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September 2017 Newsletter – Michigan Community Action

Michigan Community Action

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MCA Catalyst – September 2017
See newsletter for full story on each of these items

Michigan families rally to support federal housing programs

Maurice Stovall's master’s degree did not save him and his family from homelessness.  He was one of many who told their stories at the “How Housing Changed my Life” event at the State Capitol July 26, co-sponsored by Michigan Community Action (MCA).  The event, which featured dozens of residents who have been homeless, was held in response to proposed federal housing budget cuts that would eliminate aid for tens of thousands of Michigan residents.

Housing advocates, elected officials and attendees listened to individuals' stories of couch hopping, car repossessions, hunger and other vulnerable situations as a result of their homelessness and how federally funded programs got them back on their feet...

Ottawa community gardens bring people together to feed families

Baskets of sun-kissed tomatoes, cucumbers, squash and lettuce are being harvested from a community garden in Ottawa County, then cleaned, packaged and distributed to residents in need of fresh, healthy food.  For more than a decade, Ottawa County Community Action Agency’s (OCCAA) community gardens program has grown healthy food for families while teaching gardening skills to community members...

A study conducted by Grand Valley State University found that Ottawa residents who were given vegetables had lower blood pressure and less anxiety or stress... OCCAA expanded its efforts two years ago, working with other agencies to build a hoop house where vegetables can grow year-round in an enclosed space, protected from colder weather.

Community response guide tackles hateful rhetoric, violence

Ten Ways to Fight Hate: A Community Response Guide is designed to help agencies seek positive actions to promote peace in their communities.  The Southern Poverty Law Center has released the guide in response to recent national events.  The guide outlines 10 recommendations for taking action, including how to respond to hate rallies within communities...

Year in Review 2016: Building leaders, changing lives

This past year, Community Action Agencies assisted more than 162,865 vulnerable and low-income people.  Michigan Community Action (MCA) stood behind them and beside them to provide the training, support and leadership development to ensure that this work continued and that progress was made toward ending poverty in Michigan – read MCA’s 2016 annual report.

Did you know?

More than one-third of homeless individuals are working poor and nearly 60 percent are families headed by females, statistics show.  Some of the reasons for homelessness include lack of affordable housing, inability to make a living wage, health care crises, mental illness and domestic violence.  Community Action Agencies play a critical role in rapid re-housing programs, providing financial assistance, personalized counseling and coordinating efforts to stabilize homeless families and individuals by quickly returning them to permanent housing.

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