“It’s easier to build strong children than to repair broken men”
– Frederick Douglas
The Grand Rapids metropolitan region had the highest growth in poverty from 2000 to 2010 compared to all other regions in the country, according to the Brookings institute. This seems difficult to believe when you think about all of the resources that are available in the community. However, it does suggest that there is still a lot of work that needs to be done by community-based organizations, especially in aligning efforts to make resources and opportunities more accessible. It also may be speaking to some other, deeper issues that our community leaders need to address in coming to terms with concentrated poverty in certain core urban communities
Paraphrasing Frederick Douglas’ infamous words, it can be suggested that building strong communities is preferred to repairing broken lives. This work is done best across systems and organizations, leveraging the best that each has to offer. It is the latest approach to empowering communities that is referred to as a “collective impact”. Steepletown’s contribution is essential.
By providing access to community resources to address immediate, basic needs, families are able to increase their ability to more fully engage on pathways towards long-term economic security
This initiative seeks to increase the academic success of students at Union and Ottawa High Schools, thus having a positive impact on the overall graduation rates
Seniors who have invested their lives in this community and who want to remain here are supported through lawn care, annual tax return e-filing, and general assistance.
Steepletown is a partner with the United Way’s Kent County Tax Credit Coalition (KCTCC), which helps working individuals and families achieve economic success through free tax services and financial literacy courses.