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Letter to the Editor


Shiawassee Hope Volunteers

9:04 am

Editor, The Independent:

Shiawassee Hope, a collective impact effort aimed at helping people move out of generational poverty, has been hosting a series of “Community Conversations on Young Adults in Poverty.” Community members as well as professionals are coming together around the table to talk about the particular issues that 18 through 25-year-olds in Shiawassee County who have grown up in generational poverty face.

Throughout the course of these conversations, three major areas of concern have been identified. They are transportation, access to substance abuse and mental health treatment, and involvement with court systems.

The last round table was held on June 11. About 35 community members, including those who work in the areas of transportation, mental health, substance abuse, court systems, local schools and others spent 90 minutes together brainstorming possible solutions to these barriers that often prevent young adults from moving out of poverty. Also represented in the discussions were a handful of young adults who live or have lived in poverty.

One of the conclusions reached by the group was that in order to understand and effectively address these issues, input from a wider range of young adults who are struggling is needed.

To that end, the steering committee of Shiawassee Hope has scheduled an event 4 to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 28, at Chip’s Place Pizza, 715 S. Chipman in Owosso. Any young adult in Shiawassee County who is struggling to meet basic needs or to get access to employment or education opportunities is invited to come and share their perspective. In addition to conversation, anonymous means of sharing information will also be available at the event. These stories will help shape the direction of the future work of Shiawassee Hope. Free pizza and door prizes will be included. If you know someone whose voice should be heard, please encourage them to attend. For additional information, please contact Marlene Webster at (989) 413-7342 or email You can also visit our website at

An additional community wide Community Conversation on Young Adults in Poverty will be held at Baker Welcome Center, 4:30 to 6 p.m. Aug. 27. Anyone who would like to be involved in creating solutions to help young adults move forward is invited to participate.

Shiawassee Hope Volunteers

Shiawassee Hope Volunteers was last modified: July 13th, 2015 by Karen Elford