Features

Feature Story Urban_Alliance_Life_Camp

Kalamazoo’s Urban Alliance hopes to break the cycle of gun violence by reaching out to young people

The Urban Alliance Inc. of Kalamazoo, which has worked since 1999 to help break generational cycles of poverty, is shifting the focus of its outreach efforts from adults to young people – in order to address the issue of gun violence and affect change.

Longform On the Ground Battle Creek Kaytee Faris

Battle Creek's Vice Mayor Kaytee Faris and family decide to relocate to Ithaca, New York

Vice Mayor Kaytee Faris and family decide to relocate to city of many gorges. 

Feature Story A Way Home Kalamazoo Collective

Kalamazoo Collective Housing offers an alternative to the downside of being a renter

Kalamazoo Collective Housing will open two new houses in the fall and is currently accepting applications. 

Longform Housing solutions Patrese Griffin

Patrese Griffin is new director of County Continuum of Care where housing strategies are made

Advocacy for fair housing policies and personal experience with homelessness will serve Patrese Griffin well in new role as head of Kalamazoo County Continuum of Care.

Longform On the Ground Calhoun Tire Clean-up

In collaborative effort, Calhoun County plans clean-up to get rid of dumped tires at various sites

More than 1,000 tires on the less-than one-acre property between 12th Street and Butler Street plus two additional parcels and a vacant lot on Parish Street, which together have more than 200 tires, will be among those cleared out in an upcoming clean-up in Calhoun County. 

Feature Story JumpstART Summer 2022

JumpstART Weekend gets ready to welcome everyone to downtown Kalamazoo for summer art and fun

The events get rolling Wednesday, June 1. The 71st Annual Kalamazoo Institute of Arts Fair will be back at Bronson Park. Art on the Mall will be back and bigger on the Kalamazoo Mall on June 4. The Do-Dah Parade will be do-dah-ing along downtown roads that day. And everyone will be showing their pride in person at the Arcadia Creek Festival Place for Kalamazoo Pride 2022. Concerts in the Park and Beats On Bates -- which were in-person last year -- will be back, too.

Feature Story OTG KALAMAZOO SUMMER SWIM

Don't look now, but it's time to jump into summer at Kalamazoo parks

With the Memorial Day Weekend as the traditional kickoff of the summer season and the hope that Kalamazoo weather will stay warm, residents of the city’s core neighborhoods – those without their own swimming pools – will be looking for opportunities to cool off. The City of Kalamazoo has some answers for that, and it’s looking to kick off the summer season with a party.

Longform On the Ground Calhoun County Fostercare

Calhoun County seeks prospective foster care parents who will open their homes with love for all

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.

Feature Story Housing Solutions United Methodist Church

Kalamazoo's First United Methodist Church downtown helps the unhoused with multiple programs

Like most communities, Kalamazoo has struggled for decades with homelessness. There are an array of government and nonprofit agencies and services focused on the problem. But they are not alone. Some members of the area’s faith community are also deeply involved. They include the First United Methodist Church in downtown Kalamazoo.

Longform On the Ground Battle Creek Mental Health Project

Three Calhoun County entities work together to keep those needing mental health services out of jail

The county’s Public Defender’s Office, Summit Pointe and the Battle Creek Police Department -- each have implemented programs and services that are showing success, while also highlighting challenges they face. Their work is based on building established relationships and work to provide mental health services to those who have too often in the past become statistics in the criminal justice system.

Longform On The Ground Calhoun County Crafting Retreats

A love for crafting becomes a retreat center business enterprise for women in Calhoun County

Running crafting retreat centers is a business where people are making memories together. Katrina Asselin, owner of Riverside Retreats in Marshall and Kim Hall manager of  Creekside Crafting Retreats in Emmett Township have found their niche.

Feature Story Kalamazoo Housing Solutions LISC Section 4 funding

LISC Kalamazoo is looking for area nonprofits that may qualify for community development funds

LISC-Kalamazoo will be the conduit for hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding through the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Section 4 Program. “HUD Section 4 is a specific pool of money to increase nonprofits’ capacity to do their work in specific areas,” says Beth Romeo, the assistant program officer at LISC Kalamazoo.

Longform On the Ground Kalamazoo Book Arts Center

Making memories at the Kalamazoo Book Arts Center

With National Endowment for the Arts funding, Kalamazoo Book Arts Center creates a letterpress book, "Truth Comes Slowly," featuring linoleum cut illustrations by Mary Proenza and a short story from Los Angeles writer Jervey Tervalon about his family's involvement in a moment of gun violence when he was a child, plus other projects.

Feature Story SWMI Journalism Collab Mental Health Paw Center

How one clinic is making mental health services more accessible for Three Rivers students

If you're a middle school or high school aged student in Three Rivers, the distance between where you attend school and a place that provides mental health services has never been shorter. Thanks to PAWS (Prevention and Wellness Service), a school-linked community adolescent health center, Three Rivers teens and tweens simply have to cross the street.

Feature Story OTG Kalamazoo Juneteenth 2022

Kalamazoo is set to celebrate Juneteenth 2022 with song, dance, and fireworks

Soul Artistry has worked with more than a dozen area organizations to compile a list of  this year’s events celebrating Juneteenth in Kalamazoo.

Feature Story Kalamazoo Housing Project LODGE HOUSE

The LodgeHouse: Small, long-term rental units are scheduled for a big late-June opening in Kalamazoo

If all continues as planned, spaces for at least 60 unhoused individuals will be open by late June. The studio apartments in The LodgeHouse are intended for those with extremely low incomes currently living in a place that is not fit for human habitation,  outdoors, in their car, or living in a hotel that they can’t afford.

Feature Story Mental Wellness 12 tips

12 consejos para encontrar una atención de salud mental al alcance de todos

¿Se siente deprimido, ansioso o estresado, y cree que una consejería en salud mental le ayudaría? ¿Pero también tiene un plan de seguro médico que requiere que gaste cientos o incluso miles de dólares antes de que la cobertura se haga efectiva?  

Feature Story Mental Wellness 12 Tips

12 tips on finding mental-health care that you can afford

So you feel depressed or anxious or stressed, and think mental-health counseling would help. But you also have an insurance plan that requires you to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars before coverage kicks in. Perhaps no surprise, cost is the No. 1 barrier to obtaining mental-health care, according to a 2018 federal survey of 5,000 Americans. But instead of giving up, it’s important to explore your options -- and there are a surprising number for people worried about the cost of mental-health care.

Feature Story On the Ground Calhoun County Kim Langridge

Marshall native hits the jackpot by scripting funny Michigan lottery advertisements

Kim Langridge has hit the jackpot even though she’s never won the Michigan Lottery. Langridge, who was born and raised in Marshall and continues to make her home there, creates the majority of the radio spots for the state’s lottery, in addition to writing copy for television commercials promoting it.

Feature Story KPS Loy Norrix teacher LGBTIA

Loy Norrix librarian honored for work with gender and sexuality alliance

Loy Norrix High School teacher librarian John Kreider was honored with an OutFront Kalamazoo #AlwaysOutFront Award in April for his work as the advisor for the school's Gender and Sexuality Alliance. Kreider said they were humbled to receive the award because they know of so many other teachers and staff who have worked to support students.

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.