The Kalamazoo Community Foundation (KZCF) and United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region activated their community crisis funds on March 13 to support families and individuals impacted by COVID-19.
This partnership focuses on how we collaborate with community partners to identify the emerging needs and provide immediate relief funding in Kalamazoo County, which includes collective grantmaking and fundraising.

As of June 10, more than $2.4 million has been raised in joint funds and nearly $2.5 million has been distributed to the community.

Below are the list of nonprofit partners who have received relief grants from our joint funds and how those dollars are used in the community:

  • Senior Services - Supports Senior Services in providing meals to home bound seniors, technical tools for nursing staff and teleconferencing to coordinate staff and volunteer services.
  • South Michigan Food Bank - Supports efforts in purchasing and distributing food to people who do not have access to food.
  • St. Luke's Episcopal Church Diaper Bank - Supports the Diaper Bank in meeting growing demands for diapers through purchasing additional diapers, repacking supplies and cleaning supplies.
  • Ministry with Community - Supports Ministry with Community staff housing, day shelter needs and transportation. On May 27, an additional relief grant was provided to purchase cleaning supplies and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
  • South County Community Services - Supports South County Community Services' staff capacity to work from home, mileage reimbursement for food deliveries and general outreach, and direct assistance to clients for transportation, housing, utilities and food.
  • Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes - Supports purchasing more food, program supplies and also paying staff.
  • Christian Neighbors - Supports purchase of additional food for families who are struggling due to shelter-in-home executive order and/or loss of income. An additional grant was provided on May 4 to support assistance with food, utilities and rent for those impacted by COVID-19. On June 3, a relief grant was provided to continue support for food, rent and utility costs of individuals impacted by COVID-19.
  • Disability Network of Southwest Michigan - Supports purchase of video conferencing technology tools to remotely interface with staff, clients and volunteers. This allowed Disability Network to serve both Kalamazoo County and Battle Creek more effectively.
  • Guardian Finance & Advocacy Services - Supports resources to sanitize their offices and building out capacity for 75 percent of their staff to work from home. On April 29, an additional grant was provided to purchase personal protective equipment including masks, face shields and digital thermometers to support employees and clients.
  • Community Healing Centers - Supports overtime pay for staff at the Gilmore Treatment Center that provides shelter and support for clients in recovery. An additional grant was provided April 10 for hazard pay for staff providing detox and residential treatment services.
  • Kalamazoo Gospel Mission - Supports the continued operations of the shelter especially staff wages, cleaning supplies, personal care items for clients and food service supplies such as to-go containers, plastic silverware, napkins for sanitation purposes. An additional relief grant was provided on April 29 to support hazard pay for front line employees, overtime pay for staff and support for boxed meals. On May 1, an additional relief grant was distributed to help outsource meals due to food service staff shortages at Kalamazoo Gospel Mission as a result of COVID-19. A relief grant was distributed on May 11 to support continuation of food catering, due to impact of COVID-19 on food service department.
  • InterAct - Supports technology enhancements for working remotely and maintaining communications with clients. On June 8, an additional relief grant was provided to purchase Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for staff meeting face to face with clients for mental health services.
  • El Concilio - Supports basic needs for undocumented Latinx families and launch a 2-1-1 line in partnership with Gryphon Place for Spanish speakers with dedicated staff. An additional relief grant was provided on June 3 to continue support of basic needs for undocumented Latinx families and staffing for a 2-1-1 line in partnership with Gryphon Place for Spanish speakers.
  • HOPE thru Navigation - Supports basic needs for individuals with previous convictions and substance abuse disorder. An additional relief grant was provided on May 8 to support advocacy for the release of eligible incarcerated Kalamazoo County residents, Personal Protective Equipment for those who are incarcerated, and financial assistance for housing for those who do not qualify for other assistance due to criminal backgrounds and also prepaid phones. Support hotel costs for clients who have not been able to find permanent housing.
To support hotel costs for clients who have not been able to find permanent housing. Comstock Community Center - Supports stocking the food pantry and delivery of food to the most vulnerable community members in Comstock. Kalamazoo County Health and Community Services - Supports housing for homeless individuals identified as needing quarantine at a local hotel. An additional relief grant was provided on June 3 to support operations of a a regional isolation and quarantine unit.
Kalamazoo Continuum of Care - Supports hand washing stations and portable restrooms in public spaces for the homeless. African Community Kalamazoo - Supports purchase of food, diapers, water, gas cards for food supply delivery to African immigrant families. An additional relief grant was provided June 3 to support food, toiletries, rent, transportation and volunteer support for African immigrant families.
Kalamazoo Collective Housing - Supports purchase of food and other essential items for 28 low-income individuals living in Kalamazoo Collective Housing program. Open Doors - Supports rental assistance, food, transportation and increased WiFi bandwidth for residents and shelter guests. National Church Residences Foundation - Supports purchase of food, paper products, medications, medical and cleaning supplies for the seniors living at Spring Valley Crossing. Kalamazoo Literacy Council - Supports technology access for adult learners to assist in completing unemployment applications, connecting them to community resources for basic needs such as food and childcare, completing the 2020 Census and continue learning as well as tutoring services for those who are interested. Housing Resources Inc. - Supports improved technology capacity to allow their staff to work from home. An additional grant was provided on April 15 to support operations of an emergency relief shelter at a local motel to decongest the Kalamazoo Gospel Mission and allow for more successful social distancing practices. Twenty-three families were moved from Kalamazoo Gospel Mission to the motel. An additional relief grant was provided on May 11 to support laundry, food and transportation services for the Emergency Relief Shelter site (supporting Kalamazoo Gospel Mission in de-congregate) housing individuals experiencing homelessness. One May 27, an additional relief grant was distributed to support a week of operational costs for the Emergency Relief Shelter site.
Heritage Community of Kalamazoo - Supports building and staffing an 18-bed isolation unit, increased Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and stipends and hazard pay for staff. Intrepid Professional Women Network - Supports technology capacity to coordinate remote support for clients and self-care packages. An additional grant was provided on April 22 to support technology capacity for remote work, items for self-care kits and protection items for volunteers assisting with self-care kit distribution.
Integrated Services Kalamazoo - Supports staffing, supplies and operations for hotel isolation/quarantine site for homeless individuals who have no place to quarantine. Community Action - Support clients who are in need of rental and/or mortgage assistance in both Kalamazoo and Battle Creek. Catholic Family Services / Catholic Charities Diocese of Kalamazoo - Supports emergency food distribution program. Residential Opportunities Inc. - Provides hazard pay for staff providing direct care and residential services for adults with an Intellectual or Developmental Disability (IDD) and children with a diagnosis of autism. Gracious Homes, Inc. - Supports operational expenses for the shelter and transitional housing center for women. Goodwill Industries of Southwestern Michigan - Supports increased staff capacity to provide navigation support to individuals for basic needs assistance and unemployment supports. On June 8, an additional relief grant was provided to support navigators for basic needs and unemployment support.
YWCA of Kalamazoo - Supports purchase of program supplies for remote client assistance, assistance for undocumented clients, expand critical internal operations and hazard pay for staff. On June 8, an additional relief grant was provided to support nine weeks of school-age summer programming to address childcare needs of families returning to work.
YMCA - Supports emergency childcare for essential workers, meal delivery to vulnerable populations during the school closures/stay-at-home order, and basic YMCA operations during the closure. Mothers of Hope - Provides emergency access to laundromats through a laundry card program. An additional relief grant was provided on April 29 to provide and distribute masks to families on the Northside and Eastside of Kalamazoo. Kalamazoo Refugee Resource Collaborative - Assists with rent for 40 refugee families who have lost income and provide assistance towards utilities such as gas, electric and cell phone service. Hospital Hospitality House of Southwest Michigan - Supports food and basic needs for residents of Kalamazoo County. Justice For Our Neighbors - Supports technology and phones for remote work and operational costs for free legal services to low-income immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers. Latter Rain Outreach - Supports technology and supplies to support online early substance abuse education, such as skills training, holistic and experiential support to current and former residents. Family & Children Services - Supports staff hazard pay, Personal Protective Equipment for staff, and remote working technology. Sherman Lake YMCA - Supports costs of food and staffing to deliver 1,000 meals at four locations throughout Kalamazoo from Monday through Friday during the months of April and May. An additional relief grant was provided June 3 to continue support of food and staffing to deliver meals.
Salvation Army - Supports distribution of N-95 masks and gloves, food to the public, personal hygiene items, utility assistance to families with shutoff notices, meal and hydration support to first responders, and hand sanitizers for families. Young Kings and Queens - Supports operational costs for virtual learning and technology to provide virtual social emotional learning experiences for youth. WMU Foundation - Supports purchases of supplies and technician time to make and distribute Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Healthy House - Supports costs to address social distancing needs in this residential transitional housing for women diagnosed with recurring illness who are homeless, unemployed and need a safe place to recover. Christian Global Medical Healthcare Inc. - Supports costs associated with providing free healthcare services to vulnerable populations impacted by COVID-19. WMU4Students (fiscal sponsor: International Campus Ministry) - Provides assistance to Western Michigan University international students with rent and utilities. On June 8, an additional relief grant was provided to support basic needs for international students.
HOPE Network Neuro Rehabilitation - Support emergency lodging for staff, Personal Protective Equipment, cleaning supplies and hazard pay. OutFront Kalamazoo - Supports LGBTQ youth programming, group therapy, expansion of outreach and advocacy into at-risk communities and to help address homeless youth/trauma-informed demand. Senior Care Partners P.A.C.E. - Provide interactive video tablets to deliver remote medical care for seniors. My Brothers Keeper Foundation - Supports purchase of supplies to make Personal Protective Equipment, diapers, formula as well as other baby supplies and operational support to distribute supplies in core neighborhoods. Bronson Health Foundation/Cradle Kalamazoo - Support purchasing tablets and pre-paid phones for clients to stay connected to medical providers, families and social service agencies that assist them with their day-to-day needs. Bethany Christian Services - Supports basic needs, medical expenses of children in domestic/refugee foster care, increase 24-hour staffing in independent living program homes. Rootead - Supports online/virtual Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) affinity spaces, birth support, yoga, meditations, virtual dance classes for youth and adults, attendance of eight births. Doulas are considered essential workers during COVID-19. Boys & Girls Club - Supports purchase of thermometers and technology for virtual programming. Kalamazoo Islamic Center - Supports basic needs: Halal food, funeral expenses, and medical copays. Gryphon Place - Supports technology for remote work, cleaning supplies, Shelter diversion for those experiencing homelessness. Baruch Senior Ministries - Supports Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for nursing home staff. MRC Industries - Supports Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for staff and clients. Baruch Senior Ministries - Supports Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for residents at the senior living center. On May 20 and May 27, two additional relief grant were provided to purchase additional PPE.
Eastwood House of Recovery - Supports utility expenses that continues alcohol and substance abuse recovery support. Steps 2 Victory - Supports rental assistance, food and basic needs for formerly incarcerated. Samaritas - Supports direct support to foster families, PPE, basic needs, staffing.
With United Way's partnership, they are able to address regional needs of both Kalamazoo County and Greater Battle Creek area. Learn more about their work here.
The Kalamazoo County Response Consortium coordinated by Gryphon Place has helped our joint efforts in engaging with the nonprofit sector to collaborate, problem solve, and collectively identify needs as they emerge. Learn more about the consortium here.

For additional urgent relief resources, visit Community Urgent Relief. Support our work with a gift to the Community Urgent Relief Fund by clicking the button below.

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