Features

Longform Housing Solutions List image Core 60

The time is now for minority contractors in the City of Kalamazoo, consultants say

Opportunities for minorities to work for themselves, own their own companies, and build wealth — those are the goals of a pilot program called Core 60 that teaches “core” business competencies with one-on-one counseling and group sessions as participants prepare for a 60-hour building license.

Feature Story Michigan We Choose

Michigan We Choose lifts up voices of members of Black and Brown communities

With school districts being threatened with closure across the state, Michigan We Choose has found a way to support districts before they are taken over by the state or absorbed into another district as Albion schools were. 

Longform Help Home Personal ID* Program GPS ID bracelets.

Many happy returns: GPS ID bracelets help Michiganders living with dementia find their way home

A new collaboration in Calhoun County has helped 135 missing people with dementia return safely home – and made life easier for their caregivers, local law enforcement, and health care providers.

Longform On the Ground Battle Creek Drone Park

Battle Creek Unlimited seeks a drone park at its Executive Airport, claim place in emerging sector

The city’s sizable military presence gives Battle Creek an advantage over other areas of the United States that also may be looking to establish a drone presence for these Unmanned Aerial Systems controlled from the ground by trained pilots.

Longform All things Possible

Kalamazoo Parks and Rec’s summer program helps middle schoolers transition to high school using art

Dreamscene Placemaking and Kalamazoo Parks and Rec team up for the arts section of the 2022 All Things Possible program. 

Feature Story On the Ground Battle Creek BCreative

BCreative gives Battle Creek students the opportunities to be creative

In the 10 years since BCreative was first established, more than $1 million has been awarded by the the Miller Foundation to Battle Creek area individual students and schools.

Feature Story On the Ground Kalamazoo Edison Jazz Fest

There will be music in the streets when the first Edison Jazz Fest gets underway in September

The Edison Jazz Fest will bring national and local jazz luminaries to Kalamazoo to perform in the neighborhood Sept. 12-18. The Dormouse Theatre, Jerico, La Luna Recording, and The Creamery's rooftop garden will be the venues.  

Feature Story Mental Wellness Teachers Mental Health

Wellness for educators: Take baby steps but take them forward

While K-12 teachers and administrators are considered to be essential workers—and perhaps never more so than during the COVID-19 pandemic—research shows that the well-being of these people has been on the decline.  

Feature Story Youth Summit Imagine Kalamazoo

'Imagine Your Neighborhood' summit allows youth to take charge and have a voice in their community

The goal of the “Imagine Your Neighborhood Youth Summit,” hosted by the City of Kalamazoo and the Kalamazoo Youth Development Network, was to create an environment where young people ages 14 to 22 could discuss ways to make their neighborhoods better and brighter places.

Feature Story Mental Wellness Teacher Mental Health

El Bienestar de los Educadores: Dando pasos de bebé, pero avanzando

Si bien los maestros y administradores de K-12 se consideran trabajadores esenciales, y tal vez nunca más que durante la pandemia de COVID-19, las investigaciones muestran que el bienestar de estas personas ha disminuido.

Longform Dr. Michelle Johnson, Playgrown CEO, is seen here with a tomato and a pepper.

Big plans for small homes where the houseless used to live in Kalamazoo

Home Start Initiative, a plan for cooperative living near the site of the Ampersee homeless encampment, hopes to be sustainable, correct injustices, and give women and children shelter. But they need $4 million.

Feature Story From left The Wood family at Celebration: Amy, Ellery and Aidan.

Theater chain finds ways to make more movies accessible to everyone

From Sensory Showtimes to closed captioning, Celebration Cinema is finding new ways to make movies and entertainment accessible to everyone.

Longform Carol Sodman-Morris serves as a home visit nurse for the  Achieving Birth Equity Through Systems Transformation program.

Michigan project creates framework for communities to reduce racial disparities in infant deaths

The new effort aims to build community power, map local ecosystems, and provide equity training to reduce significant disparities in infant mortality.

Longform OTG Battle Creek Homer Roads

Paving the way to road repairs, not an easy drive for some Calhoun County townships

When it comes to fixing the roads in some Calhoun County townships finding the funding can be a challenge. 

Longform Voices of Youth Photo Story Transportation

Voices of Youth: Transportation, a photo story

From walking, to biking, to taking the bus the ways of getting around Kalamazoo are many. Here are some scenes from the street as seen by a Voices of Youth Program participant.

Feature Story On the Ground Kalamazoo Micro Enterprise Grants

$300,000 in Micro-Enterprise Grants is set to help 60 Kalamazoo-based businesses

The third round of grants to help small businesses hit hard by the COVID-19 shutdown – announced on Aug. 18, 2022 -- will help 60 local enterprises clear hurdles like those, and many others. Each business is set to receive a $5,000 share of some $300,000 allocated in the Kalamazoo Micro-Enterprise Grant program.

Feature Story A new state program is providing an opportunity to reframe the mindset of parents of young children with disabilities. (Canva)

New training supports children with developmental disabilities

A new statewide program, Paving the Way to Self Determination, has been developed to raise the expectations families have for their children with developmental disabilities.

Longform On the Ground Kalamazoo Can Do Kitchen

A can-do spirit is helping Can-Do Kalamazoo and its small business users to expand their horizons

Moving from Can-Do Kitchen to Can-Do Kalamazoo is more than a name change. The nonprofit organization that started 14 years ago as an incubator for food-based businesses is now focused on growing and scaling businesses of all kinds. And it is set to expand into a new location in 2023.

Feature Story On the Ground Battle Creek Cask and Kettle

Coffee and alcohol, a winning combination for Battle Creek startup

A business that creates a K-POD that becomes a hot drink with alcohol has been growing in Battle Creek since it launched in 2018. Now Cask & Kettle is selling 600,000 K-PODS annually and is closing in this year on just over $1 million in annual sales.

Feature Story Housing Solutions: Abbey42 Apartment Complex

Huge new apartment complex may open in fourth quarter of 2023 in Kalamazoo County

The Abbey42 apartment complex is a $64.6 million, multi-family housing development that has been in the works in Pavilion Township in Kalamazoo County since 2018, and it includes the construction of 11 buildings with a total of 344 living units.

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.