"I get to live and play in McLaughlin. I get to work in McLaughlin. I get to worship in McLaughlin. My world is small and centered and grounded and I love it. Before this? I lived in Japan and traveled Asia. I taught English to hundreds of Japanese students, slept on tatami mats and in Buddhist temples, ate sushi cross-legged, drank Asahi and green tea, biked hundreds of miles of back roads, and learned what being “in the minority” means. Lessons from that world seep constantly into experiences in this world."
"I love my job because it allows me to work right where I live, in my community. I’m constantly finding new leaders in our neighborhood. I enjoy mobilizing them to begin and grow positive projects that strengthen the community. I live to inspire our youth to dream and spark their creativity to keep moving forward and take us beyond my imagination."
Rehab Specialist & Community Development Catalyst
"I’d have to say I have my dream job. How many people can honestly say that they get to live their work? I have the good fortune to be one that doesn’t simply punch a time clock. I get to go to work and do life with my co-workers who are my friends and neighbors. I get to work with neighbors who have become my friends and most importantly I get to share with those who don’t live in the downtown neighborhoods the good that exists in our community and help them discover how to be involved with neighbors and join in the amazing work that neighbors are already doing."
Bethany Housing Program Director
"I am energetic, talkative, and animated. With joy and passion, I serve as an advocate for justice and change. Guided by the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi: “Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace; where there is hatred, let me sow love,” I have a knack for igniting hope while empowering people to move from being victims of their circumstances to the architects of their own destiny. At Community enCompass, I am able to use my tremendous energy doing what I love—helping people discover what it means to find their destiny and live the Abundant Life."
Offender Success Housing Navigator
"I am a person who believes that anything and any situation, can be addressed with those 66 books of the bible. I attempt to look at every situation as an assignment to assist the individual/family to a healthier quality of life. I work within the Offender Success Program and my point of focus is what they have done, is not who they are. I have been blessed to do well, in my level of training and education, I have just finished my second master's degree, but knowledge without wisdom does no good in life. I feel my history of working within the community, and keeping God first is key. I attempt to let my light shine before all men at all times. I rebuild, rebirth and reconstruct the life of others with God's help! More proudly, I am a mother of two awesome children, I come from family culture and values. Love is not only a word but a point of action in every aspect of life. And this is who I am!"
Housing and Resource Agent & Office Manager
"My name is Cherrelle. I am a Mom, Housing and Resource Agent, Office Manager, Culture Creator and Neighbor. While having all these roles may sound overwhelming I enjoy every one of them. I believe God put me here to help others at times where they may feel there is no hope or there is no one there for them. I love my community and will always give back to it!"
Farm Manager, McLaughlin Grows
"Who knew my path in life would lead me to being an urban farmer? My work has allowed me to assist in teaching disabled children, go back to school to become a horticulturist, grow tropical plants in a greenhouse, and tended grounds near the nation’s capital. My family life has allowed me to raise two wonderful children into amazing adults, and now be blessed with grandchildren to pamper and love. All of these things eventually brought me to Muskegon, where I am now privileged to work in the same neighborhoods I call home. Being allowed to serve those in the community while having my hands in the dirt is a dream I could never have imagined coming true, but here we are….and I cannot wait to see what we will accomplish together!"
John A. Taylor
Housing Resource Specialist, Sacred Suds Supervisor, Outreach Coordinator, Veterans Coordinator
"I believe our lives are like books; Every one with a story to tell. I want to know the stories. I am a Christian, a husband to Virginia, the father of four adult daughters, one elementary-aged son, and grandfather of two beautiful girls. I've been happily married for over three decades, am a native Michigander, proud resident of Muskegon, lover of Lake Michigan, writer and compulsive book hoarder. My personal vision is to serve others so that they are able to live full and rich lives and share their stories with the world. I believe that much of our soul is hidden, even from ourselves, and that only an encounter with a living God can help us discover who we really are."
Community Health Worker / Housing Specialist
"Having lived in Muskegon for over 30 years, I’m very grateful for the opportunity to be working in my community with this group of caring and committed people. Together, we connect our neighbors with the help they need, whether it be housing or health care, or just being there with them when they need someone to listen and to know that they are not alone. This work is rewarding beyond measure and I feel very fortunate to be involved in it."
Americorps HARA program
"I was born and raised in Muskegon MI. I moved to Kalamazoo, MI for college where I received my B.S in Family Studies. My main goal is to help others who are in need in any form that I can. I have a passion to serve my community, developed from the past interactions and experiences I have had with people who have helped build up the community before me. I'm quite most of the time but I like to get my point across when needed. I like to be the supporter and help push people towards their goals and to help them set their goal higher. I love to work as a team! As many have said, “Teamwork makes a Dreamwork”. I believe this is true with everyone at Community enCompass."
Grants and Special Projects Manager
"I am a proud fourth generation Muskegonite, and currently raising the fifth generation of my family here. Growing up where I did, in the family that I did, instilled in me an appreciation for so many aspects of my hometown: the grit and determination of the people, the unique natural resources, and the history of the urban environment to name a few. For the six years prior to my employment at Community enCompass, certain opportunities lead me to work away from Muskegon. I administered a large federal housing grant in Hamtramck, MI and I worked for a Christian Community Development Organization in Grand Rapids. There I was able to learn a variety of skills that allow me to work alongside of my neighbors to build community in the city that I love. Working for Community enCompass, I keep the following verse in mind: “Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper” (Jeremiah 28:7, NIV). I look forward to seeing what I can help Community enCompass build in our core neighborhoods."
Family Support Liaison
"I am excited to live and work in the community that I grew up in. I have numerous childhood memories of the McLaughlin neighborhood from participating in the Yellow House and attending McLaughlin Elementary School. I am thrilled that GOD has allowed me to return to my childhood neighborhood to serve HIS people and the Muskegon community. My compassion and intrinsic motivation allows me to be an advocate for those in need while helping individuals become self-sufficient."
"I am Kimberly Barnes, a survivor of Domestic Violence, a poetess & a published author of 2 books.
I served my community for over 10 yrs at the Muskegon Social Security Office, I served over 5 yrs with Pioneer Resources & 1 yr for Securitas USA/ Trinity Health.
I am excited to now be able to serve my community again through Community enCompass."
Family Support Liaison for Roosevelt Apartments
"I was first introduce to the Community enCompass neighbors in Spring of 2016 as I served an internship with them as part of the completion of my Associated Degree in Human Services at Baker College of Muskegon. I was quickly enchanted by the neighbors, and inspired by the sense of community and togetherness portrayed through working with the YEPs, the Reading Buddies at Nelson Elementary, as well as in the office with clients in need. I am extremely appreciative of the opportunity to be part of this community!
When I am not “at work”, I am either busy working towards my Bachelor’s degree, caring for my family and getting in some much needed quality time, and serving my Church family. I believe that God has given each and everyone of us the gift of free will and salvation through faith, and in appreciation of that gift my purpose is to help and serve one another."
Muskegon Prescribes Food for Health Coordinator
"I am a wife, mother, neighbor, and follower of Jesus. I enjoy drinking lattes, laughing, running, playing in Lake Michigan, and traveling. I've been a Muskegon County resident for 17 years, moving downtown with my husband & daughters a few years ago. We love it here! I am excited for the opportunity to engage more deeply in the community, working with and for my fellow Muskegonites."
Community Health Worker / Housing Specialist
"I am a Muskegon native, mother and wife who is very passionate about working in the community by getting hands-on with every project. I am looking forward to branching out with this amazing position that will help me continue using my skills to their best.
When I am not being a busy bee, I am normally trying to have dates with my family or friends exploring more that our community has to offer."
De La Garza
Americorps HARA program
"I am a cancer thriver, my doctors told me I would never taste again. Thank the Lord, they were wrong. I told myself I would never be a grandmother, thank the Lord I was wrong! I have been blessed in so many ways with four children and a granddaughter. My Previous career was working for the airlines enabling me to travel to North Shore in Hawaii, the Grand Canyon and to both of President Barack Obama’s Inaugurations. I took an early retirement from the airlines back in 2012 and then concentrated on my studies which helped me go on a trip of a lifetime with Grand Valley State University as part of a Study Abroad program to Israel, The Holy Land! It was amazing. I told everyone about my hometown, Muskegon, and how great it was; especially Lake Michigan, and of course, some of the things that needed to change. I promised the Lord I would spend the rest of my life doing his work. I am ready to be an “agent of change” and give Him the glory!"
Assistant Farm Manager, McLaughlin Grows
"I feel it is important to give to the community where you live.Leading youth to self-sufficiency, teaching leadership skills through guidance and mentoring; these are how I believe we grow effective communities.Being able to mentor youth through the programs I am involved in is how I can make a difference."
Housing Resource Navigator
"I am a West Michigan native with my roots firmly planted in Muskegon! This is a great place to live, play and work. I have always wanted to live downtown, three years ago that became a reality. Now I am able to walk to worship and work! Helping others with the dignity of a hand up has always been my personal philosophy towards serving others."