12/13/23 Newsletter

December 14, 2023

Picture of Kent County Welcome Plan logo

Creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for New Americans, Immigrants, and Refugees in West Michigan.



LEO Awards $15M MI Impact Grants to Nonprofits

The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) announced the $15 million MI Impact Grant program is distributing awards to 10 of Michigan’s large nonprofits who provide programming to lift people out of poverty.

Ten large nonprofits are receiving one-time grant funds of up to $2 million to create or expand programming that lifts Michiganders out of poverty. The grant program prioritized partnerships with larger nonprofits that share the state’s commitment to providing services that help lift Michigan residents out of poverty and above the ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) threshold.

The MI Impact Grant program, aimed at addressing disparities that affect Michiganders’ abilities to afford necessities such as housing, child care, food, health care and transportation, plans to lift 100,000 families out of working poverty during the next five years.

View the full press release here.

Leadership Highlight Nominations


The WMWPC is asking you to nominate local leaders that help our Refugee/ New American/ Immigrant population to be featured in a monthly special recognition in our communications and online platforms. This highlight would be a great way to spotlight their work in our community and inspire others to do the same!

Please fill out this form to enter your nominee’s information



The Rapid Transit Master Plan Survey

The Rapids needs help to develop its 20-year master plan. If you haven’t yet taken the survey, please take a few minutes to do so now. This is your opportunity to help shape future transportation options for our Community.


Click on Image for Informational Flyer!

Newcomer Rental Subsidy Program

*make sure to check out the recent NRS infosession slides Here

Affordable housing is a critical need for newly arriving refugees and for local community partners and sponsors who provide resettlement support. The subsidy program provides refugees and other newcomer population-eligible households with monthly rental assistance for up to 12 months to help families successfully integrate into communities, become self-sufficient and thrive.

Applications will soon be available in Arabic, Ukrainian, Dari, Pashto, Spanish and Kinyarwanda. We will give an update on these translations as soon they become available.

Contact LEO-RefugeeServices@michigan.gov for questions and support.

Click Here for more Information!

Apply Online Here

We are seeking to partner with Financial Institutions or Community Organizations that provide financial empowerment classes to connect recipients of the Newcomer Rental Subsidy Program with additional support. If you provide or are aware of this service, please fill out this form

Engagement Opportunities



Saturday December 16th 6:00pm

1795 Knollcrest Circle Southeast, Grand Rapids MI 49546

Join us for a festive and soulful celebration at the Calvin University Gezon Auditorium! Immerse yourself in the captivating rhythms and melodies of Africa, as talented musicians and dancers take the stage to deliver an unforgettable Christmas experience.

Get your Tickets Here!


African Community Giving and Healing Conversation

Sunday December 17 4:00pm, 4275 Shaffer Ave, Kentwood MI

A special food giveaway event with a selection of organic eggs, meats, and fresh produce. Special guest speaker Chrisfa Pierrant will discuss “Coping with grief and stress”. See the event flyer here or contact aglimpseofafrica@gmail.com for more information!

Community and Law Enforcement

Community & Law Enforcement

Mondays (excluding 12/25/23 and 1/1/24)

Treetops Collective 906 S Division, Grand Rapids MI

Area law enforcement agencies will be taking turns working at one of the offices at Treetops for an hour each Monday. These “Drop-in hours” will allow members of the community to stop in and chat.

Language Line will be utilized for interpretation, as needed.

Please click on the Poster Image for more details!

Funding Opportunities


The Office of Global Michigan

Due date – January 8, 2024; questions due December 20, 2023

The Office of Global Michigan is excited to share two new funding opportunities, one is for a contract attorney and the other is for a research consultant.

Please see the attachments for additional details.

Please email LEO-GLOBALMICHIGAN@michigan.gov.

This information can also be found on our website’s home page at Office of Global Michigan


Policies for Action: Policy Research to Advance the Inclusion of Immigrant Families and Children

Application Deadline

February 16, 2024 3:00 PM

Policies for Action’s new call for proposals seeks to fund research investigating how our policies can ensure equal access to and use of a wide range of these services by immigrants and their families.  

CFP Overview

  • Up to $1.5 million will be awarded through this call, for up to 6 grants.
  • Grants are typically funded for 12-36 months.
  • Brief proposals are due February 16, 2024.

Learn more about eligibility and selection criteria. >>


Give Back Applications Available Now!

Treetops Collective is giving all income received from monthly donors in the month of December 2023 to one New American-led business or organization in January 2024 in the form of a grant. The value of this grant will be at least $5,785. All eligible organizations may apply using the form below. Applications from ineligible businesses or organizations will not be reviewed.

Eligible Organizations: – Must be an existing business or nonprofit organization – Must be led by an individual or family that has immigrated to or been resettled in the U.S. – Must do business in Kent County – Have fewer than 15 full-time employees

We need your help to spread the word to local New American-owned businesses in your network about this funding opportunity. Please forward this email or the application link with the description above to anyone who you think might benefit from this grant.



Capacity Building and Outreach

Due Thursday December 21st 2023

The Office of Global Michigan is pleased to share a funding opportunity for the Capacity Building and Outreach Program, a project made possible through the advocacy efforts of the Funding for New Americans Coalition.

A virtual grant proposal info session will be held on Monday, November 27th 11:00am – 12:30pm; below you’ll find information on how to join this call. Please submit any questions regarding the content of this Request for Proposal (RFP) prior to this session by email to Leo-refugeeservices@michigan.gov.

This information and a downloadable copy of this Request for Proposal is also posted on our website: https://www.michigan.gov/ogm.

Job Opportunities


Building & Events Manager

The role of Treetops’ 906 partnership and Event Manager is to oversee all building maintenance and
coordination of on-site partners and events at the new Treetops Cross-Cultural Community Center. This
position will ensure the vision for the Cross-Cultural Community Center is lived out to its fullest capacity with
smooth, sustainable and effective use of space.

Click on the image for more information and requirements


Email cover letter and resume to taryn@treetopscollective.org

Please share communications with Marcial Benavidez (marcial.benavidez@kentcountymi.gov) any communications that you would like to include on Tuesdays by 9am to be shared on the Weekly Wednesday Communication.

Want to Join the Collaborative?


Completion of this interest form will connect you with our coordinator to learn more about the Welcome Plan Collaborative and get connected to a workgoup.

Take this Survey