Children & Families

About 1 in 5 children in Michigan live in poverty. Bridge will explore the reasons behind this disturbing result and the ideas to address it.

Articles

Far from Flint, lead remains an irreversible scourge

December 10, 2015 | Mike Wilkinson

Lead poisoning rates have dropped dramatically in Michigan over the past decade. But in many cities and towns, child exposure rates far exceed those in Flint.

Interactive map: Places with higher lead rates than Flint

December 10, 2015 | Bridge Staff

Check out cities across Michigan with high lead exposure rates, as well as rates in your neighborhood

Teen births declining in Michigan. But hurdles in northern, rural counties.

December 3, 2015 | Nancy Derringer

‘Babies having babies’ isn’t the problem it once was. But rates are higher in northern, rural counties, in a state where school districts may opt out of sex ed entirely.

Michigan teen birth rate by county

December 3, 2015 | Bridge Staff

The nation's teen birth rate has been falling since the early 1990s, and Michigan has generally tracked with that drop. But some counties remain above the state level of 7.8 percent of all births.

For impoverished Michiganders, a little help in the kitchen

October 15, 2015 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey, Nancy Derringer

Low-income people often find it harder to eat well. Classes designed to teach basic cooking skills, and how to find food growing wild on vacant lots, aim to fill the gap.

With state welfare cuts, caseworkers fear less time to help families

March 31, 2015 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

Grand Rapids DHS office took the biggest hit, losing 35 workers. That could leave overburdened caseworkers with a heavier administrative load.

In northern counties, workers and business find each other lacking

February 17, 2015 | Nancy Derringer

There’s work to be done in the resort counties of northern Michigan, but opportunity doesn’t always match the available workforce.

Hidden poverty stalks a Pure Michigan setting

February 17, 2015 | Ted Roelofs

For many unseen residents of northern Michigan, life can be struggle for survival. This is true even for those with jobs, which tend to be seasonal with marginal pay

Postcard: When elk is for dinner

February 15, 2015 | Bridge Staff

Food pantries, like their customers, mostly take what they can get.

Postcard: A roof and a bed

February 15, 2015 | Bridge Staff

The homeless are about in rural northern Michigan, John McLintock sets out to find them.

How Michigan can improve the lives of 80,000 homeless children

December 11, 2014 | Ted Roelofs

The safety net is anything but secure for homeless children and families across the state. Bridge reviews some approaches that have shown promise elsewhere.

Grand Rapids shelter helps one teen find escape

December 11, 2014 | Ted Roelofs

Runaway and unaccompanied teens navigate a treacherous world

Michigan ranks in bottom half of state nationally in care for homeless children

November 20, 2014 | Ted Roelofs

A national report finds nearly 80,000 homeless children in Michigan, with a lack of state planning to deal with the problem.

Along Michigan’s back roads, thousands of homeless children

August 12, 2014 | Pat Shellenbarger

Brenda Greenhoe scours abandoned garages and backwoods lots in rural counties, bringing adrift children to school.

A charter school for the rural poor closes

August 12, 2014 | Pat Shellenbarger

Is it better to keep low-income students together despite poor test scores? Or do they benefit from learning alongside middle-class children?

Help Bridge chronicle the challenges facing rural Michigan

August 12, 2014 | David Zeman

Rural communities face a tsunami of modern ills, from fading economies to children who can’t wait to leave. You can help Bridge document the hardship (and joy) of rural life.

Free speech goes begging in Grand Rapids

August 7, 2014 | Ted Roelofs

Across Michigan, communities are trying to craft restrictions on panhandling that don’t run afoul of First Amendment protections.

A day on the streets with a young panhandler

August 7, 2014 | Ted Roelofs

The story behind one man's sign.

Down and out in Lake County

August 5, 2014 | Pat Shellenbarger

Lake County competes for the unwanted title of Michigan’s poorest county. Like many rural areas across the state, Lake residents endure higher poverty, serious health and social ills, and little hope for the future.

Living poor, in a county of wealth

August 5, 2014 | Pat Shellenbarger

Being poor is tough anywhere. But wanting for basics in Livingston County, the state’s most affluent, carries a different kind of sting.

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