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Detroit resources for coronavirus relief 

click to enlarge Chef Maxcel Hardy of Detroit’s Coop Caribbean Fusion donated perishable food to the homeless and needy when all dine-in restaurants were ordered to close due to the coronavirus. - DAVID RUDOLPH
  • David Rudolph
  • Chef Maxcel Hardy of Detroit’s Coop Caribbean Fusion donated perishable food to the homeless and needy when all dine-in restaurants were ordered to close due to the coronavirus.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has ordered all Michigan residents to stay home as much as possible to slow the spread of the coronavirus. While the virus has made it so we can’t be in close proximity to each other, we can’t get through this alone. Below are some Detroit-area coronavirus relief funds and other resources to help local residents, artists, service-industry workers, and others who could use a helping hand during this unprecedented time.

Did we miss any? Send tips to Stay safe, Detroit — and remember to wash your hands.

What is the coronavirus?

Exposure to the coronavirus can cause COVID-19. Reported cases have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death. The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure:

• Fever
• Cough
• Shortness of breath

If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19, get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include:

• Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
• Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
• Bluish lips or face

This list is not all-encompassing; consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

Health officials recommend taking the following steps to prevent the spread of the coronavirus:

• Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
• Avoid close contact with sick people
• Stay home if you’re sick
• Cover your mouth if you cough or sneeze
• Wear a face mask if you’re sick
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces

General coronavirus information

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Michigan coronavirus information

Detroit coronavirus information

Michigan COVID-19 Community Response
Various COVID-19-related resources for Michigan.

Gov. Whitmer, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, and the American Red Cross partnered for a new volunteer website for trained medical professionals to register to serve their fellow Michiganders by assisting hospitals in fighting COVID-19. Other state residents can also use the site to find out how they can help in their local communities, give blood, donate money, or needed medical supplies, or assist public health officials in tracking infections.

For restaurants

Good To-Go Detroit
Metro Times' database of restaurants offering carry-out, curbside delivery, online ordering.

Save MI Faves
This database helps you purchase gift cards from Michigan restaurants, which can help your favorite spot weather this economic downturn.

The Food Rescue program
The City of Detroit has partnered with Forgotten Harvest and Detroit restaurants to “rescue” surplus food that would otherwise go to waste and donate it to area agencies for residents in need. Participating businesses get tax deductions. Restaurants with a surplus of perishable food and the ability to transport to nearby agencies are asked to sign up on the website.

Bartender Emergency Assistance Program
The United States Bartenders Guild is offering grants to bartenders affected by the virus. You do not need to be a USBG member to apply.

Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation Relief Fund
The Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund is offering grants to individual workers affected by the virus and zero-interest loans to businesses.

One Fair Wage Emergency Fund
One Fair Wage launched an emergency fund to provide immediate assistance to restaurant employees.

Another Round Another Rally
Offers $500 relief grants for hospitality workers who lost their jobs or had their hours cut because of the virus.

For service-industry workers with COVID-19
Offers assistance to service-industry workers who’ve tested positive for COVID-19 and have a child living in their home.

Tip a random Detroit-area service-industry worker
This website will randomly select a Detroit-area bartender or service-industry worker, so you can tip them anytime you have a drink or meal at home during the shutdown using Venmo or Cash App.

Additional information for service-industry workers
More aid and resources for bartenders is available here. (Thanks to for compiling many of the above service-industry resources.)

For artists and musicians

Rapid Response Fundraiser for Artists and Creatives
The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit has partnered with the City of Detroit Office of Arts, Culture and Entrepreneurship to help local artists sell their work on MOCAD’s website. Local artists should send an email and a single sample of their work to MOCAD Membership Manager Wayne Northcross at or the ACE Office at Chosen artists may sell a single piece of art on the site; if a piece sells, the museum will split the proceeds 50/50 with the artist. Buyers are responsible for shipping.

That’s Our Friend Fund
Fund is set up by metro Detroit-based The Gallery Society to raise money through art auctions and to collect donations to help those in the event, entertainment, and service industries who were financially affected by the virus.

Michigan Music Alliance Artist Relief Fund
Fund supports Michigan-based musical artists who have lost income due to coronavirus-related gig cancellations.

Other resources

Mutual Aid Hub
National database of mutual aid resources.

Founded by 16-year-old Jonah Liss of the International Academy of Bloomfield Hills, Mediumize offers a one-on-one delivery service, pairing volunteers with the elderly or needy people who cannot leave their homes to buy groceries. The group has volunteers in 14 cities in metro Detroit, with aims to expand.

Support for undocumented immigrants
Support for undocumented families in metro Detroit.

Detroit Sex Worker Mutual Aid Fund
Created by sex-worker collective ANSWER, the Detroit Sex Worker Mutual Aid Fund is a financial resource-sharing space created by Michigan-based sex workers to provide necessary support for fellow sex workers and their families.

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January 13, 2020

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