New group in Livingston provides navigation through low-income world Posted: March 28, 2013

With all of the difficult social issues that we face as a nation, poverty can be one of the most challenging to address. A new group in Livingston County is not allowing that challenge deter them, and is tackling the matter collaboratively and head-on.

“Getting Ahead in a just Gettin’ by World” is a community-wide initiative that is providing a way for participants to examine the effects of poverty on individuals, families and their surrounding communities. The intention of Getting Ahead is to offer an agenda-free environment where those who partake can reflect on and examine their lives, investigate new information that is relevant to them, assess their own resources, make plans for their future, offer ideas for building a prosperous community, and choose a team to help them fulfill their dreams.

In groups of 8 to 12 people, members take on the roles of facilitators and investigators. Facilitators guide the process of the group, encouraging the individuals and group in their work, while the investigators take the task of exploring, examining, and processing information. Child care is also provided during these sessions.

The first Getting Ahead group began on February 14 with eight participants and will run for 12 to 15 weeks. Getting Ahead sessions take place at the OLHSA Livingston Office (2300 E. Grand River, Suite 107, Howell MI 48843).

Although the current Getting Ahead group cannot take any more members, the next group will begin in mid April and referrals and applications are being accepted. The group can have up to 12 participants and is also seeking organizations that would like to host their own Getting Ahead groups, with training and support provided to those interested. Referrals and applicants can contact Jeff Duke at or call (517) 546-8500, ext: 4117.