Welcome to my latest e-newsletter! Included in this edition are some important legislative and COVID-19 updates, along with a few helpful resources. Please do not hesitate to reach out to my office by phone at (517) 373-1788 or email at KyraBolden@house.mi.gov for questions about this or any other state-level issue.
State Representative, 35th House District
COVID-19 Updates & Resources
COVID-19 Vaccine Help
If you know someone who doesn’t have access to the internet and they’re eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine or need help with vaccine translation services, call 2-1-1 and press ‘5’ for free, confidential assistance.
For more information on COVID-19 vaccines specifically in Oakland County, visit this website. This website also has resources for testing and frequently asked questions about COVID-19.
988 Suicide and Crisis Hotline is Live
On July 16, 2022, a new and easy-to-remember mental health crisis 988 dialing code was implemented nationwide. The goal of the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is to provide people in need with easier access to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL) and its related crisis stabilization resources. If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or visit the Lifeline Chat to connect with a trained crisis counselor.
Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter, with the support of the Board of Commissioners, announced $700,000 in food assistance grants today at the Oak Park Farmers Market to help eligible families access nutritious food as the prices of fruits, vegetables, milk and other staples continue to rise.
The county is also allocating $250,000 to the Double Up Food Bucks program, which doubles the money for fresh produce at farmers markets for people eligible for food assistance.
Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter launched the Oakland County Monkeypox Task Force today to respond to the outbreak and educate the public about the illness. To date, the county has at least five confirmed or probable monkeypox cases, the highest of any county in Michigan.
Oakland County Health Officer Calandra Green will lead the task force which will help develop a communication and education plan about monkeypox and a strategy for outreach to the communities. They also will create a plan for the distribution of vaccines once they become more readily available.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families State Plan Available for Public Comment
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is accepting public comment on its plan for spending Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funding from the federal government.
TANF is a federal program run by states that assists families who are unable to provide for their children’s basic needs.
“TANF provides important funding from our federal partners as we work to support families who are struggling to pay for food, clothing and other necessities for their children,” said Lewis Roubal, MDHHS chief deputy director for opportunity. “TANF also helps parents find jobs. We welcome input from our residents about our plans for spending these federal dollars that come to Michigan.”
The state plan describes programs and services paid for with TANF, including:
- The Family Independence Program, which provided cash assistance to more than 27,000 low-income people in June.
- Child care.
- Services to support employment and self-sufficiency, including job search services and assistance with transportation.
- Support for children in foster care and adoption assistance.
- Hunger relief.
- Services for school children at-risk of struggling with academics.
- Buying diapers.
The plan is for the three years beginning in 2023. Michigan received $772.8 million from TANF for fiscal year 2022, with $528.1 million appropriated to MDHHS.
To be eligible for TANF, applicants must be low-income and have a child 18 or younger, be pregnant, or be younger than 18 while also being the head of the household.
Uterine Fibroids Awareness Month
July was Uterine Fibroids Awareness Month. Uterine fibroids are muscular tumors that grow in the wall of the uterus. They are a problem affecting many women across our country. And they disproportionately affect Black women. As someone who was diagnosed and treated for this condition, I think it is highly important to raise awareness and help with prevention. That is why I was proud to be able to secure $500,000 for fibroid research and education in the Michigan budget this year.
To learn more about fibroids, feel free to visit: Uterine fibroids | Office on Women’s Health (womenshealth.gov).
Senior Citizens Day
On Aug. 21, National Senior Citizens Day recognizes the contributions of the elders of our communities. On this day, we have the opportunity to show our appreciation for their dedication, their accomplishments and the service they have given throughout their lives.
Women’s Equality Day
Aug. 26 is Women’s Equality Day in the United States. This day commemorates the adoption of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1920, which secured the right to vote for women. On this day, we celebrate all the hard work that led us to this moment, and we must acknowledge the work that still needs to be done for women’s equality.