News from Project Reentry about COVID-19

SADO's Project Reentry has a message for formerly incarcerated individuals and other community members about COVID-19.

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is an extremely contagious virus that can lead to serious illness or sometimes death. Each and every one of us has a responsibility to help prevent the spread. The safety of our community and clients is our top priority, and therefore, we stress the importance of following the guidelines provided by the Center for Disease Control found at and the State of Michigan at

Project Reentry Services During this Time

In order to prevent the spread, Project Reentry is taking precautions and changing the way we live, work, and communicate. At this time, Project Reentry is not permitted to meet with clients in-person. Our intern team is decreasing their workload and our resources are limited. Project Reentry, however, can still offer other types of non-contact assistance with your reentry needs. As always, if you are in need, please reach out by calling 313-420-2967, emailing, or messaging us on social media @SADOreentry.

The March 29 Workshop on Taxes Has Been Cancelled

We are looking into a virtual option and will reach out to you if that is a possibility, but for now, it is canceled.

Parole and COVID-19

If you are currently on parole, we encourage you to call your parole officer and ask for a phone or virtual appointment. If you would like assistance contacting your parole officer, reach out to Project Reentry at 313-420-2967.

What You Can Do to Prevent the Spread

The most basic measures you can take to prevent the spread of the virus and protect yourself and others are:

  • Wash your hands frequently for 20 seconds each time.
  • Do not touch your face, eyes, mouth, or nose.
  • Sanitize surfaces you come into contact with and only touch surfaces in public with a tissue if possible. If you do come into contact with surfaces in public, wash your hands immediately or use hand sanitizer.
  • Do not gather with crowds of people.
  • As much as possible, stay home and out of public spaces.
  • Stay away from anyone who is sick.
  • Stay home if you are sick.

What to Do if You Are Sick

If you are sick or have COVID-19 symptoms (shortness of breath, fever, and a dry cough), you should do the following:

  • Stay home and avoid all public interaction; avoid public transportation. (If you have a parole appointment, call your agent.)
  • Stay away from others in your home and away from pets as much as possible.
  • Call your doctor to ask about testing options. Call the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) hotline at 1-888-535-6136 if you are unable to get answers. The doctor or call center will advise as to whether you need to seek treatment options. If you are still unable to get answers, reach out to Project Reentry and we may be able to provide guidance.
  • Continue to follow all prevention steps outlined above.

Other Hardships During this Time

We are aware that the consequences of this pandemic extend beyond physical health: the economic suffering on individuals and families and impact on mental health are severe, and in some circumstances may feel more damaging than the virus. If you find yourself out of work, please contact Michigan's Unemployment Insurance program,, which provides temporary income to workers who have lost their job through no fault of their own.

Things to Do to Stay Mentally Healthy

To stay mentally healthy, here are some things you may want to try if you are up to it. Some days, you may not be up for much of anything, and that is okay. Be patient with yourself and take things day by day:

  • Make a list of friends or family members you can call and catch up with and call 2 people each day.
  • If you have an iPhone, use FaceTime to communicate so you can see the smiling faces of your loved ones.
  • Play cards or board games with the people you live with.
  • Go for a walk or jog.
  • Do an exercise routine – many free programs can be found on YouTube, or you can create your own routine.
  • Do an art project, write, read books and magazines, listen to music, and watch movies.
  • If you have a dog, teach your pet a new trick.
  • Clean out your garage, basement, closets, and pantries.
  • Cook and try new recipes.
  • Write an article for The Drum, our reentry newsletter, and send it to us.

COVID-19 Resources

The State of Michigan through the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), has set up a hotline to respond to COVID-19 health-related questions. The hotline will be open seven days a week from 8 am to 5 pm at 1-888-535-6136.

Other Coronavirus Hotlines:

  • Beamont: 248-551-7000
  • Detroit Medical Center: 1-888-DMC-3370
  • Wayne County: 734-287-7870
  • Oakland County: 248-858-1000

For unemployment information, visit: or call 1-866-500-0017

For assistance finding food, paying housing bills, accessing free childcare, or other essential services, dial 211 or visit:

Project Reentry will continue to gather resources and provide updates to this guide. Stay healthy and safe.

A PDF of this article is here.