Access of West Michigan – September 2019
Access of West Michigan aims to cultivate holistic solutions to poverty through its three programs: Poverty Education, Good Food Systems and Congregation Connections. The $10,000 gift will support Congregation Connections, which helps churches in Kent County serve neighbors with free casework services and community development training.
“We receive 40-50 casework inquiries per day from congregations,” says Emma Garcia, Co-Executive Director of Access of West Michigan. “Individuals are facing crisis such as eviction, medical and utility bills, and other extenuating financial issues. With only one caseworker, we lack the ability to quickly and thoroughly work with every inquiry. Through this $10,000 donation, we can increase the efficiency in casework management and provide training that helps churches in community development.”
Garcia estimates that the funding will allow them to serve 2,400 West Michigan families this year, up from 1,983 in 2018. She says that the organization’s approach creates systemic change and prevents poverty rather than reacting to it.
In addition to the $10,000 gift, one of Access West Michigan’s Good Food Systems partners received a contribution from Egan employees at its company celebration. Egan raffled off a number of prizes, and employees had the opportunity to purchase additional tickets and chances to win. More than $1,500 was raised and donated to The Other Way Ministries for its food pantry program.
For more information on Access of West Michigan, visit www.accessofwestmichigan.org.