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Hundreds to discuss, solve problems impacting West Michigan

Together West Michigan
Posted at 10:52 PM, May 20, 2023

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Together West Michigan hosted hundreds of community members, along with many public officials, at its Action Assembly Saturday.

Hundreds to discuss, solve problems impacting West Michigan

“Our purpose is to come together and build relationships, really get to know each other and then build relational power that we can bring to bear on fixing things that are problems in our lives,” Melissa Anderson, co-chair of Together West Michigan’s Action Assembly, said.

The organization’s focus is on creating necessary change in the area.

The five main categories are:

  • Childcare
  • Housing
  • Mental Health
  • Immigrant and Refugee Wellbeing
  • Public Safety

When it comes to childcare, Together West Michigan says we can do better.
“It’s a structural problem where the providers are not paid enough to be able to live and make their businesses grow. The users can’t afford enough to make the business model work,” Anderson said. “We’ve been looking for ways to increase the capacity of childcare and to show that it’s a priority and affects so many of us.”

Right now, the organization is working on its “Ready by 5” millage. Together West Michigan hopes to help more children with a boost in funding.

“It would allow for places to expand to allow for more children to be in childcare, which then in turn allows parents to work and care for their family and it’s that thing where they all link together. It improves all of these things by caring for it,” Gina Deryke with Together West Michigan said.

More than 300 people came to the Action Assembly Saturday, which was held at Trinity Reformed Church in Grand Rapids.

Together West Michigan

Together West Michigan teams meet the second Tuesday of each month at Oakdale Park Church from 7 p.m.- 8:15 p.m.

For more information about the organization and its goals, click here.

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