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Area nonprofits groups say they are taking big hit amid COVID-19 crisis

Oralandar Brand-Williams
The Detroit News

The COVID-19 crisis is hitting Detroit block clubs and nonprofit groups hard, according to a survey released Wednesday.

Neighborhood organization ARISE DETROIT! says more than 60 percent of the city's block clubs and community groups say they are facing financial problems as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. Also, more than 80 percent  have had their volunteer efforts disrupted by the deadly infection.

Luther Keith, founder of ARISE Detroit

“It demonstrates that many of us are struggling to adapt to the new environment, or new reality, and are being forced to innovate and be creative to survive and continue to serve the community,” said Luther Keith, ARISE Detroit! executive director. “However, what is also clear from the survey is that these groups are still committed to making a difference and improving the quality of life in Detroit neighborhoods.”

The results came from more than 50 neighborhood and community groups taking part in the online survey over the past month. The  respondents were drawn from the ARISE Detroit! network of more than 400 community organizations that provide art, cultural, youth, mentoring and tutoring programs.

“The survey, we believe, is a fair reflection of the challenges facing Detroit’s Transformation Community, meaning the hundreds of groups working for positive community change,” Keith said. “Hopefully, as we move forward, this important work will continue, even if groups must transform themselves to continue to serve.”

Among the findings of the survey :

► Sixty-four percent of respondents said it has been “somewhat difficult” to maintain communications with their support networks during the health crisis.

: ►More than 80 percent said their volunteer efforts have been disrupted by COVID-19.

►Sixty-two percent said they are facing financial challenges because traditional funding is drying up or funding groups are redirecting their efforts toward  COVID-19-related programs