Welcome to Local Heroes, our new series featuring Detroiters working during the COVID-19 pandemic to take care of one another. We hope you’ll check in to meet and support these men and women who are truly making a difference and restoring our faith in humanity.

Charlie Lawrence picking up carry-out

If you’ve picked up carry-out from your favorite Detroit restaurant you have Marty DeNicolo to thank.

When the Executive Order limiting restaurants to delivery and carry-out was enacted, Marty, a data analyst with the Civil Rights, Inclusion & Opportunity Department at the City of Detroit joined forces with the City of Detroit’s COVID-19 Business Response Team to lead the restaurant carry-out zone initiative. 

The temporary program makes it safe and convenient for customers to pick-up dinner from their vehicles and maintain social distance reducing exposure to COVID-19. 

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of Detroit. Seeing their creativity and resilience in the face of this crisis gives me hope, and I’m incredibly proud to be working with the City of Detroit to support them in any way we can.”

Additional COVID-19 resources for Detroit small businesses include the City of Detroit’s COVID-19 Business Support and Resources website and a Detroit open business map.

Angels Wear Gowns Detroit

Brittany Guerriero is an angel.

The Capitol Park artist is a lead organizer for Angels Wear Gowns Detroit, a volunteer network that makes hospital-approved isolation gowns for healthcare workers taking care of COVID-19 patients. 

The gowns are clear, one-piece, one-size-fits-all garments that provide protection from head to toe and are reusable when sanitized by hospitals using specialty equipment. Best of all, they are easy and inexpensive to make. Three hours with $60 of supplies and a scissors produces 24 gowns.

“We each have a limited amount of time and energy and how we choose to use those resources is vital in determining how long this crisis will last. In the time it takes to watch a movie, you can produce enough gowns in your home to protect one nurse for an entire month.”

Last week volunteers from Angels Wears Gowns produced over 2,000 gowns and delivered them to more than two dozen participating hospitals, fire departments, senior facilities, and other frontline workers. 

To volunteer to make gowns, donate resources, or make deliveries to local hospitals reach out to Brittany.

Asia Johnson and The Bail Project Detroit

Asia Johnson risks her health twice a week to go inside Wayne County jails to post bail for low-income individuals who are legally presumed innocent under the law.

A bail disruptor at The Bail Project, Asia provides bail for people in need, reuniting families while they await their court dates. This is particularly imperative for those whom a judge has approved release pending a bail payment.

These days the stakes are high. The safest way to ensure that a jail does not become a deadly COVID-19 hotspot is to reduce the number of people who are incarcerated. Swift release is also crucial for those who are elderly, immunocompromised, pregnant, medically fragile, or otherwise vulnerable to COVID-19.

Moments like this demand solidarity. Together with our community partners and supporters, we’ll do everything in our power to ensure those in jail are not left behind as our nation braces for the full impact of this pandemic.”

 Click here to support The Bail Project’s efforts to urge county jails to undertake all possible measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Feed the Frontlines Detroit

Scott Rutterbush has figured out a way to provide jobs for local restaurant workers and feed Detroit police, fire, EMS, and healthcare workers at the same time.

The Executive Director of Angel’s Share Inc. partnered with the City of Detroit and to date has raised almost $200,000 from private donations to support Feed the Frontlines Detroit, a program that allows the city to buy meals from local restaurants to keep their staff working and feed hardworking first responders.

“The Restaurant industry in Detroit has been hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis and we are excited to support locally owned and operated restaurants in Detroit with purchased meals for first responders.”

Feed the Frontlines Detroit

Over 100 restaurants are already participating in the new initiative providing 500 meals a day to over 50 locations. If you manage a restaurant and would like to get involved, click here for the sign-up link. Click here to make a donation to support the program and feed our frontline heroes!