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New Fundraiser Aims to Pay Detroit Restaurants to Feed the Homeless

It’s a two-for-one: you can help neighborhood restaurants stay in business, while also helping vulnerable Detroiters

Plates of grilled meat on rice and beans.
Meals from Norma G’s, one of the restaurants involved with the fund
Norma G’s Detroit/Facebook

An innovative new fundraiser is seeking to support neighborhood restaurants and feed homeless Detroiters at the same time.

Dubbed “Pay it Forward: Power a Business & Feed the Homeless”, donations to the fundraiser will be directed towards seven local businesses, who will in turn prepare meals for homeless people being housed by the Neighborhood Service Organization.

The reason for the fundraiser is that the NSO is placing around 100 individuals in a new shelter that will allow them to keep appropriate social distance to avoid the spread of COVID-19. However, that new facility is without an operating kitchen.

Donations are being sought via online crowd-sourcing platform Patronicity. But unlike many other online fundraisers, donations can potentially be tax-exempt: the organizers paired with Detroit non-profit Soucial Scene (who support and promote black-owned businesses in the city). Soucial Scene is a 501c3 organization, meaning it can issue receipts to corporations and individuals who donate, and those donations may then be tax deductible.

Seven mostly black-owned businesses are currently involved with the project — donations will not only help to feed the homeless, but will also help these restaurants and bakeries stay open and pay employees at a time when countless food service establishments have had to cut hours or close, and lay off workers. Those businesses are:

  • New Center Afro-Caribbean restaurant Yum Village
  • Northwest Detroit barbecue spot T’Mos BBQ Pit
  • East Warren pepper-stuffers the Detroit Pepper Company
  • Southwest Detroit Puerto Rican restaurant Rincon Tropical
  • East side Caribbean destination Norma G’s

Two bakeries will also contribute sweet treats a couple of times per week: Lucki’s Cheesecakes and Terri’s Cakes.

It’s estimated that each $5,000 of donations can provide one week of meals for the Neighborhood Service Organization. At the time of writing, around $13,000 had been raised, with organizers aiming to hit $20,000 by early May.

Yum Village

6500 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48202 Visit Website

Norma G's

14628 East Jefferson Avenue, , MI 48215 (313) 290-2938 Visit Website

Lucki's Cheesecakes Midtown

5065 Trumbull Avenue, , MI 48208 (313) 285-9529 Visit Website

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