How You Can Help Your Community
Information regarding this outbreak is changing rapidly. Check back frequently for updates.
We have received countless offers from community members, partners, and stakeholders asking how to support those who may be impacted by COVID-19. Please check back regularly as we continue to add new ways to help your community during this time.
Kent County Emergency Management
Kent County Emergency Management has a need for center workers at our presumed COVID-19 negative shelter for women experiencing homelessness. These women were recently tested for COVID-19, found to be negative, but needed to relocate to take pressure off the shelter resources in the Heartside District downtown. This is part of the Kent County Health Department's strategy of social distancing, specifically in this vulnerable population.
The center is located at the Catholic Central High School gymnasium at 319 Sheldon Blvd SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503. We have shifts at this point that have not been filled by other staff/volunteers (and we are especially grateful for individuals who can work shifts other than traditional daytime). Below are the tasks/duties for these positions. Everyone working will be provided appropriate personal protective equipment, but center workers at this location will not be in direct contact with known positive COVID-19 patients. Kent EM personnel and volunteers who have already worked at this shelter would tell you that it has been very rewarding, helping a vulnerable and appreciative group of women!
This site has 3 positions:
1. Site Ambassador - This position is currently scheduled to be filled around the clock. The site ambassador is the site manager’s eyes and ears. You keep an eye out for things that are not right, or needs that are not met along with safety issues. Letting the site manager know when something needs to be fixed or taken care of or issues. You will be roaming around the site in pairs and radioing back when needed.
2. Assistant Site Manager - This position is currently scheduled in the evenings to help facilitate and manage reentry and other issues. This schedule can change with a discussion with the site manager to make sure everyone is on the same page and a working schedule to accommodate those interested.
3. Cleaner / Maintenance - This position is also currently scheduled in the evenings but can change based on the needs and availability of volunteers.
To volunteer, please go to www.kcest.org/volunteer. We will conduct a background check but will try to fast-track applications during the COVID response.
Kent County Health Department
Contact Tracing Volunteers Needed
We are currently seeking contact tracing volunteers to work with our staff. Contact tracing is an important part of mitigating the community spread of the virus and in supporting patients with a suspected or confirmed infection. In contact tracing, our staff and trained volunteers work with each patient to help them recall everyone they have had close contact with during the time-frame they may have been infectious. Public health staff or volunteers then notify the exposed individuals (contacts) of their potential exposure as rapidly and sensitively as possible. .
- For more information, contact Pamela Brown
Kisds’ Food Basket
Kids’ Food Basket is continuing to provide evening meals and other nutritional services, through several distribution locations as long as it is safe to do so. If you are healthy and able, volunteers are needed. Also, please consider donating to its emergency funds which will go toward nourishing local children.
Meals on Wheels
COVID-19 poses its greatest threat to vulnerable seniors, and Meals on Wheels Western Michigan is on the front lines, keeping older Americans safe and nourished. Meals on Wheels serves 3,000 meals per day and, with more seniors likely to become homebound, there will be an increase need for meals. Help provide meals to one of our most vulnerable populations by financially donating or volunteering.
Heart of West Michigan United Way
Heart of West Michigan United Way, in partnership with local foundations and funders, has established a Kent County Coronavirus Response Fund for people to donate to help meet immediate needs in the community related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund will support the nonprofits who are serving vulnerable populations during this time. United Way will match up to $50,000 in donations.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if your community organization is in need of assistance.
If you have volunteer or supply needs that have developed as a result of the COVID-19 spread, you can post them to United Way's Volunteer Center webpage so that area volunteers and contributors can sign up to help.