On March 27, the Federal government passed the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act) which, among other things, made funds available to assist vulnerable populations with needs specific to the pandemic.
Centers for Independent Living across the country received CARES Act funds to provide items such as life-sustaining food and personal protection equipment, as well as technology and communication resources, so people could continue to connect to needed supports from the safety of their home and also reduce social isolation. An emphasis was also placed on keeping people out of nursing facilities due to the higher risk of COVID-19 in a facility.
To date, Disability Network Southwest Michigan has assisted nearly 100 individuals and 15 organizations in seven counties through CARES Act funding. We have been able to provide assistive devices, food, and services to help people remain at home and independent. We have supplied technology and equipment to allow people to remain connected to the resources in their community that they need to be safe and connect socially with others. We have provided many masks and personal protection equipment both to individuals and organizations to help keep people safe.
CARES Act funding is available through the remainder of this year and into next year to assist people in need related to Coronavirus.