By Maddie Werley, Arbor Circle
Think about West Michigan. What do you love about it? What about it could improve?
The first question should (hopefully) be an easy one. The second one is probably more challenging. Change is often scary and almost always involves a long, complicated process. How can one person change anything? Here’s the thing: It takes a community to change a community.
Over the past year, a diverse group of community members has been forming with a shared goal: to better address LGBTQ youth homelessness in our community. Led by Arbor Circle, the group includes folks working in shelters, local businesses, libraries, schools, child welfare, juvenile justice groups and more.
What does that mean, exactly? Think of it this way: the Safe Impact Community Group is a football team, out on the field every day running plays, making moves, and training to accomplish their goal. The True Colors Fund acts as a coach, helping the team develop strategies, facilitate meetings and utilize new technologies to stay organized and focused.
Over the coming months, the partnership will develop a community-wide plan together to bring the number of LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness in West Michigan down to none.
Who is a part of the Safe Impact Community Group?
The group consists of concerned community members, as well as representatives from partner organizations who are working to address LGBTQ youth homelessness. This includes the Coalition to End Homelessness, Grand Rapids Pride Center, Grand Rapids Public Schools, HQ, Kent ISD, Our LGBT Fund, and Wellhouse. If you or your community group is interested in getting involved, please reach out at the contact provided below.
What can you do?