advocacy + prevention
We work with a variety of coalitions and community partners in order to best serve those in need. Our Advocacy and Prevention team increases awareness of issues surrounding mental health, substance use, and family development by regularly presenting to professionals and community groups.
222 East 82nd St.
Newaygo, MI 49337bus route info
412 Century Lane
Holland, MI 49423
Monday and Tuesday:
interested in our advocacy and prevention services?contact us
newaygo prevention services
Our Newaygo team works with local elementary, middle and high schools to offer prevention programs to students. The Say It Straight (SIS) program includes an evidence-based curriculum that focuses on communication, friendships, and bullying
Designed to help students respond to interpersonal difficulties and honor themselves, SIS teaches students the value of teamwork and diversity. For our staff at Arbor Circle, the program involves research-based education and training. After completing SIS, children have shown to improve their communication skills and behaviors, increase their self-awareness, establish positive relationships, understand personal and social responsibility, and decrease self-destructive behaviors. In fact, alcohol, tobacco and other drug use, bullying, violence, and sexual behaviors are known to decrease for students who take part in SIS.
Additionally, the program, Total Trek Quest, is offered in select Newaygo schools.
ottawa substance use prevention (OSAP)
Arbor Circle coordinates with Ottawa Substance Use Prevention (OSAP), which works to create change regarding youth substance use in Ottawa County. OSAP consists of community members, human service professionals, businesses, law enforcement, government officials, schools and school personnel who are working together to create change regarding youth substance use. The coalition has a number of initiatives, subcommittees and task forces, including:
- Building Resilient Youth (BRY): BRY is a suicide prevention committee. The mission of BRY is to build resilient youth and provide help for teens who are struggling with depression and suicide.
- Reducing Ottawa Area Drunk Driving Taskforce (ROADD): ROADD works to prevent high-risk drinking and the consequences of drinking and driving in Ottawa County.
- Quadrant-Based Subcommittees: Find your local quadrant subcommittee.
stop child abuse and neglect (SCAN)
Stop Child Abuse and Neglect (SCAN) is a community-based effort to prevent child abuse and neglect in Ottawa County through the Michigan Children’s Trust Fund. SCAN coordinates child abuse prevention efforts to ensure we work together as a community to protect children. Our team at Arbor Circle partners with SCAN to raise awareness of child abuse and advocate for children who are at risk of abuse or neglect.
student leaders initiating change (SLIC)
Student Leaders Initiating Change (SLIC) is a youth coalition in Ottawa County where students’ leadership skills are developed and where they can encourage peers to make decisions that have a positive impact on themselves and the community. We partner with this program to help students succeed, and through the program, there are many ways to get involved.
One way is by joining our SLIC core. The SLIC Core meets on the third Thursday of every month at our Holland office. During these meetings, leadership events and campaigns are planned to discourage high school students from using alcohol or drugs.
Similarly, students are encouraged to join SLIC at their local high school. Many high schools throughout Ottawa County have SLIC or Students Against Drunk Drivers (SADD). These groups persuade students to make healthy choices. To discover a local SLIC or SADD group, please contact Leah.
Another beneficial program is Raise Your Voice. This teaches middle school and high school students peer refusal skills. Additionally, Just Be Here, acts as a safe social media presence that delivers a positive online voice. Follow @justbeheremi for ways to get involved in Ottawa County.
true colors initiative
Everyday, LGBTQ youth face homelessness due to their sexual identity. Nationally, up to 40% of runaway and homeless youth identify as LGBTQ. And locally, there are signs that the number is 20% or more. To address the issue, a diverse group of people joined together with one common goal: to eradicate LGBTQ youth homelessness throughout the country. At Arbor Circle, we’ve chosen to partner with this national organization, the True Colors Fund. The group includes those who work within shelters, local business, libraries, schools, child welfare, juvenile justice groups, and more.
With assistance from the True Colors Fund, we remain dedicated to the cause of ending homelessness among LGBTQ youth in West Michigan. As a convening agency, we partner with committees comprised of other local organizations as well. The Safe Impact Community Group and Steering Committee work alongside the True Colors Fund to develop a strategic plan for the city of Grand Rapids. The Safe Impact Community Group is made up of 5 subcommittees with a focus on the following areas: equity, inclusion and training, faith, family preservation, housing, and schools and community spaces. Their mission and vision are as follows:
Mission: To ensure a continuum of inclusive and equitable support and services for LGBTQ homeless youth in an affirming community by strengthening existing and building new relationships and resources.
Vision: To ensure all LGBTQ youth in West Michigan live in a safe, secure community.
Organizations involved: ADD Health Net of West Michigan, The Salvation Army, 3:11, All Souls Community Church, The Clark Institute, Community Rebuilders, Family Promise, Grand Rapids Pride Center, Grand Rapids Trans Foundation, Grand Rapids Urban League, Division of Inclusion and Equity – Grand Valley State University, Heart of West Michigan United Way, HQ, Juvenile Detention Center, Mel Trotter Ministries, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Spectrum Health, Well House and Westminster Presbyterian Church
Steering Committee: Shelley Padnos, Jen Adams, Jesse Bernal, Ellen Carpenter, Julie Cnossen, Tracie Coffman, Brian Davis, Scott Gilman, Jennifer Jackson, Joe Jones, Thomas Pierce, Carol Sarosik, Shandra Steininger, Colleen Squires and Jesica Vail
Safe Impact Community Group: Milo Ghering, Jason Skalandis, Christina Soulard, Krystle Williams, Matthew Clark, Heather Colletto, Adrienne Goodstal,Jen Hsu-Bishop, Jeffrey King, Kwan McEwen, Kayla Morgan, Julie Mushing, Mark Nettleton, Ashley Pattee, Demetria Phillips, Mary Jane Pories, Dottie Rhodes, Mark Saint Amour, Misha VanVaerenbergh and Amy Venard
For more information about the True Colors Fund, visit truecolorsfund.org.
For more information on our partnership with the True Colors Fund, please contact Julie Cnossen.
For information on sponsorship opportunities, please contact Janelle Hill.