All over the world, folks are adjusting to life during the COVID-19 outbreak and its changes to our society. Here in Ypsilanti, our community is adapting as well, but we’re inspired by how much has stayed the same - especially the unity, resolve, innovation and compassion that we’re proud to see every day in Ypsi.
Here are a few things that caught our eye since the COVID-19 crisis began, showing Ypsilanti’s character and resiliency.
1. Local restaurants adapting for takeout and delivery services
Ypsi has always been full-flavored, that’s for sure. With long-standing classics like Sidetrack Bar & Grill and Haab’s offering delivery through DoorDash, you don’t even need to leave your house for the Ypsilanti favorites you know and love. Other delicious options for delivery and takeout include, Gabriel’s Cheese Steak Hoagies, Los Amigos Fiesta, Lucky 7 Chinese Food, Ma Lou’s and Red Rock Barbeque. Click to view many more restaurants in Ypsi, and call directly for up-to-date info on their status for delivery or pickup.
2. Churches stepping up to help
Ypsilanti’s places of worship aren’t just beautiful (but they are) - they’re also stepping up in a major way during this COVID-19 crisis. Check out this story from Concentrate’s On the Ground Ypsi program with details on how several Ypsi-area churches are offering drive-through food banks, virtual and online services, and volunteer opportunities.
3. Non-profit organizations evolve their services
Ypsilanti is a community that steps up to help, and our local non-profit organizations are doing just that, in new and unique ways.
Washtenaw Literacy is committed to helping adults improve reading, writing, math, and other skills (including English as a second language), and normally operates a tremendous amount of in-person services. Now, in the era of social distancing, they’re serving learners through distance literacy tutoring and offering tutor training online.
Hope Clinic is known for its commitment to medical, dental, food, and care + prayer services to the people of Ypsilanti and beyond. New during this changing time is a streamlined food program and ‘’meals-to-go" program, as well as increased outreach during a time when more people may need these programs.
Corner Health Center is a phenomenal organization that caters specifically to young people aged 12 – 25, and children of people in that age group as well. COVID-19 testing isn’t available at the clinic, but a nurse is on-call as needed. The food pantry on-site is open as well for folks who need support meeting nutritional needs.
Growing Hope launched a “Home Vegetable Garden Program” to provide residents with free supplies and seeds to start their own gardens – and mentors to provide support. The program is full for applicants, but they still need Home Vegetable Garden Mentors if you have a green thumb!
4. The Arts Aren't Backing Down
The Riverside Arts Center is continuing to engage with Ypsi locals and folks from afar via an online exhibit called "Present", featuring artistic photography. RAC is also offering a creativity toolkit for the young and young-at-heart that engages with artistic sensibilities. In early April, First Fridays Ypsilanti hosted a virtual event supporting local artists, with everything from cocktail-making to music and visual artists to pastry creations. We hope they'll do the same on May 1 if we can't get together in person!
5. Retailers are getting support via gift card purchases
Many of Ypsilanti’s small businesses can’t operate normally at the moment, and a great way to show them support is to purchase gift cards! The Rocket is an Ypsilanti classic for the most unique gifts you can imagine and tons of great candy, and you can purchase a gift card online (and they’ll add 25% to any gift card you order!). Materials Unlimited has an online gift certificate feature, Black Stone Bookstore offers online gift cards as well, and you can get Kin Studio gift cards for all your skincare needs, too. Give your favorite Ypsi retailer a call to see if they’ll process a gift card over the phone or online – your support is really helpful!
6. Virtual services in Ypsilanti
Innovation is happening all over Ypsilanti right now during this COVID-19 situation. Star Studio by Angel is evolving with virtual hair and makeup tutorials – and if you know Angel, you know that she’s a master at fun, colorful looks. Contact her directly to schedule something! Evenstar’s Chalice, which specializes in one-of-a-kind retail items, has a new YouTube channel and weekly meditation class. We’re loving the fun ideas popping up all over Ypsilanti!
7. Exploring all-natural Ypsilanti
Getting outside is super beneficial for our mental and physical health – so it’s great to see Ypsilantians out enjoying some fresh air! Just outside the city, the Cherry Hill Nature Preserve sits in Superior Township and offers 160 acres to explore via walking trails. The Border-to-Border Trail links Ypsilanti to several other communities along the Huron River, and Frog Island Park connects to Riverside Park via the Tridge – all of these are great ways to get out and enjoy some sunshine during a time when a lot of us are cooped up inside during most of the day. Just be sure to follow social distancing guidelines and all recommendations of government and health officials when you’re out and about!
However you decide to experience Ypsilanti during this time, we urge you to follow the instructions of all governmental and health officials, the CDC, and your health care provider. Let's all do our part to mitigate this public health crisis.