DETROIT, Jan. 26, 2021 – Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation today announced nearly $300,000 in funding to six community-based nonprofit organizations statewide, supporting permanent supportive housing initiatives to advance racial and economic health equity for special populations. Residents living in supportive housing are linked to intensive case management and voluntary, live-improving services such as health care, workforce development and child welfare. These nonprofits will utilize grant funding to add a support element to their housing initiatives, addressing root causes of health disparities including those demonstrated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The organizations selected serve communities of great need and special populations, including racial minorities, people who are homeless, those recovering from mental illness or substance use disorder, the LGBTQ+ community, veterans, adults from the foster system, among others. “These organizations and their innovative programming serve at the immediate intersection of housing and health, and strive to meet the needs of vulnerable populations,” said Suzanne Miller Allen, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan senior director of Community Responsibility and Social Mission. “Their work shows a dire need to further address health disparities and fill gaps, including housing instability, food insecurity or other social and economic determinants of health affecting individuals and families. Our collective vision with these grantees of increasing access to permanent supportive housing for our communities will lead to improving overall health and achieving health equity statewide.” According to the Corporation for Supportive Housing, Michigan ranks 11 out of 50 in the United States in supportive housing needs. Individuals who experience chronic homelessness have high rates of substance abuse and mental health disorders and are more likely to suffer from chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and HIV/AIDS. Organizations receiving grant funding include:
- Family Promise of Grand Rapids, Grand Rapids - $50,000
- New Destiny Pathways, Inc., Grand Rapids - $50,000
- Great Lakes Recovery Center, Marquette - $48,561
- Lighthouse MI, Pontiac - $50,000
- Ruth Ellis Center, Inc., Detroit - $50,000
- Southwest Counseling Solutions, Detroit - $50,000
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit mutual insurance company, is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BCBSM provides health benefits to more than 4.7 million members residing in Michigan in addition to employees of Michigan-headquartered companies residing outside the state. The company has been committed to delivering affordable health care products through a broad variety of plans for businesses, individuals and seniors for more than 80 years. Beyond health care coverage, BCBSM supports impactful community initiatives and provides leadership in improving health care. For more information, visit bcbsm.com and MiBluesPerspectives.com.