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Families & Community

The connections that build opportunity.

homeless man
Pedro Ribeiro Simoes / Flickr CC / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

November is winding down and temperatures here in Michigan are dropping. For many – myself included – the winter months can be a nuisance. But for people experiencing homelessness, the harsh, cold months can be brutal.

Currently, there are nearly 550,000 people in the U.S. experiencing homelessness on any given night. But that number is down nearly 3% from 2015, according to a recent report from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Tony Webster / Flickr CC / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Gun violence can have a devastating impact on both individuals and society as a whole.

Trauma from gun injuries and homicides imposes heavy social and psychological burdens, and gun violence costs American taxpayers about $229 billion every year, according to Mother Jones.

crowd in front of stage
April Van Buren / Michigan Radio

Our most recent State of Opportunity documentary focused on Detroiters whose personal experience with violence has inspired them to advocate for peace in their city.

We wanted to create a place for people from Detroit's neighborhoods and other Michigan Radio listeners to come together and talk about issues of racial equity and peace in the city. So, we teamed up with the folks at the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion to put on an evening of stories and conversation at the Matrix Center in Detroit's Osborn neighborhood. 


a community garden
April Van Buren / Michigan Radio

On the corner of South Washington and Garden Street in Lansing, you'll find a brown sign with the words "Welcome to Fabulous Acres Neighborhood" painted in bright yellow letters.

The community is just south of where the Diamond Reo plant once turned out its cars and trucks. By January of 1980, the plant had been torn down.

But Fabulous Acres lives on.

Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

When a neighborhood's got a problem, sometimes all it takes is a few people coming up with solutions over drinks.

About a year and a half ago, a group of Hamtramck neighbors decided they were fed up with the horrible road conditions in their town.

They got together, bought some cold patch and started filling potholes.

Morgan Springer / Interlochen Public Radio

Neighbors helping neighbors. That’s the motto of ShareCare of Leelanau County.

Since 1994, ShareCare has been helping seniors stay in their homes. It’s truly a win-win proposition.

Seniors in Leelanau get the support and help they need to live independently, at home. And volunteers get the reward of knowing they’re helping their neighbors.

“I think that now, and not just now but maybe for the last decade or so people are starting to appreciate the value of knowing your neighbors," Morenoff said.
flickr user woodleywonderworks / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

 

What’s the most important thing to consider when you’re choosing a neighborhood?

You real estate agent would probably tell you: location, location, location.

But what makes one neighborhood different from another a few blocks over?

One key factor is the relationships between the people living there. In other words: neighbors, neighbors, neighbors.

Zak Rosen / Mr.

It was a blisteringly hot summer afternoon in Detroit.

 

East Lafayette street was blocked off from car traffic. A few hundred people walked in unison down the middle of the street. Some of them carried signs with photographs of gun violence victims. Others held posters that read, "Thou shall not kill."

User: geishabot / Flickr / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

For this story, I have two hats. One is my reporter hat. The other is my dad hat.

I like the daddy hat.  

But I do still have this reporter hat over here. And I’ve been thinking a lot lately with my reporter hat about my beautiful, perfect little boy. Because, the truth is, he is at risk.

And I’ve been thinking about this risk because of what’s been in the news lately – about how men talk and act toward women. And what’s considered normal for those things.

flickr user fleshmanpix

On a brightly-lit stage inside a massive convention hall in downtown Houston, Texas, Ainslya Charlton made her introduction.

"You can call me Ace," she said, as her friends cheered. 

Out in the audience, away from the lights, were of nearly 1,000 people assembled for what was billed as the nation’s largest-ever gathering of undocumented immigrants in the U.S.

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