While Michigan’s economy is strong, many people who are employed struggle to find homes they can afford in our communities. In West and Northern Michigan, our partners are collaborating across sectors to explore innovative solutions to housing accessibility and affordability.
Strong leaders make strong organizations. To support the growth of nonprofit leaders in northern Michigan, the Frey Foundation partnered with area community foundations and Rotary Charities of Traverse City’s NorthSky Nonprofit Network. Together they designed the Leadership Learning Lab and expanded Northsky programming to serve 22 northern Michigan counties, including Charlevoix and Emmet Counties.
Ryan VerWys can describe the work of Inner City Christian Federation (ICCF) in one sentence.
“We’re making places for people to come home to,” he says proudly.
In a city where affordable housing is in short supply, where children leaving foster care struggle to obtain adequate employment and housing, and where the injustices of discriminatory housing practices echo.
The Muskegon farmers’ market has always been considered a community asset, a great place to meet friends and buy fresh food. But the 50-year-old structure needed work and lacked amenities such as running water and electricity that market vendors want these days. Its location, tucked in an area with limited visibility and accessibility, also presented challenges.
For 30 years, Habitat for Humanity of Kent County has partnered with businesses, non-profit organizations, funders, tradespeople, thousands of volunteers, and qualified Habitat home buyers to help nearly 400 families achieve the dream of owning a home. With that home comes tangible stability – no more moving every few months from rental to rental or relative to relative.
In a downtown neighborhood that has struggled for decades, one unique school is demonstrating how a challenging curriculum, high expectations and personal attention set the stage for students to thrive.