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New Guidebook Addresses Community Health, Safety, and Welfare in Northwest Michigan

Making Connections: 
Understanding Community Health, Safety, and Welfare
in Northwest Michigan


Local leaders are charged with protecting the “health, safety, and welfare” of their communities. This often means providing emergency services, guiding new development, and providing for sewer, water, and other sanitary services. But, more and more, these and other local actions impact critical community issues like homelessness, child safety, obesity and chronic disease, and even the region’s growing opioid epidemic.How does local government action impact these issues? Can local policy align with community needs? What community issues should local leaders be aware of when planning and budgeting for services?

Making Connections: Understanding Community Health, Safety, and Welfare in Northwest Michigan, a new guidebook developed by Networks Northwest in collaboration with and input from human and social services, local government, and public health agencies, is a starting point for community leaders and partners that are looking for the answers to those questions. The guidebook provides background, data, and resources for local governments and other stakeholders about how local polices, budgets, and leadership can impact issues related to child and family welfare, behavioral health, and basic needs. 




Our Township greatly benefits from Network Northwest's experience, depth of knowledge and understanding. Because they work with so many diverse communities in our ten-county region they understand the local land-use issues and are already working on solutions by the time we realize we need some help.

Susan Odom, Chair, Suttons Bay Township Planning Commission