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Kresge commits $2 million for vaccine efforts, health equity in Detroit neighborhoods

COVID-19, Detroit

The Kresge Foundation today announced $1 million to bolster vaccine access and health equity through Detroit’s community health centers, community development organizations and human service agencies. The foundation is also committing to an additional $1 million in vaccination support grants in Detroit in the coming weeks.

“COVID-19 is not over, especially in Black and Brown communities. Community organizations are telling us that there’s more to be done to get out the word in neighborhoods that vaccines are readily available, safe and save lives, and to help connect residents to them,” said Wendy Lewis Jackson, managing director of the Kresge Foundation’s Detroit Program.

“The organizations we are supporting are trusted and familiar to Detroiters, and they will work alongside city efforts to reach residents closer to home and help us stem the resurgence of COVID-19.”

The funds announced include $600,000 targeted to federally qualified health centers, community development organizations and human service agencies in city council districts 2 and 6 – in northwest and southwest Detroit –  where testing shows the city’s highest COVID-19 case rates. Those funds will support a variety of efforts including vaccine outreach and education and transportation to vaccine sites.  Funds will also support the organizations in connecting residents with resources for a variety of basic needs, such as food, housing and mental health services.

The 13 organizations funded include ACCESS, Advantage Health Centers, Bridging Communities and Sinai Grace Community Development Corporation.

The balance of today’s funds, $400,000, will support community health organizations across the city leading outreach and access efforts. Those organizations will be named in the coming weeks.

“Vaccine eligibility does not automatically ensure equitable or convenient access, particularly for low-income communities and communities of color,” said Jackson. “It is important to address our longstanding inequities in the health field at the neighborhood level.”

Additional grants of $1 million promote vaccine access and availability, including partnerships with the city of Detroit and other organizations, will be announced in the coming days and the near future.

Nationally, including the Detroit grants, The Kresge Foundation will announce at least $4.4 million to support the equitable distribution of vaccines in 2021. In 2020, the foundation committed $19 million in grants and investments to support nonprofits confronting the COIVD-19 crisis nationally and in cities across the United States.

“Health centers, community development organizations and other nonprofits delivering human services are trusted pillars of their neighborhoods. Particularly through the pandemic, these groups have stepped up to provide access to health and human services — including access to COVID testing — for residents,” said Jackson of the organizations being funded today. “These grants reflect the foundation’s commitment to improving the quality of life and opportunity in city and address the systematic health disparities afflict communities of color.”