“Save a Life – Make $50” is Detroit’s most recent expansion of the Good Neighbor Program to get more citizens vaccinated against COVID-19.
On May 3, 2021, Detroit piloted the expansion of the Good Neighbor Program, called “Save a Life,” which offers $50 prepaid cards to those who register and drive Detroiters to get the first dose of the vaccination.
In January, Good Neighbor started as a program to support senior citizens in which volunteers transported seniors to their vaccine appointment, getting an opportunity to get their own vaccination despite the age requirement.
As the eligibility for the vaccination expanded to everyone 16 and older, the city noticed a decline in the city’s rate of vaccinations.
“What if anybody who cared about someone enough to help them make the appointment, took them in, could get the same $50,” Mayor Mike Duggan said during a press conference on April 28:
Before the city announced the expansion, it offered rides to vaccination sites for $2 to Detroiters, while the city covered the actual cost of $35 to $50 for the trips.
The Good Neighbor driver doesn’t have to be a Detroit resident. The driver is allowed to return for the second dose appointment for an additional payment of $50. Each trip can have up to three patients with appointments, which makes the neighbor eligible for $50 per person, each visit.
“Any Good Neighbor who earns $600 or more in prepaid cards for reimbursement will be required to complete a W9 form and file 1099 with their 2021 tax returns,” said Duggan.
The Good Neighbor Program is only eligible by appointment only at the following locations:
TCF drive-thru from 8 AM – 5 PM
Northwest Activities Center, 18100 Meyers from 9 AM – 7 PM
Straight Gate Church, 10100 Grand River from 9 AM – 7 PM
Community Saturday sites (9 AM – 1 PM – Good Neighbor begins May 8th)
Galilee Baptist Church
Grace Community Church
Kemeny Recreation Center
New Providence Baptist Church
Greater Emmanuel Church
The program is not valid for walk-up vaccination centers.
Laura Goldston, a Detroit resident in Midtown, is intrigued by the city’s expansion of the Good Neighbor program.
“I know many people that have already taken the time out of their day to take their friends and elderly neighbors to their appointments, I feel like this initiative will have even more people getting out there to get the vaccination,” Goldston said.
She said hearing from someone close to you works more effectively than health and government officials’ recommendations.
“Hopefully this will help the cases in the city as well,” she said.
On May 6, Detroit’s Chief Public Health Officer, Denise Fair, calls the vaccine “a dose of hope” for the city of Detroit during the COVID-19 Vaccination Town Hall.
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