that’s assistance with filing for unemployment, accessing food or housing support, or finding a way to volunteer or donate funds or supplies.

United, we are combatting the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting school and business shutdowns.

Read on to learn more about how — with our supporters, partners and volunteers — we’re helping our region respond to and recover from the impacts of COVID-19. 


United Way’s COVID-19 Community Response Fund launched March 16, 2020, to address the emergency needs of community organizations working to help individuals and families in Southeastern Michigan meet their basic needs. 

The fund has since expanded to support at-home education efforts and necessary technology for students, child care facilities serving essential workers, and grassroots efforts to keep the public informed, safe and cared for. It also supports one-time microgrants for individuals facing extreme hardship who do not qualify for unemployment assistance.

Dozens of corporate and foundation partners, individual and family gifts, and individual and business fundraisers have raised more than $37 million for the COVID-19 fund. This includes more than $17.5 million from Oakland County for three grant opportunities. One project was the creation of the Oakland Together Community Response and Recovery Fund. This fund supports nonprofits serving residents of the county.

As of the end of March 2021, United Way had awarded more than 1,000 grants to local organizations, schools and groups.

Explore the map below to see how United Way’s COVID-19 fund is making an impact in our region. 


Since the launch of United Way’s COVID-19 Community Response Fund, we’ve awarded more than 1,000 grants to partners that have worked diligently to meet the most immediate needs of individuals, children and families in Southeastern Michigan.

Our partners have worked to connect people with critical information and resources, supplied meals and food packages, helped people meet their physical and mental health needs, supported students in need of technical and educational assistance, and so much more.

Use the dashboard below to see how many lives our partners have impacted so far, thanks to the support of our corporate, foundation and individual donors.


Read more about our impact

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