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Social media is connecting the community during the coronavirus outbreak in metro Detroit

7 In Your Neighborhood
Posted: 7:40 AM, Mar 20, 2020
Updated: 2020-03-20 17:27:24-04

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WXYZ) — Every Friday, as part of our 7 In Your Neighborhood series, we feature the people and places that make metro Detroit special.

Since we are taking precautions by social distancing ourselves from one another, we’ve found some amazing ways people are helping in their own communities during the coronavirus health crisis in incredible ways, all thanks to social media.

As the coronavirus has become more isolating, we’ve seen a tremendous outpouring of the community stepping up on social media.

From giving an extra roll of toilet paper to the neighbors to setting up a food pantry on your block, to picking up groceries or just lending a caring ear, people are making a difference.

As we continue to report the news, it’s important to note that for this story, our interviews were all done through social media and FaceTime in order to protect everyone involved.

“Senior citizens at high risk, people with autoimmune disease, things like that and I’d like to just offer to help out. I don’t have much to offer, but I can offer my time,” said Josh Simpson.

Simpson, a Waterford resident, posted in the Facebook group page "Positively Clarkston." He’s offering to run essential errands for people stuck at home, especially for the most vulnerable.

“It takes nothing for me to go drive to the store and pick up groceries and drop them off for someone,” Simpson said.

Hazel Park resident Adam O’ Connor posted a message on his Facebook page reaching out to people in recovery.

“It makes it difficult for folks dealing with substance abuse. A lot of AA meetings are canceling. There’s a lot more stress in people’s lives right now that none of us saw coming,” O'Connor said.

O’Connor has been alcohol-free for 16 years and knows the struggles when your support system isn’t available.

“Just like we are saying, everyone stay home, do your part for people that are having problems, now’s the time to be kind. It’s not a time to turn a blind eye,” O'Connor said.

“Rely on the people in your community. It’s amazing with the technology that we have right now, that we can do that without physically being next to one another without transmitting germs,” O'Connor said.

“So far today, I’ve had four or five people reach out willing to help. People I don’t know,” said Simpson.

Simpson is connecting with all the people that have reached out to him to make sure they can coordinate to help the community.

Minimizing contact while maximizing communication by bringing hope and help in our own backyard.

“I really feel like as a community, we need to come together right now,” Simpson said.

We encourage everyone to stay home and check on your immediate family making sure they are getting the proper help and support they need.

A great way to share a great way your community is coming together during this crisis is to send us an email at Connectwith7

If you or anyone you know is seeking support with substance abuse, we've added some links to connect you or your loved ones.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Alcoholics Anonymous