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Washtenaw United: COVID-19, Flu, Winter, And Washtenaw County's Homeless Population

Dan Kelly
Shelter Association of Washtenaw County

Fall weather is here, and winter is right around the corner.  The services required to aid and assist the area's homeless increase every year during the cold weather seasons.  Now add in the potentially lethal combination of COVID-19 and flu, and things change even more.  On this week's "Washtenaw United," WEMU's David Fair gets together with Dan Kelly, executive director of the Shelter Association of Washtenaw County, to discuss how services have and will continue to evolve during these challenging times. 

WEMU has partnered with the United Way of Washtenaw Countyto explore the people, organizations, and institutions creating opportunity and equity in our area.  And, as part of this ongoing series, you’ll also hear from the people benefiting and growing from the investments being made in the areas of our community where there are gaps in available services.  It is a community voice.  It is 'Washtenaw United.'


Dan is an experienced Social Worker and tireless advocate for those experiencing homelessness.  He’s served as the Executive Director of the Shelter Association of Washtenaw County since 2017 and, prior to that, worked as a case manager, program director, and executive director of homeless and housing service organizations across the state.  He’s dedicated to helping our most vulnerable neighbors here in Washtenaw County.  Dan also currently serves as the Board Chair to the Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness, where he works to raise awareness and make policy changes across the state.  He’s the proud father of two boys, Ryder and Ezra, and married to a loving, compassionate social worker, Mara Kelly. 


Shelter Association of Washtenaw County (SAWC)


Most recently, UWWC invested $20,000 in general operating support to SAWC to bolster their COVID-19 response efforts for people experiencing homelessness in our community. 

SAWC is a longstanding recipient of funds from the Washtenaw Coordinated Funders, of which UWWC is a funding partner.  Since 2018, they have received $175,000 annually from this funding collaborative-- and in the spring of this year, in response to COVID-19, these program grants were also shifted to general operating support. 

Since 2014, SAWC has received $833,226 in program grants from the Washtenaw Coordinated Funders and has received grants consistently since the funding collaborative’s formation a decade ago.

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— David Fair is the WEMU News Director and host of Morning Edition on WEMU.  You can contact David at734.487.3363, on twitter @DavidFairWEMU, or email him at dfair@emich.edu

Contact David: dfair@emich.edu
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