United Way for Southeastern Michigan Awards More Than $7.6 million in Grants to Address Basic Needs and Education

United Way for Southeastern Michigan has announced grants totaling more than $7.6 million from campaign funds to improve the overall quality of life for people living in Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties. Dollars will immediately be distributed this month to organizational partners engaged in basic needs and education work that strengthens and expands access to our region’s safety net.

For more than a century, United Way has actively worked to support efforts that assure every household is stable and that children are equipped with the tools needed to thrive.

More than 60 grants are being awarded to support strong partnerships to help families meet basic needs like food, shelter, childcare and housing support. Additional investments will be made to organizations providing household financial support. Also, grants will be made to organizations providing wrap around services for youth and access to technology tools for academic enrichment.

These community investments are part of the United Way’s continued commitment to support the community through a focus on supporting families. In addition to the more than $26.6 million raised for COVID, United Way has released $7.6 million to the community (Specifically for basic needs), and another $2 million invested this past fall in supports to early childhood education providers.

“Prior to the pandemic, more than 44 percent of households in our region were identified as unable to meet their basic needs. Stress the COVID-19 crisis has caused to the economy has exacerbated this issue, “said Dr. Darienne Hudson, president and CEO of United Way for Southeastern Michigan. “We know many of our neighbors are facing an even more difficult time now. United Way has not lost sight of the continued need for assistance of the most vulnerable across our region.”

According the United Way’s ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) report, nearly half of families across Michigan struggle to afford the necessities of housing, childcare, food, technology, health care, and technology.

These unrestricted, renewal grants were awarded through a non-competitive, objective process. Basic and educational needs grants range between $25,000 and $150,000. The funds will primarily support operational resilience for the organizations.

“This pandemic has proven to us all that the health and well-being of every single one of us is intertwined. Many people have been impacted by this illness. Many have lost wages. Many are unable to pay their rent or mortgages. Basic needs are in even shorter supply than they were before,” said Cheryl P. Johnson, chief executive officer, Coalition on Temporary Shelter (COTS). “We can’t afford to overlook Detroit’s families. We must ensure that action and support are extended to households where resources have already been limited, to prevent further unacceptable harm. With support from partners like United Way, COTS is committed to providing these services. Acting together and acting now, we are protecting families and we are creating opportunities to succeed.”

To learn more about the grants and other assistance available to the community, visit UnitedWaySEM.org.

About United Way for Southeastern Michigan

United Way for Southeastern Michigan, a member of the United Way Worldwide network and an independently governed 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, works to help households become stable and ensure children have the support they need to thrive. For more than 100 years, United Way has been a leader in creating positive, measurable, and sustainable change in communities throughout southeast Michigan. United Way works in partnership with donors, agencies, corporate and municipal partners to help families meet their basic needs of housing, food, health care and family finances, and ensure children start school ready to learn and graduate ready for life. To give, advocate, volunteer or learn more, visit UnitedWaySEM.org.  

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