United Way for Southeastern Michigan has committed a $50,000 matching contribution for Lighthouse’s COVID-19 crisis emergency response. Food to be distributed to children and families in need from 4 locations: Pontiac, Clarkston, Southfield and Farmington Hills
PONTIAC, Mich. (March 16, 2019) – Lighthouse, a Pontiac-based nonprofit dedicated to fighting homelessness and poverty, is partnering with the several local organizations to ensure that hungry children, families and individuals in Oakland County get food, shelter and other vital assistance during the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) crisis.
United Way for Southeastern Michigan will match up to $50,000 in donations made to lighthousemi.org/Covid-19.
In addition, the Oakland Intermediate School District, Gardner-White Furniture and the Chaldean Chamber are among those teaming up to help thousands of local students who rely on free and reduced school lunches every day. That need continues despite school closures.
“What’s happening right now is unprecedented, but Lighthouse and our partners are working quickly to respond,” said Lighthouse CEO Ryan Hertz. “It is our mission to help those in need, especially when times get tough, and that’s exactly what we’re doing in the safest way possible for all involved. We are truly grateful to our partners and to the United Way of Southeastern Michigan for allocating much needed emergency funds.
“It’s important to note that our homeless and disadvantaged clients are among the most at risk for contracting and experiencing the more severe effects of COVID-19,” Hertz continued. “It is in the best interest of the entire community for us to act quickly and ensure their needs are met to help prevent the spread of this virus.”
Lighthouse will continue to distribute emergency food boxes from its Pontiac and Clarkston pantries. Starting Friday, March 20, two additional distribution sites will be added in Southfield and Farmington Hills. Access to the pantries will be increased during this crisis.
Please see distribution locations, dates and times below.
- Lighthouse in Pontiac: 46156 Woodward Ave.
Monday-Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Lighthouse in Clarkston: 5850 Dixie Hwy.
Monday-Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Lighthouse St. David’s Food Pantry: 16200 W. 12 Mile, Southfield
Tues., Wed, Friday, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
- CARES of Farmington Hills, 27835 Shiawassee Road
Tues., Wed., Friday, 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Anyone in need of assistance can sign up by visiting the Lighthouse website here or by calling (248) 920-6000 (press the number 2) Monday-Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Working with a core team of volunteers and congregations, Lighthouse’s emergency shelter program will continue to shelter and feed families and individuals experiencing homelessness while also limiting their risk of exposure. Lighthouse will provide more extensive daytime accommodations to shelter guests to promote social distancing. In the event that someone in the shelter exhibits symptoms, Lighthouse will provide accommodations for self-quarantine and will work with Honor Community Health to ensure immediate and proper medical attention is given.
HOW PEOPLE CAN HELP RIGHT NOW:
- Donate: An online fundraising campaign is currently underway to raise $100,000 to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in Oakland County. Funds will ensure that our most vulnerable community members are supported during this difficult time. Donations can be made here.
- Drop Off Food or Hold a Food Drive: There is an urgent need for food donations including: macaroni and cheese, cereal, canned fruits and vegetables, canned soup, chili and stews, canned meat (chicken, tuna, etc.), canned ravioli, boxed potatoes, pasta sauce, dry pasta, rice, goldfish crackers, granola bars, bread, peanut butter and jelly and shelf-stable boxed milk.
People are being encouraged to pre-make boxes containing each of the items listed or enough food and water for an average family for two weeks. These can be packed in boxes or grocery bags. Corporations, congregations and others are also encouraged to hold food drives as soon as possible.
Donations can be dropped off at:
- Lighthouse in Pontiac, 46156 Woodward Ave. (DOOR D)
Monday-Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Lighthouse in Clarkston, 5850 Dixie Highway
Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m
Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Volunteer: Volunteers are needed Monday through Friday to help pack emergency response food baskets. To protect our clients, volunteers and staff, Lighthouse has implemented strict rules and guidelines that can be viewed at this registration link.
The Chaldean Chamber will provide critically needed food and donations to support this effort. Gardner-White is helping to collect food, pick up donations, and deliver food box orders to the various distribution sites. Two Men and a Truck will also help with donation pickup and delivery.
“Gardner-White has been an active member of the metro Detroit community for more than 100 years,” said Gardner-White president Rachel Tronstein. “The health of our region is very important to us and we’ll always step up however we can.”
The Oakland Intermediate School District is coordinating outreach to students, parents and staff and assisting with other needs of the district’s most vulnerable students.
“In Oakland County, 29 percent of our students rely on free and reduced cost meals at school, including weekend food programs,” said Sara Orris, Homeless Student Education Consultant for Oakland Schools. “While many districts are providing meals during this crisis, others are not. Many families also don’t have the means to travel to get those meals. That’s why this emergency response is so crucial. We deeply appreciate the support of Lighthouse and all of our partners during this challenging time.”