Dan King / Flickr / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Salvation Army is a crucial resource for many people all year round. It provides housing assistance, food assistance, utility assistance and all kinds of other help to people in need.

And around the holidays, that effort ramps up with Christmas assistance.

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

For more on this, read our previous blog post.

The morning after the election, I reached out to a number of people I’ve interviewed in the past who are immigrants, or who work with immigrants.


It’s fair to say there was shock, some in mourning. Some worried for the future. One mother wanted to know how she can set up guardianship for her kids in case she’s deported. She’s been in the U.S. since she was a child. She now has legal status through the Obama administration’s deferred action program. But Trump has promised to end that program.


Lots of people who previously felt safe now don’t.


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

“Pulling yourself up by your bootstraps” is a phrase that used to describe trying to do something that was nearly impossible. (Imagine, for a moment, trying to stand up by pulling on your own shoes. You’d look pretty silly.)

But somewhere along the way, it’s become short-hand for the kind of crowd-pleasing rags to riches stories found everywhere from movie screens to the evening news.

flickr user trishhhh

If you are in an abusive situation and you need emergency shelter or transitional housing, you can search for resources in your community at domesticshelters.org.

A few years ago, I was tagging along with a social worker on a visit with one of her clients. The social worker was Joni Cook, she works with the Maternal Infant Health Program at Cherry Health in Grand Rapids. We sat in the living room, with her client, who was cradling a beautiful new baby girl.

And things seem to be going well. But then the client started telling Cook about the baby’s father. She broke down as she talked about him hitting her. She was terrified of what he might do next.  

"She felt very unsafe," Cook said to me this week. "And I remember her saying the people who are supposed to be protecting me are not protecting me."

School Lunch
DC Central Kitchen / Flickr CC / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Hi, State of Opportunity fans. This is going to be a pretty quick blog post, since I just want to revisit something I talked about a while back.

It's that time of year again. Children across the country are gearing up for summer break.

Baby yawning
Jill M / Flickr CC / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

When I became a mom, I was surprised – and overwhelmed – by the amount of diapers my daughter went through.

And it was expensive.

I can't imagine what it must be like to have to choose between diapers for your baby, and other necessities like food and rent.

Recommendations we think you'll love

Mar 11, 2016
Barney Moss / Flickr Creative Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

What are your plans for the weekend?

If you have some free time you could catch up on what's been happening at Michigan Radio this month.

Here's some recommended reading and listening for State of Opportunity fans:

1. Black political power grows, but prosperity remains elusive

Recommendations we think you'll love

Dec 18, 2015
The Real Estreya / Flickr Creative Commons

As the year winds down, many of us are preparing for a much-needed break from work or school to celebrate the holidays. I don't know about you, but if there's one thing I'm looking forward to other than food and family, it's time to catch up on some of my favorite blogs and podcasts.

When your schedule allows for it, here's some recommended reading and listening for State of Opportunity fans: 

1. Not Safe to Drink, a Michigan Radio documentary

Thanks for your help with our first "Day of Opportunity"

Apr 13, 2015
Michigan Radio

We'd like to thank all of the State of Opportunity and Michigan Radio fans who came out to our first Day of Opportunity

About 76 people volunteered, including Michigan Radio staff from State of Opportunity, our newsroom, and Stateside with Cynthia Canty. We were pleased to welcome volunteers of all ages. 

Volunteers helped three local organizations with a range of tasks, including gardening, weeding, sorting canned goods, stocking shelves, and getting very good with operating a conveyor belt. 

user Andrew Blight / flickr

Hi there! This is going to be a pretty quick blog post, since I'm knee-deep in documentary tape, but I wanted to share with you a few stories that have resonated with me lately. 

The first is a radio story from This American Life. It's called Three Miles and it's about an exchange program between two high schools: a public school in "the country's poorest congressional district" in the Bronx, and a private school three miles away that costs $43,000 a year to attend.