MUSKEGON, MI – Michelle Tyson believes that transforming a community starts with reaching its children.
Tyson is the driving force behind Taking Back Muskegon, a resident-run organization that aims to address violence through activities, programs and events for local youth.
“We’re just trying to change Muskegon’s tone,” she said. “Muskegon has a bad reputation, and we want to change that. We want when you hear Muskegon and you hear Take Back Muskegon it will always be something positive. “
Founded in 2019, Taking Back Muskegon has integrated into the community through events such as family game nights, COVID-19 care kit giveaways, and a charity basketball tournament that raised 500 $ for the Muskegon Heights Recreation Department.
Tyson says the cornerstone of the group is HOOD love, Helping Our Own Daily.
“That’s what Resume Muskegon does. We help our own every day because we have to give them HOOD love, ”she said. “This is the only way for us to be able to thrive as a community again.
This year, the organization is hosting its first summer program for children aged five and over at East Park Manor in Muskegon Heights. It takes place from Monday to Thursday from noon to 2 p.m. all summer for about fifteen children living in the housing community.
The group also plans to hold car washes later this summer to raise funds so young people can visit Michigan’s Adventure or one of Detroit’s museums.
Tyson wants Taking Back Muskegon to be an “old soul” and an “old-fashioned” daycare and community center.
“I feel like this is what our community needs right now,” she said, pointing to a spate of armed violence at the start of the summer.
Related: Café opening in the heart of Muskegon Heights aims to become a “community center”
Tyson also plans to develop a 24-hour emergency youth drop-in center to provide neighborhood children with a safe place to go, whatever time of day. She wants the center to be established in 2022.
Donations and community partnerships with local leaders, Muskegon County District Attorney DJ Hilson, and law enforcement have bolstered the mission of Take Back Muskegon.
“It won’t be just us. We can’t do it alone, ”Tyson said. “We want everyone to be involved as a community, as a city. “
Taking Back Muskegon has teamed up with local law enforcement for an upcoming Roll Bounce Skate 2K Marathon on Saturday July 24th. The event begins at 11:00 am at Hackley Park, 350 W. Webster Ave. Residents and police will roller skate, scooter, cycle or walk. at Heritage Landing.
A free concert will follow the event from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Burl & Sprig, 333 W. Western Ave.
“It’s not just a youth organization, we’re trying to be a community organization,” Tyson said.
More information on Resume Muskegon’s events and programs can be found on his Facebook page.
More on MLive:
Ultimate Guide to Rebel Road, Bike Time Motorcycle Rallies Return to Muskegon
Hope College Announces Free ‘Pay-It-Forward’ Tuition Fee Model Funded by Alumni Donations
Why big goldfish are appearing in lakes and rivers