January 14, 2019

Monday, January 14, 2019

MI Poverty Rates Improving

A data tool from Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan shows poverty rates may be dropping statewide and within all four regions of Michigan.

The tool launched about a year ago, showing the pervasive levels of poverty within our communities and our state, providing a range of insights to inform decision making on policies, funding and more.

Here’s a breakdown of how the latest numbers compare to 2017, where we are seeing improvement and where challenges remain.

Those who live below the poverty level:

  • Statewide: 14 percent of Michigan residents (improving from 15.1 percent in 2017)

  • Northern Michigan: 14.6 percent of residents (improving from 15.8 percent in 2017)

  • Mid-Michigan: 14.5 percent of residents (improving from 15.3 percent in 2017)

  • West Michigan: 13 percent of residents (improving from 14.3 percent in 2017)

  • Southeast Michigan: 12.1 percent of residents (improving from 12.6 percent in 2017)

Aligning with this data, the usage of food stamps and SNAP benefits statewide and regionally has also decreased slightly.

“The map shows a picture of gains statewide, but we know that significant challenges remain,” H. Luke Shaefer, director of Poverty Solutions and associate professor at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy and School of Social Work, said. “Looking across the county data we know that there are still a significant number of Michiganders who are experiencing disadvantage or scarcity.”

Counties at a glance:

  • Otsego County’s poverty rate improved, dropping from 14 to 12 percent.

  • Calhoun County’s poverty rate increased by 2.3 percent, the largest increase among counties.

  • Roscommon County has more than 37 percent of children living below the poverty line.

  • Wayne County has 33.4 percent of children living below the poverty line.

Check out your county’s data or view the state or regional numbers.

In March we will get a look at new data on Michigan ALICE rates, those who are considered asset limited, income constrained, employed, meaning that they are working and live above the federal poverty line, often aren’t eligible for aid and still can’t afford the basics.

The 2018 Michigan United Way ALICE Report is expected to be released in late March which will provide details on what Michigan families are facing with economic instability. CMF will share that data once its available.






Narrowing the Gender Pay Gap

Michigan’s Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive directive last week aimed at securing equal pay for equal work for state employees.

“It’s pretty simple, women deserve equal pay for equal work,” Whitmer said. “Women in Michigan earn 78 cents for every dollar men make for doing the same job, and that gap is even wider for women of color. It’s time for that to change.”

The executive directive prohibits state agencies and departments from inquiring about a job applicant’s current or previous salaries until an offer of employment, which includes proposed compensation, is made. It also prohibits employers from getting that same information by searching public records or databases.

“All of us at Michigan Women Forward were very pleased to see Governor Whitmer’s executive order around pay equity,” Carolyn Cassin, CMF Michigan Grantmakers for Women and Girls Affinity Group (MGWG) co-chair and president and CEO, Michigan Women Forward (MWF) said. “She has made a strong statement that moving Michigan women forward is a priority for her administration. We applaud this first step and look forward to working with her and her team as MWF moves its women’s agenda pillar from solving the backlog of rape kits to taking on gender bias in the work place.”

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), a think tank which has shared research and data with CMF members at CMF’s Annual Conference, provides a snapshot of the gender wage gap issue on the national and state level.

Highlights of IWPR’s research:

  • Michigan ranks 30th in the country for employment and earnings for women, earning our state a “C” from the research group.

  • Nationally, women earn 80 cents for every dollar a man earns.

  • At our current pace, IWPR estimates women won’t receive equal pay until 2084.

  • There are significant disparities facing women of color. IWPR’s research shows that nationally at our current pace, it will be 2224 before Hispanic women earn equal pay and 2119 for African American women.

We know it’s also an issue within philanthropic organizations. As GuideStar recently shared in a report the gender gap continues in the sector, with gaps of 4 to 20 percent in female nonprofit CEO compensation compared to their male counterparts.

The gender pay gap conversation has been elevated in recent years, particularly with the evolution of the annual Women’s March, as organizations, policymakers and others seek solutions.

“This is not just a women’s issue, it’s an economic issue that hurts working families,” Whitmer said. “This is about doing what’s right.”

CMF’s Michigan Grantmakers for Women and Girls Affinity Group (MGWG) has provided programming and dedicated meeting time to discuss this issue and ways philanthropy can help to move the needle.

Cassin said the affinity group hopes to work with the governor’s office to help support her women’s agenda.

“We are planning a March meeting with members of Governor Whitmer’s administration in Lansing to learn more about her agenda and design ways that our Women and Girls Affinity Group can support and assist with work that resonates with our group,” Cassin said. “We see the next four years as exciting opportunities to create real solutions for women and girls in Michigan and look forward to mobilizing our collective power and resources to get important work accomplished that improves the lives of women and girls in our state.”

Want more?

Check out IWPR’s Michigan Fact Sheet.

Join the Michigan Grantmakers for Women and Girls Affinity Group for their March 20th meeting.







New Collaboration Zeroes in on Opioid Epidemic

Several CMF members have formed an official partnership to leverage their efforts to address our state’s opioid epidemic.

The Michigan Opioid Partnership which officially launched in December includes five CMF members: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation, Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan (CFSEM), Ethel and James Flinn Foundation, Michigan Health Endowment Fund and The Jewish Fund, as well as the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and Superior Health Foundation.

According to CFSEM’s press release, the partnership will distribute $2.6 million in grants to support efforts on Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT), an evidence-based treatment for opioid addiction that includes both medication and behavioral therapy.

The release says research has shown that beginning with MAT in emergency departments can lead to better patient outcomes.

The partnership is inviting hospitals and organizations statewide to apply for grants.

As CMF has reported, several of the CMF members involved in the partnership have been working together for a couple of years on projects and programs aimed at implementing strategies to prevent opioid abuse including leading education efforts for CMF members through webinars and discussions during meetings of the CMF Health Funders Affinity Group.

Michigan’s opioid epidemic by the numbers (state data):

  • In 2017 there were 2,729 drug overdose deaths in Michigan.

  • From 1999 to 2016 there was a 17x increase in overdose deaths in our state.

  • In 2015, 11.4 million prescriptions for painkillers were written in Michigan.

MDHHS and the state continue to work on policies, programs and systems to reduce opioid abuse rates. Additionally, the state recently launched a new website to serve as a hub on information and resources about the opioid epidemic.

Since the launch of the Michigan Automated Prescription System (MAPS), which provides real-time prescription data and resources to better assess a patient’s risk for a substance use disorder, the state says there has been an 803 percent increase in the number of times physicians and pharmacists have checked patient prescription history information through MAPS.

This work combined with other efforts, including legislation, has led to a nearly 11 percent drop in opioid prescriptions, according to the state.

As the data shows, there’s still more work to do. The Michigan Opioid Partnership expects to announce its grant recipients soon.

Want more?

The opioid epidemic is on the agenda for discussion at the CMF Health Funders Affinity Group meeting on April 11th.

Check out the state’s opioid-focused website.

Learn more about the Michigan Opioid Partnership.








Rotary Charities of Traverse City and Frey Foundation Join New Partnership to Address Housing Shortage

Content excerpted from a Manistee News Advocate article. Read the full article.

Frey Foundation and Rotary Charities of Traverse City have formed a new partnership to address the workforce housing shortage in Northwest Michigan. 

The two CMF members are part of the Northwest Michigan Rural Housing Partnership (NMRHP), a diverse group of public, private and nonprofit stakeholders in Northwest Michigan and incubated by Networks Northwest.

The partnership will take a three-pronged approach to addressing housing issues: addressing communication and education needs, advocating for housing solutions and providing technical assistance for specific projects. They say they will approach their work with an understanding that housing shortages exist at all levels in the partnership’s 10-county service area of Antrim, Kalkaska, Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Benzie, Manistee, Charlevoix, Emmet, Missaukee and Wexford counties.

The partnership shares that addressing the region’s housing shortages requires a multi-channel process.

“New development is a complex process that requires financial resources, proper zoning, public support, developers, and local government participation in order to be successful,” Sarah Lucas, executive director of the partnership said. “In the past, there hasn’t been an effective way to align all these forces. Now we have the capacity to take action. We’re so grateful to Rotary, Frey and Networks Northwest for their support of this concept and are thrilled to be able to help move it forward.”

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