Where to go for what you need during the COVID-19 pandemic: A directory of directories by area of need

For most county resources, the United Way’s 2-1-1 hotline is a great first point of contact. It’s a 24/7 call center, operated by highly trained staff, for community members who need assistance. Washtenaw County residents can access the call center by phone (dial 211) or can text, email, or chat with call center staff during scheduled hours of operation. 

If you can’t find what you need by contacting 211 or if you need assistance applying for or accessing benefits, try these directories. And please note that we’re happy to add additional directories and resources to this list. Email espanier@med.umich.edu. 

COVID-19 Information: The Washtenaw County Health Department is the primary source for stay at home guidance, what to do if you’re sick, and where and how to get tested. You can also find COVID-19 case data, contact information for those who have questions, guidance for critical infrastructure businesses, information for health care providers, multilingual materials, prevention advice, and ways to give and volunteer.

COVID-19 Screening and Testing: Michigan Medicine provides screening and testing for current patients, and St. Joes provides screening for all residents, no referrals required, and testing for those who meet CDC and Michigan guidelines at multiple locations across southeast Michigan. On the following Washtenaw Health Department web page, you’ll find the latest information about ongoing and popup testing sites in Washtenaw County, including this flyer which lists new locations in Ypsilanti (also in Spanish). 

Food: Food Gatherers is a food bank. As such, it provides food and supplies to food pantries, soup kitchens, and meal delivery programs across Washtenaw County. Food Gatherers is a primary source for knowing which food pantries and meal programs are operating in your area and for your clients. Additional resources include this national directory of Meals on Wheels programs, which is searchable by zip code. 

Financial Assistance: Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan has assembled detailed descriptions of dozens of state and federal COVID-19 resources. The guide includes information about how to ensure you receive your $1,200 stimulus check, information about pending electronic benefits transfers for families with children who receive free and reduced price meals, how to access unemployment benefits, and more. Financial counselors at the United Way of Washtenaw County can help residents assess their financial situation, identify hardship assistance programs, talk to creditors, and make informed financial decisions. Residents can click here or call 734-677-7202 to schedule a phone call or video chat consultation with a financial coach.

Health Insurance: The Washtenaw Health Plan is dedicated to ensuring that Washtenaw County residents have health care coverage. Individuals in need of health insurance can contact Washtenaw Health Plan to receive assistance applying for Medicare, Medicaid, Marketplace and other forms of coverage. 

Medical Information: Between the Michigan Medicine Coronavirus resource page and the St. Joseph Mercy Health System Coronavirus resource page, you’ll find details about symptoms, individuals at risk, how the virus spreads, how it’s treated, how to prevent transmission, what to do if you think you’re sick, how to support the coronavirus response, and more. 

Mental Health: Washtenaw County Community Mental Health, the county’s safety net provider, has a 24/7 hotline that, thanks to funding from the Washtenaw County Public Safety and Mental Health Preservation Millage, is open to the entire community regardless of insurance type or level of need. This is a terrific first point of contact for anyone in need of counseling, referrals, crisis response, psychiatric services, and more. Call 734-544-3050 to get connected. The state of Michigan has also set up a warmline operated by certified peer support specialists who have their own lived experience with mental health issues at 888-733-7753.  A list of mental health professionals across the state with appointments available to counsel frontline responders including essential workers of all kind can be found at www.mifrontlinesupport.com. And the Washtenaw County Health Department has a mental health page with tips and links to other resources.

Nonprofit Support: The University of Michigan Youth Policy Lab has developed a resource guide for nonprofits seeking public assistance. The Center for Health and Research Transformation has developed a guide to CARES Act funding for local health departments. The Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation has developed a 0% nonprofit loan fund. The United Way of Washtenaw County is wrapping up its final round of COVID-19 Community Relief Fund investments.

Senior Services: Both the Area Agency on Aging 1-B and Ahead of the Curve have produced resource lists that will be of particular interest to Washtenaw County seniors including helplines, grocery delivery, and stores with dedicated shopping hours for seniors. For social isolation, try Well Connected, 877-797-7299, which has a new semester of courses beginning May 1. Seniors may be eligible for home delivered meals and friendly check-ins, as well. 

Small Businesses:  The Washtenaw Small Business Resiliency Fund offers up to $2,500 for small businesses who qualify.

Social Supports: The Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic Development has developed a detailed list of essential services and resources for those who need to access food, apply for health insurance, visit local medical clinics, request unemployment benefits, get help with utility bills, access free and reduced cost internet, find childcare (only for essential health workers), and more.

Substance Use: If you are in crisis, call Washtenaw County Community Mental Health 24/7 at 734-544-3050. If you are in need of treatment, recovery support, or other resources review this diagram to access a local substance use treatment provider who can connect you to services. The Community Mental Health Partnership of Southeast Michigan has also assembled COVID-19 resources for consumers

Teens, Tweens, and Young Adults: For teens and young adults, Ozone House runs a 24/7 crisis line that can be reached by phone (734-662-2222) or text (741741). Corner Health is running an online Mood Lifters program; and Jewish Family Services’ THRIVE Counseling program is taking teletherapy clients and running an online cognitive behavioral therapy group for middle schoolers. Read “Social Distancing is Hard for Teens and Tweens: Here’s How to Help Them Cope,” “Helping Your Teen With Social Distancing,” “How to Help Teens Shelter in Place,” and “Protect Your Family’s Mental Health During the Covid-19 Pandemic.”  

To request edits or additions to this story, please email whi-communications@umich.edu.