OKEMOS, MI - The Municipal Building in Meridian Township has been closed to the public since Monday, March 16 due to the on-going COVID-19 outbreak. Meridian Cares is a program to help those in need of financial assistance to pay rent and utilities in the community.
I spoke with the Human Services Specialist, Darla Jackson, in Meridian Township and had an over the phone interview on Friday, March 20 from her office. Jackson says, “We are working to assess approximately the number and level of need of households will have over the coming months in trying to raise the funds necessary. A fundraiser was also planned for next month and is now canceled due to the current crisis and having fundraisers in person is going to be questionable moving forward.”
Sixty to seventy percent of households in Meridian Township are in need of financial assistance, and Jackson says the number of assistance has not drastically increased and has reached out to her colleagues and adds, “People are in shock and in this wait and see kind of moment. The state and federal government is still trying to figure out how they’re going to assist people that are facing this sudden financial crisis.”
Darla Jackson feels like there’s more unity in the last few days then there has been in years and people are doing what they can to help and says, “With the financial uncertainties where we're all tentative and scared. There’s people using Face-time, Skype, and other social media services just to keep in touch and want to stay connected. The donations made can vary and can be from one dollar to five thousand dollars. Everything that is donated goes to help people in Meridian Township.”
Jackson also states that, “I am here to answer calls and try to get people help in Meridian Township and try to be here for the community as much as possible.”
If you would like to make a donation, you can do so online through PayPal or send your donation to Meridian Cares by mail and make the check payable to Meridian Cares at 5151 Marsh Road, Okemos, MI 48864.
The full interview can be found on HOMTV’s youtube channel below.
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