Poverty Awareness Month: Local Resources

January is Poverty Awareness Month. We wanted to bring awareness to the topic, and also offer local resources that are available in our communities to help those in need. Whether you or someone you know is affected by poverty, or you simply want to know where you can volunteer and support locally, we hope this post is helpful for you. And, if you know of any local resources we should add, be sure to let us know.

Immediate Crisis Relief

First off, if you or someone you know is in crisis, there is immediate help. The 9-8-8 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is always available by dialing 9-8-8. This is free, confidential support to those who may be experiencing a mental health crisis. This is available nationally to anyone who calls and is always there, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

There is also immediate help, 24/7, through United Way by dialing 2-1-1. This helpline provides connection and/or referrals to programs in your area that help with food, shelter, financial support, and more. There are over 30,000 resources just in southeast Michigan. The person on the other side of this call has been trained to provide crisis intervention and will be able to look up all available resources based on your exact location and needs. As someone who has personally worked in this exact position, know that there is no shame or judgment. You can remain anonymous, too.

Local Resources for Poverty Awareness Month

Agape Center | Romeo | (586) 336-6842

The Agape Center provides emergency food relief to those in Macomb County.

*How you can help: If you are interested in volunteering, contact the Coordinator of Programs and Volunteer, Kathy Mollon, at (586) 336-6842. The pantry is also has a list of food donations needed that can be dropped off.
*If you need support: If you are seeking emergency food relief, visit the pantry during the listed pantry hours and provide basic information to qualify. The pantry hours are:

  • Monday from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday from 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
  • Thursday from 5:30 p.m.-7:00 p.m.

Bountiful Harvest | Brighton | (810) 360-0271

Bountiful Harvest offers a food pantry, pet pantry, evening meals Tuesday through Friday, hot breakfast on Saturday mornings, a clothing pantry, and grocery delivery. They also have seasonal assistance for families during Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving, and more holidays, plus employment assistance and more.

*How you can help: donate money or wish list items, or volunteer your time
*If you need support: call their 24-Hour Help Line at (810) 534-7275

CARES | Farmington Hills | (248) 882-7800

CARES provides a food pantry and CARES Market to those who are experiencing food insecurities. They are open to all who live in Farmington Hills, Farmington, Livonia, Redford Twp., Southfield, Northville, Novi, and West Bloomfield. CARES also provides resources for AA, NA, WIC, suicide prevention, and other support group settings.

*How you can help: CARES accepts donations online or via mail. You can also volunteer by completing their Volunteer Application Form.
*If you need support: The food pantry is available by appointment only. In order to schedule an appointment, call (248) 474-8231.

Cody Rouge Community Action Alliance | Detroit | (313) 397-9280

Cody Rouge Community Action Alliance provides youth development programming, neighborhood stabilization, senior support, and community events in Detroit.

*How you can help: You can donate directly here.
*If you need support: Contact directly by calling (313) 397-9280 Monday through Friday between 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

COTS | Detroit | (313) 831-3777

COTS provides support to individuals and families in Detroit to break the cycle of generational poverty. They provide mentorship programming, housing, and fatherhood support through their Fatherhood Initiative Program and more.

*How you can help: COTS accepts donations on their website
*If you need support: Find an Access Point and bring your photo ID. Once there, they will complete an assessment and provide you with additional support based on your needs.

Crossroads of Michigan | Detroit | (313) 831-2000 + (313) 822-5200

This organization offers emergency assistance to those who need it. Every Sunday, they host a Soup Kitchen for a hot meal for those in the community.

*How you can help: donate money right on their website, spend time volunteering, or provide some of their most urgent needs
*If you need support: their website has links to local resources and support

D.O. It For Denny | Livonia

This kindness initiative focuses on helping those experiencing homelessness through donations from the community. They organize projects throughout the year, including a toy shop for Christmas.

*How you can help: You can send a Venmo donation to @Sami-McKay or shop their Amazon Wish List
*If you need support: Check out their Facebook page for current and updated information about Blessing Bags

Eagles Helping Hands | Redford

Run by volunteers, the Friends of Eagles Helping Hands gather food to help keep pantries and fridges stocked and ready. Any member of the community is welcome to look for what they might need. Food is passed out on Mondays and Wednesdays.

Elmwood Blessing Box | Garden City

The Elmwood Blessing Box is open 24/7 for families in need of food. It is run by a local family. They also accept donations.

*How you can help: You can check out their linktree page for more information
*If you need support: you’ll find the Blessing Box at 29878 Elmwood St., Garden City, MI, 48135

Forgotten Harvest | Oak Park | (248) 967-1500

This organization fights food insecurity and hunger through their work with local charities.

*How you can help: there are numerous volunteer opportunities on their website
*If you need support: use their “Find Food” locator to find a pantry

Freedge | Rochester Hills | (248) 651-9621

The Rochester Police host a refrigerator sharing program. This is open to anyone who is in need of fresh produce and other foods.

*How you can help: email [email protected] to donate or drop off items at your convenience
*If you need support: contact the Rochester Police at (248) 651-9621 for additional information. Freedge is also a program found throughout the world! For more locations, check the Freedge Map.

Gleaners | Multiple Locations | (866) 453-2637

Gleaners provides food to multiple locations throughout Southeast Michigan by supporting about 400 locations with food.

*If you need support: To find a location near you, use their PantryNet to see the map of all their food pantries, mobile locations, shelters, soup kitchens, and residential programs

Hospitality House Food Pantry | Commerce Twp. | (248) 960-9975

Hospitality House Food Pantry provides a “client-choice food pantry” as well as a Weekend Food Program for students in local schools.

*How you can help: Individuals are welcome to apply to volunteer or donate!
*If you need support: Call (248) 960-9975 to apply for food assistance. Check here for the hours and eligibility requirements.

Humble Design | Pontiac | (844) 486-2533

Humble Design provide custom home updates and furniture to those who are coming out of homelessness. Their designs and personal touches make house feel like a home.

*How you can help: There are many ways to support Humble Design, including donating or volunteering, or checking out their Amazon Wish List or Target Wish List

Judson Center | Multiple Locations | (248) 549-4339

Judson Center is a community-based human service center that focuses on the whole family–children and adults.

*How you can help: you can make a donation through their website
*If you need support: fill out the contact form on their website

Lasagna Love | Metro Detroit

Volunteers are cooking up lasagna to share with neighbors in their own community in a cross-country kindness movement!

*How you can help: sign up to be a chef (or sponsor one)
*If you need support: Click here to enter your zip code and find a chef near you to coordinate with

Love Bigger | Rochester Hills

Love Bigger focuses on helping you declutter, and then connects you with organizations to donate your items to. You can use their app to find local organizations to support with your items.

Michigan Department of Health & Human Services | Statewide

The state of Michigan provides immediate assistance for utility shutoff notices, eviction notice, burial services, and home repairs.

*If you need support: Click here to see if you are eligible and to apply on MIBridges

Open Door Outreach Center | Waterford | (248) 360-2930

Open Door Outreach Center provides immediate clothing, food, and referrals to those in need in Waterford, White Lake, West Bloomfield, Keego Harbor, Sylvan Lake, Commerce, Orchard Lake, Walled Lake, Wolverine Lake, and some of Wixom area.

*How you can help: Volunteers can sign up for positions in the food pantry and store locations on their website. Donations are accepted as well.
*If you need support: Call (248) 360-2930 to schedule an appointment

Picking Up The Pieces | Southfield | (248) 238-8587

This organization was started by a local single mother who knows what it’s like to go from homelessness to housing, but needing the basic essentials to help it feel more like home.

*How you can help: you can support this non-profit through their Target or Amazon wish lists

Yad Ezra | Berkley | (248) 548-3663

Yad Ezra provides kosher foods to those in need in the Jewish community.

*How you can help: If you are interested in volunteering, sign up here
*If you need support: Please complete the application on their website. Personal information is confidential.

Zaman International | Inkster | (313) 551-3994

Zaman International works specifically to help eradicate poverty experienced by women and families in Wayne County and Metro Detroit. They provide basic need case management that provides food, clothing, shelter, and emergency support, but also vocational training, workforce development, and more.

CNN honored the founder of Zaman International, Najah Bazzy, as a Hero in 2019 for creating the organization and the work she’s done with Zaman International. This gave Zaman national recognition for its work with women experiencing poverty in the Metro Detroit community. Watch the CNN clip here.

*How you can help: Volunteers can apply to donate their time, or donate funding here
*If you need support: For more information, email [email protected]

Wayne Metro | Wayne County | (313) 388-9799

Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Alliance (Wayne Metro) provides over 100 programs to support families in the community from food support, tax assistance, financial counseling, and housing support, to Head Start and after-school programming.

*How you can help: You can learn more here on how to donate or volunteer. You can shop their Amazon Wish List too!
*If you need support: they have options right on their website for support, including information on calling, applying online, chatting online, or sending an e-mail

County-Level Resources for Poverty Awareness Month

You can also search online for the website for the county you live in, and it should bring up local resources to assist and support you.


  • Many churches have food pantries that operate weekly or biweekly
  • His Church Anglican: food pantry every third Saturday of the month from 9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.
  • St. Edith Church: blessing box in front of the gym, by the school
  • Ward Church: Forgotten Harvest every Monday from 9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m. (or until food runs out) at Entry 2


  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture provides a school meal program that feeds millions of school children every day. To apply, contact your local school. Eligible households include: income of $39,000 or less for a family of four, family receives EBT, youth in foster care, or those who participate in Head Start. There is also a reduced price option for households (family of four) with an annual income less than $55,550.
  • Blessings in a Backpack is a national nonprofit that provides back to school supplies. Be sure to check out their list of current local school locations.
  • Great Start Readiness Program and Head Start provide free/low-income preschool programs to those who meet the income requirements.
  • Contact your local school to be connected to the school social worker.
  • All schools do have services for families experiencing homelessness (from the McKinney-Vento Act). Contact your school social worker for more information if you are experiencing homelessness.

According to Michigan.gov, just in Michigan there are 1.4 million people living below the poverty line, and more than 43% of working households have trouble making ends meet between food, housing, healthcare, childcare, and transportation. If you are struggling, you are not alone. Together we can support one another, through every season of life. 

If you’re looking for more ways to support local organizations, check out our Local Giving Guide.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.