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Vulnerable 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.

Revision to ‘Kevin’s Law’ means quicker treatment for the mentally ill

With about 300,000 Michigan adults with serious mental illness, the changes allow judges to order outpatient treatment more quickly, before a crisis unfolds.

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Fewer homeless veterans. More homeless children in state.

A 10-year plan to end homelessness in Michigan has failed families and children, even as the number of homeless veterans and people using shelters has fallen sharply.

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Homeless student, meet volunteer family. Now, graduate.

An innovative program in Lenawee County has drawn national attention for getting every last homeless student through high school, with most advancing to post-secondary programs.

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At 17, living in a tent by the river

A center for homeless and runaway young people in Grand Rapids provides a daily respite for the young and desperate

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One year later, a brighter holiday for homeless EMU students

Last Christmas, Ramone Williams was living out of a van. Today, he’s a college graduate with an office job, and the inspiration for a communitywide effort to help the homeless.

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How Michigan ‘games’ the welfare-to-work system

Michigan is among states that spend the lowest percentage of welfare dollars on services intended to help struggling people rejoin the workforce. Its strategy: Finding creative ways to relabel other budget items as welfare spending.

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For most students, the nurse won’t see you now

Michigan has fewer school nurses than almost any state. Some districts are getting creative to try to solve the problem.

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Beyond bottled water: Huge checks, slow progress test patience in Flint

Delivering pallets of water was the easy part. Now it gets messy, as various players jockey for position, balance competing interests and struggle with plans to repair the city and its people after a crisis like no other.

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Think America doesn’t give a damn about Flint? 15,000 donors disagree

15,000 donations have poured in to help Flint kids battling lead poisoning. One-dollar bills and five-figure checks arrive almost daily from schoolchildren and prison inmates, elderly widows and romance writers. Here are a few of their stories.

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Program busing Flint workers to distant jobs holds promise across state

More resources are being sought for transportation that recently doubled the number of Flint-area residents hired and bused to jobs in Livingston County.

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Two years later, thousands of Detroit storm victims still waiting for help

A Bridge investigation found government aid is long gone for Detroit homes damaged by historic floods in 2014. Many of these homes were never even visited. One reason: A federal report says the state warned FEMA that Detroit was too perilous for the agency to conduct door-to-door interviews.

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Businesses gain from stable child care, but what are they doing about it?

Quality child care for low-income workers benefits families, but also the businesses that parents work for. Yet only a small fraction of businesses subsidize child care and the Michigan Chamber says it is not pushing to increase state funding.

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State child-care program still reeling from claims of lax oversight

A federally funded program to help the poorest workers pay for child care used to serve 60,000 Michigan families, three times what it serves now. A 2008 audit exposed financial lapses, caregivers with criminal pasts, and possible fraud. The numbers have yet to recover.

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Michigan’s low investment in child care costs state and poor children alike

Michigan has one of the most restrictive policies in the nation on giving low-income families access to subsidized child care. Yet research shows investing in high-quality care can put more parents back to work and improves the odds for vulnerable children.

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In Flint, questions about Legionnaires’ death toll

Bertie Marble’s death certificate points to pneumonia. But an attorney for her family, and her own medical records, raise questions about whether she was an uncounted victim of Legionnaires’ disease. Experts say toll may be far larger.

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Legionnaires’ disease timeline

Bertie Marble’s 2015 death coincided with a trio of emergencies in Genesee County: the Flint water crisis, an increase in pneumonia and flu deaths, and a deadly Legionnaires’ outbreak.

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Down and out in purest Michigan

In a U.P. forest, the “‘hood in the woods” has struggled to build a real community on an abandoned military base. The results so far are mixed.

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