Families & Community

The connections that build opportunity.

Preschoolers
U.S. Department of Agriculture / Flickr CC / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Early Tuesday, 37-year-old Alton Sterling was shot and killed by police outside the Triple S Food Mart in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

On an industrial block on Detroit's east side, there's a big, black building that sits along a stretch of warehouses. The front of the building is covered in glass windows. A banner sprawled across screams: "Welcome to Downtown Boxing Gym!"

The building is home to the Downtown Boxing Gym Youth Program. The afterschool program was started by Khali Sweeney in 2007.

mom and four kids
April Van Buren / Michigan Radio

Foster care is supposed to be a temporary fix. When a child ends up in state care, the first goal is to reunite them with their birth families. But only about half of the 13,000 children in Michigan’s child welfare system every year end up going home. A small group of parents in Washtenaw County wants to change that. 

Tires litter the lawn in front of an abandoned house on Detroit's west side
Andrea Claire Maio / Apiary Projects

I went to a workshop last month called "Why in the D?," which was put on by students at Cody’s Academy of Public Leadership. The point of the day was not to talk about schools; it was to talk about something much closer to home: where they live and the outsize role their neighborhoods have on their lives. 

Dad and Baby
J.K. Califf / Flickr CC / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Yesterday was Father's Day, and whether you're a biological, foster, an adoptive father, stepdad, grandfather, or father figure, we hope you had a great one.

The definition of fatherhood is changing. Dads are breaking out of the boxes of disciplinarian, breadwinner, and masculine role model.

Jalin, Valencia and Irmitha Pitchford in front of their new home in Wyandotte.
Jennifer Guerra / Michigan Radio

For a long time, parents were seen as the key factor to a child’s success, and longtime State of Opportunity listeners know there are a number of things parents can do to help their children get ahead. But even the most well-intentioned parent will tell you: It's hard to parent when you live in a neighborhood that's not safe.

 

neighborhood
Nicholas A. Tonelli / Flickr CC / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Can where you live affect how successful you'll be? Though evidence is limited, studies suggest the answer is yes.

Song of the Sea on the "big screen" at the Play House
Jennifer Guerra / Michigan Radio

It’s been decades since Mr. Rogers invited us to be his neighbor.

 

 

All were welcomed – rich, poor, black, white, immigrant. But today the reality is neighborhoods are much more segregated and homogenous. There are, of course, exceptions. As part of our year-long look at neighborhoods and their impacts, we'll be spending time in a diverse neighborhood on the border of Hamtramck and Detroit that's actively working to integrate.

 

 


neighborhood
symmetry_mind / Flickr CC / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

This month we entered our fifth and final year of State of Opportunity.

Whether you've followed us from the beginning, or joined us somewhere along the way, you'll know we've talked a lot about factors that affect the development of children and adolescents, from birth to young adulthood.

This year, we'll be shifting our focus heavily to neighborhoods.

How do our neighborhoods make us who we are? How much do they define us and the way we see the world? How do they shape our personality or impact our future?

A low-income, tiny house community is coming to Detroit

May 20, 2016
Tiny house
Tomas Quinones / Flickr CC / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

In April, we wrote about a tiny house community that recently opened in Austin, Texas. The residents who live there all have one thing in common: They are chronically homeless.

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