As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect southeast Michigan communities, the most vulnerable among us are hit even harder.
Families in a position to help should take comfort knowing that many effective and diverse charities exist close to home. Local organizations provide shelter to youth facing homelessness, deliver food to LGBTQ+ elders, provide asylum seekers with resources and much more.
Showing your children how people step up when neighbors are in need is an incredible way to raise thoughtful, caring adults. As the late Fred Rogers said, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”
Become one of those helpers by supporting one of these local equity organizations.
- Address: 2966 Woodward Ave., Detroit
- How to help: Donate directly or participate in contacting legislators.
The American Civil Liberties Union is a national organization with a robust Michigan chapter. Lawyers and activists team up to fight for the civil rights afforded to every person at this nonpartisan organization.
- Address: 290 W. 9 Mile Road, Ferndale
- How to help: Families can help by donating directly, purchasing needed items off the Amazon wish list, linking a Kroger community rewards account or donating a used car through Charity Motors.
Affirmations has been helping members of the LGBTQ+ community since 1988. The organization focuses on youth services, discussion groups, counseling, workplace training and more.
- Address: 2470 Collingwood St. Suite 218, Detroit
- How to help: Donate directly or volunteer as a big brother or big sister
The largest organization in Southeast Michigan offering one-on-one mentoring. Volunteers are trained in evidence-based mentoring practices.
- Address: 26777 Halsted Road, Suite 100, Farmington Hills
- How to help: Donate money or items like school supplies and sporting equipment or volunteer.
The Boys and Girls club offers mental wellness resources, general mentorship, distance learning support, educational summer camps and more.
- Address: 2959 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Detroit
- How to help: Donating directly or shopping with Kroger Community Rewards or AmazonSmile.
Covenant House was founded to directly aid youth facing homelessness. The group offers shelter as well as educational and vocational programs.
- Address: 8801 Woodward Ave, Detroit
- How to help: Families can donate money and items and ages 21 and up can volunteer.
The most vulnerable youth in Detroit can rely on the Detroit Phoenix Center for shelter, meals and emotional support. The center also offers career readiness, education workshops and transportation assistance.
- Address: 1400 Oakman Blvd., Detroit
- How to help: Families can support Focus Hope by donating directly, volunteering and attending events.
Focus Hope fights poverty, injustice and racism through dozens of programs. The organization supports early learning through its Great Start and Head Start locations and offers doula and breastfeeding services, youth classes, job training, food for seniors and more.
- Address: 1777 N. Rademacher, Detroit
- How to help: Families can support Freedom House by shopping using AmazonSmile, donating a vehicle, shopping with Kroger Community Rewards or donating directly.
Freedom House Detroit is committed to supporting asylum seekers. The organization provides shelter, food, clothing, legal aid, counseling services and a pre-employment services guide.
- Address: 77 Victor St., Highland Park
- How to help: Take part in events like the Legacy Walk and support the center by donating directly–they now accept Cryptocurrency.
With a focus on trauma-informed services, the Ruth Ellis Center has supported LGBTQ+ youth and young adults since 1999. The center pays special attention to young people of color and youth experiencing homelessness or navigating the welfare system.
- Address: 290 W. Nine Mile Road, Ferndale
- How to help: Donate directly or volunteer on a committee, deliver food or participate in the Friendly Caller program.
Sage is metro Detroit’s chapter of the national organization for LGBTQ+ elders. The organization advocates for senior needs and provides services like food delivery and the Friendly Caller program to combat social isolation.
- Address: 8201 Sylvester St., Detroit
- How to help: Donate money or items like kitchen supplies and cleaning products. There are many volunteer options, including mentoring, helping to set up apartments, helping refugees navigate local transportation and more.
This statewide organization has many programs to help those in need. Notably, they offer educational, vocational and legal services for refugees.
- Address: The Fisher Building, 3011 W Grand Blvd. Suite 500, Detroit
- How to help: Donate money, items or volunteer with one of their many linked programs.
United Way coordinates an enormous amount of support for families in need. The organization leverages support for seniors, youth and families. In-person volunteering will resume in fall 2021.
Follow Metro Parent on Instagram.