Features

Longform On the Ground Kalamazoo Protected Bike Lanes

For everyday riders using bikes for short trips in Kalamazoo changes at the street level are welcome

City bikers looking to switch from gas-burning vehicles to pedals for everyday travel are finding reason to hope that newly configured bike lanes will make a difference for them.

Longform On the Ground Battle Creek Holiday Shopping 2022

Holiday-themed activities and entertainment in the spotlight this weekend in downtown Battle Creek

The Holiday Shoptacular that began in early November jumpstarted the holiday shopping season in downtown Battle Creek and it's now headed into overdrive with a two-day Winter Wanderland event on Friday and Saturday.

Longform Housing Solutions Warming Centers 2022

Getting out of the cold: Advocates work to open warming shelters for Kalamazoo's unhoused population

How are the unhoused managing to get through inclement weather? Some people are on their own. Some will venture into the shelters when there’s crazy weather. And then some will work together to form whatever community, wherever that can be located.  

Longform Housing Solutions Volunteer Jan

Volunteers say besides housing, what Kalamazoo's unhoused need is to know that someone cares

Volunteer Jan van Schaik says apart from the obvious need for shelter, Kalamazoo's homeless need to be seen as fellow humans. His work with the unhoused, handing out food, hot chocolate, coffee, and providing mentorship as needed, and as importantly showing them he recognizes them by name.

Longform On the Ground Battle Creek JPG update

Food innovation in Battle Creek set to accelerate through collaboration

Battle Creek has secured its place as a national and global food innovation leader in part because former Kellogg Co. employees decided to stick around and create their own food businesses once they parted ways with the cereal maker.

Feature Story Raul Garcia, Homeowner Services Coach with Brittany Rabideau, a future Haven Townhome homeowner.

Habitat for Humanity building affordable housing for those with disabilities

Habitat for Humanity is building five townhomes in Holland that will be exclusively for those who have mental or physical disabilities.

Feature Story Members of the DNSWM's I&R team

Why information and referrals are key to supporting the disability community

Every day, people with disabilities find the support and help they need — quickly, conveniently, and free of charge — because of information and referral services.

Longform vicksburgvillage

An honor for the whole village of Vicksburg

“Not only is this an honor the entire village can take pride in, but it’s also most likely going to benefit us with economic benefits such as tax-credit programs,” says Jim Mallery, Vicksburg Village manager. “We are excited to add one more tool in our economic development toolkit.”

Longform On the Ground Calhoun Period Poverty

Period poverty in Calhoun County and who's working to eliminate it

It is reported that one in five low-income women and girls struggled to access feminine hygiene products. “We have girls in our community who are dealing with this every day,” says Teresa Allen, Executive Director of Charitable Union. And they are working to ease that struggle.

Longform On the Ground Edison Revel Creek

Heritage Community of Kalamazoo opens a new independent living community for older adults

People aged 60 and older are retiring in huge numbers. They’re more active, live  longer, and embrace more innovative ways to live independently than earlier retirees. Revel Creek at the Heritage Community in Kalamazoo was built for them.

Feature Story Monique French

Monique French: Ready to work for change as Calhoun County's newest commissioner

Pastor Monique French says she decided to run for public office because of her passion for the community and the hope she has for its transformation. She is now the new District 2 Calhoun County Commissioner.

Longform Xperience by Luxury Escapes

Soulful events center offers a new concept for food, drink, song, and dance in downtown Kalamazoo

Kimberly Guess wants to create the type of social experiences that she would like to go to in Kalamazoo. So she works with individuals and organizations to plan and organize parties, receptions, meetings, reunions, and all sorts of private gatherings at The Xperience by Luxury Escapes, a 3,200-square-foot venue downtown.

Feature Story pickleballplayers

Pickleball courts part of Marshall’s Recreation Plan

Marshall launches fundraising campaign to create a new community area that will include designated pickleball courts, to meet the demand for the fast-growing sport.   

Longform On the Ground Battle Creek Pulse website

A roadmap emerges for Battle Creek area employers navigating childcare options for their workforce

A recently introduced website offers a roadmap that can help the leadership of area businesses understand their options when supporting working families with their childcare needs.

Longform Housing Solutions Pops Profile

They call him 'Pops': Helping others and keeping the peace among the unsheltered earns their respect

Pops is a peacekeeper. He also advocates in any way he can to help others and is always trying to get people in need, the supplies they need. He is also a kind ear and sympathetic friend. And Pops has been homeless off-and-on for the past eight years, and unsheltered for the past two years straight until recently.  

Feature Story On the Ground Battle Creek ARPA Funds spend down

Community organizations spending down ARPA funds in Battle Creek

At a series of Town Hall events that started in the Fall of 2021, the city of Battle Creek collected ideas on the best ways to spend ARPA funds so that they would have a positive impact on the city. 

Feature Story Automated Car at WMU

Self-driving electric vehicle donation boosts research opportunities at Western Michigan University

New research opportunities will position Western Michigan University students to be at the forefront of emerging technologies and set them up for success in the sustainable energy field.

Feature Story Alison Mariella Désir

‘Running While Black’ author to visit Kalamazoo on national book tour

"I kept hearing how running was democratic and a sport ‘for everybody’ kept getting repeated," Alison Mariella Désir explains in her new book. "It was both annoying and funny, because it was clear that this message came from white runners in a white sport inside a white country, and they had no idea what it was like to be a Black body in such a climate.” 

Longform Housing Solutions Kalamazoo Street Medicine

Kalamazoo's unsheltered say Street Medicine Kalamazoo is an organization that works for them

Street Medicine Kalamazoo came out of the Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine early in 2021 to take healthcare directly to the most underserved population, the unsheltered. Now they conduct an open-air clinic Mondays near PFC and Wednesdays at Ministry.

Longform On the Ground Battle Creek NPCs  Return

Battle Creek's Neighborhood Planning Councils are back with a focus on greater diversity, inclusion

The city’s Neighborhood Planning Councils are gearing up for in-person meetings that were paused during the pandemic and among their priorities is ensuring that their representation reflects the residents in their neighborhoods.

Battle Creek

A call for foster families

There's a need for more foster care homes in Calhoun County, especially for youth who identify as LGBTQ+.  A mom who has fostered more than 30 children talks about why her family keeps opening their home. For the full story, click hereFor more stories, please visit here.
 
 

Kalamazoo

Home of her own

At one point, in a one-bedroom apartment on Vine Street Kathy White had seven kids living in that one-bedroom apartment. Her family members had nowhere else to live and so she took the in. After 50 years sharing her home with so many family members, she now has her own space. Many local residents double-up because the housing market makes it hard to find affordable housing.  Read the full story here. Read more stories here.