Welcome to Copper Shores Bridges
Focusing on individuals and systems
Empowering our community across all economic classes
Copper Shores Bridges is an initiative utilizing frameworks created and updated regularly by aha! Process. The program is for residents of Baraga, Houghton, Keweenaw and Ontonagon counties in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
Our Community Needs This
Many hardworking people across the country struggle in poverty to make ends meet despite being employed. When people live paycheck-to-paycheck, they are one flat tire, one burnt out lightbulb or one broken bone from not paying rent, not putting food on the table or not making utility payments on time.
These people are Asset Limited, Income Constrained, and Employed, or ALICE. This means that ALICE populations live above the Federal Poverty Line, but do not make above the Household Survival Budget, which includes housing, childcare, food, transportation, healthcare, basic technology (like a smartphone and phone plan), and miscellaneous payments like taxes.
The reality is that observing the Federal Poverty Line alone does not show the full picture of living in poverty in the United States, and certainly not on a community level. ALICE offers a broader view of those struggling with poverty, and without that full understanding, solutions for ALICE cannot be made.
Getting Ahead Training
Money Matters is designed to help investigators take an in-depth and personal look at finances. Investigators will discover all about ways to become more financially stable.
Latest News and Updates about Bridges
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The story of Bridges Copper Country is just beginning. The journey will feature moments of brilliance, pain, joy and most importantly, growth. If you’re interested in following along, learning how you can participate or simply show your support to those yearning for stability, we invite you to subscribe to our email list. We’ll update you regularly with what we have going on.
Meet the Copper Shores Bridges Staff
Mary Jo Munch
Copper Shores Bridges Steering Committee
The Bridges program is led by an advisory committee of people from around Michigan's Copper Country. They meet regularly throughout the year with staff to provide advice and guidance for the program's operations.
- Richelle Dube - AmercInn Calumet
- Pastor Aaron Gehrke – St. Peter and Paul Church
- Erin Happala - Gardenview
- Tim Keteri – Adams Township School District
- Rob La Fave – Village of L’Anse
- Michael Messner – Calumet Electronics
- Curt Pennala – Keweenaw County Sheriff
- Jeff Ratcliffe – Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance
- Joshua Saaranen – Houghton County Sheriff
- Sam Stonelake – Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance
- Heather Store – Calumet Electronics
- Koni Turunen – Upper Great Lakes Family HealthCenter
About aha! Process
aha! Process is an award-winning training and publishing company providing workshops, publications, and consulting services to help improve lives and build sustainable success in communities, schools, and higher education. They do this by creating an understanding of the dynamics that cause and maintain poverty from the individual to systems level.
Poverty, middle class, and wealth are about an abundance or lack of resources. Our work helps individuals, businesses, students, and communities build resources for a more successful sustainable future. Learn more about them at ahaprocess.com.