Families & Community | Michigan Radio

Families & Community

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The federal ban on evictions has expired, but people in Michigan can still get help paying their rent.

The state has more than half a billion dollars available through the COVID Emergency Rental Assistance Program, known as CERA.

More information, and an online application, is available at Michigan.gov/cera.

David Pilgrim with items on display at the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia
Tyler Scott / Michigan Radio

The Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia is home to over 14,000 items that showcase the nation's racist past. Those items are getting a new home, thanks to a planned $18.5 million expansion.

The museum is currently housed in a campus library at Ferris State University in Big Rapids. The planned expansion would make the museum a standalone building, and would address limitations like "lack of visibility and tight configuration."

close up of Gretchen Whitmer
Photo courtesy of www.senate.mi.gov/whitmer

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has toured much of the state this week to build support for using American Rescue Plan funds for affordable housing.

Whitmer’s stops included Detroit, Jackson, and Kalamazoo. She’s hoping to win legislative approval to commit $100 million from the federal government for housing.

She says that could leverage another $380 million dollars in private sector investment.

“Right now, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to give thousands of Michiganders a safe place to call home,” she said at the Detroit event.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Like other Michigan cities, Flint has seen a sharp rise in violent crime this year.

Organizers hope a month-long day-camp starting Monday will help quell the violence.

The city of Flint is partnering with local churches to offer activities for children under 16 years old.

Pastor Chris Martin hopes the Super Summer Fun Camp will give Flint kids a place to go.

Amy Miller and her family at their cottage
Courtesy of Amy Miller

Since 1929, Amy Miller’s family has spent every summer on Lake Erie at property in Ontario until the pandemic disrupted that tradition. On a typical summer, the Millers would be sailing or sharing a meal. But, due to the non-essential travel ban at the Canadian border, they haven’t been to their second home in more than a year. 

But that should change in August, as Canada and the U.S. plan to lift travel restrictions.

a sad woman out of focus talking to a psychiatrist
Adobe Stock

Today on Stateside, a partial border opening has Michiganders with Canadian ties packing their bags. Also, reforms to a tangled mental health system. And, we revisit the history of the wall that cut through a northwest Detroit neighborhood, with the explicit intent of keeping Black residents out. 

When two is a lonely number: Group aims to connect spousal caregivers, ease isolation

Jul 16, 2021
Ginger and Mike Henrichs

Pulling a pill organizer box from a kitchen drawer in her Penfield home, Ginger Henrichs removed the contents from the Monday compartment and broke them into tiny pieces with a pill crusher.

Henrichs emptied the pills -- now almost as fine as dust -- into a carton of pudding and walked over to her husband, who is sitting in a wheelchair.

“Hey, Mike, can I give you some pudding?” Henrichs asked.

"Sure,” he replied.

Giving her husband his pills is just one of the daily caregiving tasks that she's taken on since he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2011.

Flooding in metro Detroit this weekend.
Courtesy of Dan Austin

The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department has received more than 24,000 claims of water damage from residents since the severe storms and floods that occurred on June 26.

5,400 of those claims are from households with senior citizens and those with disabilities. Those residents are eligible to have city crews come and clear debris from people's basements.

Detroit flooding
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

In the wake of devastating damage brought on by historic flooding, Wayne and Washtenaw County are waiting to see if President Joe Biden will issue a presidential declaration of disaster. In the meantime, the city of Detroit will provide low-income residents with contractors to help clean and repair flood-damaged homes.

Residents eligible for help from the city include homeowners with a poverty tax exemption, people with a disability, senior citizens, and people with children under ten. 

Angela Gallegos

The torrential rain and flooding that struck parts of Metro Detroit on June 26 took a “devastating” toll on some households. That’s especially true in some Detroit communities, where many people lack insurance and there are a large number of low-income, senior, or disabled residents.

jimmiehomeschoolmom / flickr

Today on Stateside, we speak with Dearborn’s State Representative on the needed infrastructure investments to deal with Michigan’s on-going floods. Next up, a year of homeschooling and self-determination for Black families as they make their decisions to keep their children homeschooled or prepare them for traditional school. Lastly, after 30 years of Federal law enforcement, retired FBI agent Greg Stejskal has come out with a book on famous Michigan cases.

camping, fire, cooking
Photo by Myles Tan on Unsplash

It’s summer in Michigan, and you’re going camping. You’ve packed the tent, sleeping bags, and bug spray. Now comes the fun part. Planning what you're going to eat. Bon Appétit’s current issue has some tips, gear and recipe ideas for cooking while camping so you can sit back around the campfire and enjoy the outdoors. 

For starters, don’t bring food that you wouldn't normally eat, said Alex Beggs, senior staff writer for Bon Appétit.

Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

Detroit is the most segregated city in America, according to a new study from the Othering and Belonging Institute at the University of California-Berkeley. The study also ranks the Detroit-Warren-Livonia metropolitan area as the fourth most segregated metro area in the country.

the michigan masonic home in alma, michigan, a former nursing home
rossograph / bit.ly/1xMszCg

Grand Rapids-based Bethany Christian Services is hoping to use a former nursing home in Alma, Michigan to house migrant children who were unaccompanied at the southern U.S. border.

The building Bethany would use to house the children is owned by Michigan Masonic Homes. The property would need to undergo conditional rezoning in order for Bethany to use it.

The city of Alma is still in the process of reviewing Bethany and Michigan Masonic Homes' request and proposal. It has scheduled a public comment hearing for July 12.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Governor Gretchen Whitmer outlined plans Monday to use $1.4 billion dollars in federal COVID-19 funds to expand childcare in Michigan.

The governor traveled to a childcare center in Oakland County to present her plan, some of which will require approval from the Republican-controlled Legislature.

Overstressed and unpaid, 1.3M in Michigan care for relatives amid aging crisis

Jun 11, 2021

JACKSON ─ As is her habit, Cathy Moore called out as she made her way through the kitchen toward the living room where her mother lay in a hospital bed.

“Hey, Puddin’, how are we today?” she asked, using her nickname for 92-year-old Willie Mae Dunlap, whose eyes fluttered in recognition of her daughter’s arrival.

Moore and her brother, Melvin Moore, who have spent much of their lives since 2018 caring for their mother in her Jackson home despite a progressive form of palsy that’s claimed her mobility inch by inch.

u.s. secretary of agriculture tom vilsack talks to volunteers distributing the covid-19 vaccine at huron high school in ann arbor
Caroline Llanes / Michigan Radio

United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack is visiting Michigan this week. His first stop was at Huron High School in Ann Arbor, where the Washtenaw County Health Department was distributing COVID-19 vaccines.

Most of the people getting the shot at the popup clinic were young people, aged 12-18. Vilsack watched as a middle-schooler got the vaccine, and commended her responsibility to her community.

Tracy Samilton / Michigan Radio

Chanting, "We can't wait," survivors of catastrophic auto accidents, their families, and friends gathered Wednesday to call on state legislators to take action to prevent deep cuts to payments to their long-term care providers.

Bills to prevent the cuts (HB 4486 and SB 314) have been languishing in committees in the state House and Senate, with no hearings scheduled before elected leaders leave Lansing for summer recess. The 45% cuts will be imposed on July 1 as part of Michigan's new auto insurance law.

Mandi Wright / Detroit Free Press

Today, on Stateside, let’s dive into a reflection on the HIV/AIDS crisis and how it relates to the current pandemic. We’ll look into COVID infections, vaccinations, and health care equity. Plus, we talk about the year 1971 that gave rise to Marvin Gaye’s masterwork --  What’s Going On. Lastly, if you're in search of a vacation, we’re rediscovering Idlewild, where generations of Black Michiganders went for vacation and respite.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

On June 7, 2016, a pickup truck crashed into a group of bicyclists in Kalamazoo County, killing five people and injuring four others. Five years later, cyclists in the area are reflecting on the aftermath of the crash.

Paul Runnels is a member of the Chain Gang Bicycle Club, and one of the four survivors. He said the crash impacted him and other survivors physically and emotionally in ways he still feels today.

The Sarah Elizabeth Ray House
The Sarah E. Ray Project

The house is small, run down, boarded up, surrounded by tall grass. A blue tarp covers the roof. The wood exterior is weathered gray from the elements, with just a few paint chips remaining.

This week, this house at 9308 Woodlawn, near Detroit’s City Airport, was named one of the “11 Most Endangered Historic Sites” in the U.S. by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The reason? It was the home of Sarah Elizabeth Ray – a Black woman who supporters of the preservation project say should be as well known as Rosa Parks.

Clarke Historical Library

A grim chapter of the history of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan was remembered today. The Mt. Pleasant Indian Industrial Boarding School closed 87 years ago this week.

Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

Staying safe inside for the past 15 months has done a number on most people. Anxious for a change of scenery, many Michiganders have been perusing the housing market these past few months.

Even if it’s just the casual late-night Zillow rabbit hole, you’ve probably noticed that the current market is on the fritz. Buyers are paying significantly over the asking price, forgoing inspections, and paying in cash, creating an unprecedented housing market for buyers and sellers.

mohamed soumah stands outside the ann arbor friends meetinghouse where he has lived in sanctuary for two years
Caroline Llanes / Michigan Radio

Mohamed Soumah was offered sanctuary by the Ann Arbor Friends Meeting House two years ago, after an immigration judge ordered his deportation. Now, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has granted him a stay of removal for one year. 

Soumah has polycystic kidney disease and needs dialysis, something he says he can't get in Guinea. He only left the Quaker meeting house for those appointments, accompanied by clergy members from the Washtenaw Congregational Sanctuary.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

In Royal Oak, a controversy over a war memorial was a distraction hovering over Monday’s Memorial Day parade.

Thousands of people lined Main Street, listening to bands play, waving at veterans riding floats and hearing several groups of women dressed as “Rosie the Riveter” chant “Land of the Free and Home of the Brave.”

Normally, Memorial Day unites communities, but there is a division in Royal Oak.

designer491 / Adobe Stock

People who receive unemployment payments must once again prove they’ve engaged in some type of state-approved job search activity or risk losing the benefit.

The rule had been suspended since March of 2020 because of the COVID-19 crisis. It was reinstated May 30.

Now, people will need to again show proof every week they’ve applied for a job, been through some type of training, or engaged in some other type of work-search activity.

Steve Carmody

Hundreds of people are expected to attend a picnic at the Genesee County jail in downtown Flint Sunday.

The picnic will be from noon 'til 2 p.m. After that, organizer Johnell Allen says Sunday’s picnic is part of broader day of service in Flint and other parts of the county.

“We’re going to do some paint. We’ll straighten up some fences. We’re going to be able to clean some stuff,” says Allen. “We’re going to make sure we go to these parks. We’re going to make sure it’s clean in Genesee County.”

The Detroit skyline as seen from across the Detroit River.
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, with an influx of cash from the 2021 stimulus bill, Mayor Duggan has big plans for Detroit. We talk with a reporter about the proposed spending plan for a city in recovery. Plus, infrastructure week never ends. A new book by a Michigan journalist focuses on “bridging” the gap in a polarized America.

Still Point Zen Buddhist Temple in Detroit, MI.
Erin Allen / Michigan Radio

For most of us, to start the day is to turn off our alarm, get dressed, have a coffee or maybe water, and then start work or school. But there’s a little place in Detroit where the first few things on the list are instead — sitting, chanting and meditating.

As a part of our Mornings in Michigan series, Michigan Radio’s Erin Allen returns to a morning ritual that brings her peace and mindfulness.

woman gets COVID vaccine
Adobe Stock

Earlier in the pandemic, health officials were worried Indigenous populations would be hesitant to get a COVID vaccine. Now, they’re among the most vaccinated populations in the country. That's according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In Michigan, community nurses say there was already a lot of trust in tribal health centers that administer the shots.