MCAH works “behind the scenes” to end homelessness

Chronic homelessness is defined as living on the streets for 12 months out of the last 36. A number of shelters and organizations are finding their own ways to address the needs of these citizens in Lansing. One of the organizations is the Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness (MCAH). According to MCAH’s communications manager Amy Stephenson, MCAH works more “behind the scenes.”

The Waverly High School building. Many students attending Waverly use Anna Piazza's mental health resources.

Anna Piazza Guides Waverly High School Students Toward Mental Wellness

In her initial two years as the sole therapist at Waverly High School, Anna Piazza conducted 1,452 therapy sessions with students.

As part of the Expanding, Enhancing Emotional Health (E3) Program, Piazza, a therapist from Child and Family Charities, serves as a resource for students grappling with mental health issues.

Mental health issues among adolescents are on the rise. According to the CDC, in 2021, over 42% of students reported persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness, with nearly 29% experiencing poor mental health. Additionally, in 2021, 22% of students seriously considered attempting suicide and 10% attempted suicide.

Humane Society helps control big Mill Pond Village cat population 


The Capital Area Humane Society building in Lansing where some of the fixed cats from Mill Pond Village are taken to be adopted. 

Capturing wild cats in an effort to combat overpopulation has been a cooperative venture between the Capital Area Humane Society and Mill Pond Village residents. Since July, the shelter has seen approximately 90 Mill Pond Village cats go through its spay and neuter clinic. 

“When we got in here a few months ago, we realized that there is a huge cat problem,” Jade Storball, the Mill Pond Village community assistant, said. “I can’t even make an estimate. I’d say around 100 or 150 [cats].” 

With so many cats roaming the mobile home park, Mill Pond Village staff turned to the Capital Area Humane Society for help, which oversees the Community Cat Program, aiming to limit cat overpopulation issues by providing a resource for members of the community to consult to get the cats fixed. 

“We went in, we trapped them, we fixed them, vaccinated [them], and returned them to where they were,” said Holly Thoms, director of the Capital Area Humane Society Spay and Neuter Clinic. 

“We did take a few over to the shelter that we were able to verify were not owned pets, because we don’t want to go into the trailer park and take people’s pets away,” Thoms said. Once the cats are ready to be released, they each have an ear clipped to show they have been fixed. 

“We’ll also be working with residents in the trailer park to spay and neuter their pets because we believe a large majority of the cats that are running around are people’s indoor-outdoor cats,” Thoms said. 

The shelter will be providing the procedures to the pets of Mill Pond residents for a discounted price. 

“Some [residents] are really happy about it, just because it got so bad.

Eaton County Public Safety hears dept. updates, progress

The Eaton County Public Safety Committee recently met to discuss the recertification of problem-solving courts in the area, in addition to hearing updates from central dispatch and the emergency manager.  

Deputy of Community Corrections, Melanie Achenbach, spoke on the recertification of Eaton County’s problem-solving courts (PSCs) for drug/sobriety, mental health and veterans treatment that serve to rehabilitate people with criminal offenses so that they can live better lives outside the prison system. 

Every four years, the Eaton County PSCs have to undergo a recertification process to ensure that the courts are fulfilling their purpose. 

In Nov. 2021, the Michigan Supreme Court approved a grant of $250,000, intended to be split among the three courts within the Eaton County PSCs. 

“It’s a pretty intensive process for each program,” Achenbach said. “They review all of our documents, attend a staffing session, review hearings, and interview various team members… who work together to accomplish the goals…through these programs.”

Kelly Cunningham, central dispatch director for Eaton County, gave an update on the replacement of the Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD) System.

Delta Township District Library hosts monthly escape rooms

Each month, the Delta Township District Library hosts their Euphorigen Investigation, an adult escape room designed to combat misinformation in the media. 

The Euphorigen Investigation escape room came from a research project at the University of Washington as a way to combat online misinformation. According to the University of Washington’s Information School website, the escape room is intended to teach participants about how to skeptically navigate information from the Internet. 

“We created an online escape room to mimic the psychological and emotional responses elicited by real-life interactions with digital misinformation,” the research group wrote. “The escape room aims to equip players with the necessary skills to identify misinformation online and become savvy, skeptical digital citizens.” 

The game employs charts, videos, puzzles, manipulated media, hidden codes and much more, to create a world in which participants must complete an investigation vital to the safety of the community. 

Players are tasked with investigating Euphorigen, a supplement for the water supply that allegedly aids brain function. Under a time limit, investigators have to determine whether or not Euphorigen is safe to consume. 

Rebecca Hruscik, Head of Adult Services at Delta Township District Library, first heard of the Euphorigen Investigation in 2020, and brought it to the library. “[Misinformation] is something that libraries […] try to help people with, because people trust us.

Phase Three of Delta Crossings plagued by lawsuits, setbacks

Progress is yet to be seen on phase three of Delta Crossings shopping center located off West Saginaw Highway. Originally expected to be finished within five years, a lawsuit among multiple construction partners has halted most of the development on the project, leaving an official deadline up in the air. 

Nestled between Interstate 96 and Broadbent Road in an empty, square plot of land sits Delta Crossings, a small strip mall with big intentions for the northwestern chunk of Delta Township. Approved by the board in 2019, the $200 million project was intended to draw traffic from Lansing and East Lansing toward Delta. 

“It’s long been in the plans to develop that property near the freeway. So it’s brought some excitement and some new stores which were not here,” said Delta Township Manager Brian Reed. 

“The corridor is definitely busier which is good for all businesses. We have seen an uptick of property values along the Saginaw corridor.

Q&A with Delta Charter Township Clerk Mary Clark

With the Nov. 3 election on the horizon, clerks across the state of Michigan are preparing to make the voting process as smooth as possible. On top of executing her regular duties, Delta Charter Township Clerk Mary Clark has been raising awareness about the election process and the disinformation often surrounding it. 


Delhi teen center Building Twentyone rising from ashes

DELHI TOWNSHIP — When Building Twentyone burned down in October 2018, the owners had no question it would be back. This week, the Delhi Township Planning Commission approved Journey Life Church’s final site plan to rebuild the teen center in the place it once stood. 

 Lead Pastor Jared Stepp said he knew the church would find a way to continue the building’s mission in a video update posted on the church’s Facebook page after the fire,

“We’re going to figure something out because our vision hasn’t changed …” Stepp said in the update. “We lost a building. We lost a lot of stuff. But the passion is still there.

Delta Crossings brings stores, people, traffic

The second phase of the Delta Crossings project is almost completed. Construction began in November 2019. The project brought T.J. Maxx, Hobby Lobby, Sierra, Bob’s Discount Furniture, Texas Roadhouse and BJ’s Wholesale Club to the community in the past few months. At Home, a home décor store, and Olive Garden are set to join the community in the early fall. The next phase includes a 369-unit multifamily residential area.

Library’s story machine dispenses stories, togetherness

A glowing sign greets patrons entering the Delta Township District Library, inviting them to “press, read, enjoy!” The sign is mounted on a short-story dispenser. Acquired just before the COVID-19 pandemic forced the library to shut its doors for several months, the dispenser is finally getting some action. Jack MorelandThe short story I received from the dispenser titled “The Treatment” by Jonathan Stars. Since tFebruary, the library has been taking advantage of the dispenser to host a short story contest. Interested readers can press one of two buttons on the machine to receive either a story for “young readers” or a story for “everyone.” The “everyone” button dispenses one of several contest submissions from the library’s website.