Rebound Detroit: Tackling issues of homelessness and addiction during the pandemic

Posted at 9:43 PM, May 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-13 23:39:22-04

(WXYZ) — In tonight's Rebound Detroit, 7 Action News tackles two issues plaguing people during this pandemic: homelessness and addiction.

The Rebound Detroit is our initiative to provide you with the resources and guidance to make it through this tough time.

Across the state of Michigan, about 25,000 are in shelters and 42,000 are living on the streets. Tonight, 7 Action News shines a light on hope and help.

Homelessness and addiction can happen to anyone, especially during this pandemic. People are on corners, under bridges and in shelters. Monique was lucky to land at Detroit's Coalition on temporary shelter after being laid off in March.

"When you think about a pandemic, it's already quite frightening but when you factor in being homeless during the pandemic it's a new level, it's unimaginable," she said.

Fortunately, no one in her shelter has gotten the virus.

"We've been able to bring professional cleaners in and sterilize our building every single day," Monique said.

A bit of good news in a state where 10,000 people on any given day are homeless and the unemployment rate is the third highest in the nation and growing.

"I was so broke, I could not even buy my kids a bag of noodles," said Rachel Minion.

With eight kids, Minion had nowhere to go.

"I called 211 hotlines," she said. "I called anybody who would listen to me and direct me in the right direction."

A therapist led Minion to Cots.

"I just remember the look on their face, how happy they was... that was home to them, you know, and Cots became our home," she said.

More than a shelter, it was recovery and guidance.

"Your goals, your dreams, they gave you hope they offered so many programs to you that I never knew exist," Minion said.

But first, she had to face a 15-year demon.

"the biggest problem was the alcoholism," she said.

With the help of Cots, Minion got supportive housing, a volunteer position and then paid employment.

"I talk to people from my heart and I just wanted to give them hope," she said.

Today, Minion is a development support specialist. During the pandemic, she's been working virtually homeschooling her kids and helping one of her daughters who's a nurse recover from COVID-19.

"It was a struggle for three weeks," she said.

Her daughter recovered, and then her younger kids got sick.

"I got my tumeric, my oranges, salt, black seed oil," Minion said. "I'm fighting with the tools I have."

Even with asthma, they recovered too. Minion's message: never be ashamed to reach out.

"We have to work together, that's the only way we're going to survive this pandemic," she said.

It worked for Minion and Monique is on the rebound, too.

"I've been reading a lot of books regarding credit repair and home ownership," she said. "I'm just trying to stay positive."

So here's the Rebound rundown:

- If you are in need of a shelter or emergency support, call 313-484-4449
- If you need help with addiction, call 855-300-7482

Additional helplines are below:
Homeless individuals 313-965-5422
Family 313-484-4449

Addiction access lines
Wayne County 809-241-4949
Oakland County 800-232-1127
Macomb County 586-948-0222

If you have a question on this topic, we’d be happy to hear it and help you find an answer. Just email us at the Rebound Detroit or join our Facebook group, Rebound Detroit.

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

Read our daily Coronavirus Live Blog for the latest updates and news on coronavirus.

Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Michigan, a timeline of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Southeast Michigan, and links to more information from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC and the WHO.

View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.

Find out how you can help metro Detroit restaurants struggling during the pandemic.

See all of our Helping Each Other stories.

See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.