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Poverty Reduction Initiatives in Northwest Lower Michigan



Traverse Bay PRI

The Traverse Bay Poverty Reduction Initiative (PRI) is a community-driven, collaborative effort to reduce poverty in the Traverse Bay region. The program was born out of the Poverty Summit, held in February 2004, in which 225 area residents joined together to address the issue of poverty in our area. Poverty Reduction Initiative consists of representatives from local businesses, public and government agencies, and concerned citizens. Working subcommittees focus on five strategic directions: Navigators, Mentoring, Education, Advocacy, and Communications.



Progress Village

Progress Village is a group of individuals who have been in or are currently in poverty who have come together in the Grand Traverse Region to bring awareness to the issues related to poverty. Progress Village emerged out of leadership training that was provided by Traverse Bay PRI.


AGAPE Financial

AGAPE Financial is a faith-based, non-profit organization that provides short-term micro-loans to those persons at or near the poverty level for the purposes of allowing clients to continue employment, improve an employment situation or begin new employment.



HelpLink is a network of volunteer Navigators who connect people to resources in the five county area: Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, and Leelanau. Many people in crisis do not know the scope of available options or how to make arrangements for assistance. Navigators are trained to guide neighbors in need in identifying needs, suggesting options, and expediting help.


Northwest Michigan Ride Share Connection

Northwest Michigan Ride connects commuters for ride sharing to work, activities, and more throughout the Northwest Michigan region. Aligned with The Grand Vision, is an easy way to reduce traffic, save energy, and make friends who value this smart commute option. 


Benzie Area Christian Neighbors

Benzie Area Christian Neighbors (BACN) is a caring community of neighbors joined together to serve Neighbors struggling with critical human needs. BACN is also host to a Northwest Michigan Works! Adult Learning Lab which helps people obtain their GEDs. 


The Little Collaborative

A most effective combination: HelpLink, Family Partnership, and Agape Financial, helps people at or near poverty to make a number of steps forward to achieve success. The Little Collaborative.



Networks Northwest always proves to be a valued resource for our local government planning efforts. No organization does a better job of convening partners, promoting collaboration, and reporting on the data than does Networks Northwest

Ty Wessell, Leelanau County Commissioner