Ledorian Fenderson, of United Way; Jordan Rhines, of the Red Cross; George Miller, of United Way; District 1 state Rep. Tenisha Yancey; and Jackie Garrett, of United Way, are on hand to educate the public about safety resources at a public event July 23.

Ledorian Fenderson, of United Way; Jordan Rhines, of the Red Cross; George Miller, of United Way; District 1 state Rep. Tenisha Yancey; and Jackie Garrett, of United Way, are on hand to educate the public about safety resources at a public event July 23.

Photo by Brendan Losinski


Safety resources highlighted at town hall meeting

By: Brendan Losinski | Advertiser Times | Published August 3, 2018

DETROIT — A number of organizations came together to educate the public on various ways to stay safe and care for themselves and their families at a safety resource town hall, which the Ford Resource and Engagement Center in Detroit hosted July 23.

District 1 state Rep. Tenisha Yancey helped organize the event as a means of answering the concerns of local residents.

“I’ve heard the constituents of District 1, and I hope to address all their concerns one by one,” said Yancey. “We want to educate and inform people so they can stay safe.”

The Detroit Police Department, the Detroit Fire Department, the American Red Cross and United Way all took part in the program to provide useful lessons and to inform people about available resources to help improve their public safety.

“We brought our disaster preparedness material,” said Jordan Rhines, an Americorps member with the Red Cross. “We’re sharing what to do if there’s a fire, if there’s a tornado, if there’s a power outage, and so on. We show people how to prepare a kit for those emergencies.”

Rhines encouraged people to assess their readiness for traumatic events before there is a problem. After it happens could be too late.

“I hope people understand that even if they probably won’t experience these emergencies, they can still happen,” said Rhines. “People can never be too prepared.”

United Way offered a variety of information about ways to protect one’s family and home from both crime and financial hardship. Most notably, United Way representatives wanted to get the word out about the organization’s 211 service. 

“We are speaking on United Way’s 211 service, which provides referrals and information on basic human needs,” said Ledorian Fenderson, a community care advocate for the 211 program. “This includes things like rent and utility assistance, food assistance, property and tax assistance, as well as free tax preparation assistance.”

Those who spoke at the event said that many of the resources they discussed are available by contacting them. 

“We have a lot of great preparedness information on www.redcross.org, and we will be at more events like this in the next few weeks. We’ll be taking part in a lot of back-to-school events,” said Rhines. “We really encourage people to learn more about potentially life-threatening emergencies.”

All of United Way’s 211 services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Fenderson said he wants people to know there’s someone to call if things start to feel out of control.

“211 has been around since 1991. We’ve been in Michigan for the last several years,” he said. “This lets people know where to get help when they really need it. We want to give care, help and hope. People can get in touch with us just by dialing 211. They also can go to www.liveunitedsem.org/gethelp or text 989211.”

Yancey added that she hopes making the people of her district more aware of groups like this will mean they are able to better weather trouble when it occurs.

“I hope people are a little more aware of what they can do to prevent being a victim of a crime or fire,” Yancey said. “Hopefully, a few more residents will walk away knowing some potentially lifesaving skills.”