Features

Feature Story A Way Home Housing solutions Tiny Houses

Building hope: The Tiny Houses of HOPE project gets underway in Kalamazoo

If you think it’s tough for most people to find affordable housing in an already tight housing market, try to find it when you have a criminal record, or when you have a history with substance or alcohol use. That's why HOPE thru Navigation is building Tiny Houses at North Street and Westnedge Avenue. They broke ground Thursday, April 4, 2024.

Feature Story Voices of Youth

Voices of Youth: Body image disorder explored through verse journalism and art

Voices of Youth Tanna Bliler chose to use 'verse journalism,' a term coined by poet Gwendolyn Brooks, to relay stories that reflect the traumatic impacts of body image disorder and to call attention to the issue. 

Feature Story List

Journey home eclipsed by eclipse and West Michigan Nice

On the Ground's Jane Parikh wasn't quite in Southwest Michigan when she witnessed the eclipse. Nevertheless, she had an eclipse moment in the middle of a crowded airport and was reminded of the power of nature to bring us together.

Feature Story Lakeview Square Mall

Voices of Youth: What's next for Lakeview Square Mall?

Voices of Youth's Mason Allen has been going to Lakeview Square Mall "before I can remember." But over the years, he has watched the mall struggle against what's being called the "retail apocalypse." Allen speaks with a Battle Creek official to learn what changes are underfoot.

Longform Dr. Theresa Hastert (right) helped develop the Michigan Community Outreach to Address Financial Toxicity (MI-COST). Ali Fakih (left) is a research assistant with MI-COST, and Cornelius Wilson (center) sits on its Community Advisory Board.

Here's how Michigan organizations are working to reduce cancer treatment's crushing financial burden

In Michigan, several efforts are underway to help cancer patients prepare for, manage, and alleviate the financial struggles associated with treatment.

Feature Story Enlightened Recovery

Holistic recovery center for treating substance use disorders to open in Kalamazoo

What's happening at the former nursing home on Alamo Avenue? It's soon to be the new home of Enlightened Recovery, a holistic substance use disorder rehab facility.

Feature Story Seaux Sundays

Sundays in Battle Creek, seaux boring, so not

“Some people use Sundays to prepare for the week, I want to prepare in a completely different way. I want to expose people to things they may never have heard of before and bridge those gaps.”

Longform Mobility App

Electric vehicle Carshare program in Kalamazoo and Portage expands the mobility landscape

"We know that if we can reduce the cost of transportation, then that improves people's ability to afford quality housing or quality childcare or quality healthcare," says Matthew Hollander of the new EV car rental program in place at Edison's The Creamery.

Longform Kimberly Singh (right), Michigan Oral Health Coalition board member and chief community and governmental affairs officer for My Community Dental Centers, chats with Dental Assistant Kortney Jones.

Oral health care is inaccessible to many Michiganders. This coalition is working to change that.

The Michigan Oral Health Coalition brings together a multitude of Michigan oral and general health partners to collaborate on improving oral health for all Michiganders, especially those who have barriers to access. 

Longform Teacher helping child at NEST Child Care and Parent Institute in Detroit

خارطة طريق "التعليم ما قبل الابتدائي للجميع" تتخذ منهجًا شاملًا لإطلاق برنامج "التعليم ما قبل الاب

في يناير 2023، أعلنت الحاكمة غريتشن ويتمر عن خطتها "التعليم ما قبل الابتدائي للجميع"، والتي ستوفر الوصول إلى التعليم ما قبل الابتدائي المجاني لجميع الأطفال البالغين من العمر أربع سنوات في ميشيغان بحلول عام 2027. في فبراير 2024، أصدرت دائرة التعليم مدى الحياة، التقدم، والإمكانيات في ميشيغان (MiLEAP) خطة الطريق مع توصيات حول كيف يمكن للولاية تحقيق هذا الهدف. شاركت مجموعة السياسات العادلة، وهي منظمة استشارية تعليمية في واشنطن العاصمة تركز على سياسات الرعاية والتعليم المبكرة، في تأليف خارطة الطريق.

Longform Robin Beasley is the director of Garden of Dreams Preschool inside First Congregational Church.

Tri-Share makes quality child care more affordable for working parents

MI Tri-Share is a first-of-its-kind cost-sharing funding model. The state, the employee, and their employer each chip in for one-third of the price of child care.

Longform Josh Williams

Addressing the Gap: The need for increased mental health support for LGBTQ Michiganders

With all the positive work being done, the fact remains that 51% of LGBTQ Youth in Michigan are afraid to talk about their mental health with someone else. 

Feature Story Kalamazoo County Sheriff Richard Fuller says 911 should not be the only number people call to help people with substance use and mental health issues.

Kalamazoo County Jail numbers are down; new programs likely to bring them lower

“When we talk about the programs that we’re doing at the jail, what we want to do is change the mindset of not just people who come to jail, but the mindset of our community. We need people to understand that there are other services that can help people with mental health issues, substance use disorders.”

Feature Story BC Art Bash

Battle Creek creatives offer advice and support to area students during Art Bash 2024

“More of our students need to see the arts in nontraditional ways. We want children to see and be engaged and be empowered through the message that was being given out.”

Longform Housing Solutions Kalamazoo Housing Advocates

Kalamazoo Housing Advocates helps people navigate barriers to housing using 'that corny love thing'

Kalamazoo Housing Advocates strives to provide one-on-one supportive services, where instead of just offices and forms, a person in crisis can call on someone to help navigate the steps toward a more stable environment. And love is built into the organization.

Feature Story Lucinda Hinsdale Stone

What would Lucinda do? Southwest Michigan women channel their feminist forebears

To commemorate Women's History Month, we asked some Southwest Michigan area women to offer their perspectives on what local women of note might have to say today about issues that cemented their place in history.

Feature Story Robin Wall Kimmerer

Voices of Youth: State's largest high school Climate Symposium hosted by Calhoun County students

Calhoun County students are hosting Michigan's largest high school climate symposium. Representing seven school districts, these climate activists spent after-school hours organizing the event that features "Braiding Sweetgrass" author Robin Wall Kimmerer, among other climate standouts.

Longform Kristin Graham, principal of Macatawa Bay Middle School, confers with a student.

Successful suicide prevention protocol expands from Corewell hospitals to Western Michigan schools

The Blue Envelope program trains all school employees how to respond to a student expressing thoughts of suicide, and assigns interventions based on the student's risk level.

Longform Teacher helping child at NEST Child Care and Parent Institute in Detroit

PreK For All Roadmap takes a holistic approach to rolling out PreK For All

The Michigan Department of Lifelong Education, Advancement, and Potential (MiLEAP) has released the PreK for All Roadmap plan with recommendations on how the state can achieve universal pre-K for all 4-year-olds in Michigan.

Longform Teacher helping child at NEST Child Care and Parent Institute in Detroit

La Hoja de Ruta de PreK Para Todos adopta un enfoque holístico para el despliegue de PreK Para Todos

En enero de 2023, la gobernadora Gretchen Whitmer anunció su plan PreK para Todos, que proporcionaría acceso a la educación preescolar gratuita a todos los niños de cuatro años de Michigan para 2027. En febrero de 2024, el Michigan Department of Lifelong Education, Advancement, and Potential (MiLEAP) publicó el plan de la Hoja de Ruta con recomendaciones

Battle Creek

Battle Creek's Washington Heights reaching new heights in affordable housing stock

“We have demonstrated that we’ll do what we say we’re going to do. Some of the barriers we’ve had to overcome we’ve looked at as opportunities. These new homes will be an opportunity for residents to create generational wealth and go from renter-ship to homeownership.” For the full story, click hereFor more stories, please visit here.
 

Kalamazoo

Beyond belief: How faith communities are lighting the way on climate change

In this first installment of our Sacred Earth series, we speak with Dr. Cybelle Shattuck, whose combined interests in sustainability and religion have helped her identify how faith institutions engage, support, and undertake earth care. Read the full story here. Read more stories here.