TrueNorth’s geographic growth
Though TrueNorth’s main office is tucked in the middle of a corn field in rural Fremont, people may be surprised to learn our programs and services span far and wide. Our housing programs provide service in Lake, Mason, Muskegon, Newaygo and Oceana Counties; Out-of-School Time Programs serve Lake,
Muskegon, Newaygo and Oceana counties; and our largest program geographically, emPower, covers all 83 counties across Michigan.
Even with a widespread service area, TrueNorth stays true to our roots. We’ve been a consistent voice, and rural expert at the table, both regionally and nationally. As Kate Kesteloot-Scarbrough, TrueNorth Board President put it, “What makes TrueNorth unique is our history…we have 50 years of service in the
community, our connection to our local community and [a] willingness and ability to take that and value it and share it. We share that expertise and experience at the state level, at the national level. And that makes a difference for policy makers.”
Kate goes on to share an example, “When we talk about heat and energy assistance, which is a core service that TrueNorth has been involved with, the conversation typically is natural gas and electricity. And TrueNorth is who’s at the table and saying fuel oil. What about fuel oil? We pay for that differently. Those
issues are different. What about pellets? What about this? And have you thought about that? And that, I think, is such an important part of our work and why it’s important that our voice remains heard.”
Over the past 50 years, TrueNorth has leveraged resources in a collaborative and community-based way to ensure the voices of the rural community are being heard, while responding to the needs at hand. We will continue this important work as we strive to reach 100 years!