Poverty Solutions issues COVID-19 resource guide for Michiganders

A new Michigan COVID-19 Pandemic Resource Guide provides information on how to access various resources aimed at supporting Michiganders through the coronavirus pandemic and related economic slowdown.

While everyone is affected by the restrictions on public gatherings, business closures and public health concerns, it is low-wage hourly workers, people with little savings or disposable income and people living in poverty who will have the most difficult time weathering the economic disruption accompanying the COVID-19 crisis, says H. Luke Shaefer, founding director of Poverty Solutions and a professor of social work and public policy.

Poverty Solutions, a U-M initiative aimed at preventing and alleviating poverty, compiled the Michigan COVID-19 Pandemic Resource Guide to help people make sense of the new resources becoming available as a result of the rapidly changing federal, state and local responses to the coronavirus outbreak.

“Responses to the coronavirus outbreak need to focus on taking care of our most vulnerable populations,” Shaefer said. “More needs are arising as this public health emergency continues and more and more consequences emerge.”

Poverty Solutions faculty experts and staff have been active in advising on the economic response to the current crisis.

For instance, Poverty Solutions housing experts advocated at the state level and through a formal partnership with the city of Detroit for a moratorium on evictions during the coronavirus pandemic. Detroit’s court system stopped processing evictions on March 16, and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced a statewide eviction moratorium on March 20.

The Michigan COVID-19 Pandemic Resource Guide aims to make sure the people who would benefit most from these policy changes are able to take advantage of them.

“The guide demonstrates Poverty Solutions’ commitment to action-based research that is responsive to community needs,” said Kristin Seefeldt, Poverty Solutions associate faculty director and an associate professor of social work and public policy.

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