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How we work

A different way of looking at our community

At Arbor Circle, we guide people to discover the perspective and coping skills needed to adapt to or even avoid life’s challenges. We help clients build these skills through more than 35 counseling, education and prevention programs addressing everything from school readiness and child abuse prevention to substance use and homelessness. 
 
While this variety of services lets us meet many needs, it’s how we work that really makes the difference. 
 
Arbor Circle believes everyone, regardless of their experiences, has strengths that give them the potential to change. We do not focus on “fixing” people, because we know life is not that easy. There will always be new challenges, so we focus on helping people tap into those strengths and become resilient... so they can adapt as needed. Each year, we support more than 11,000 children, youth, families, and adults in West Michigan in this work. Click here for a closer look at the special approach that guides us.  
 

What is resilience?

Resilience is the powerful feeling of “I can do this!” that helps you get over life’s bumps, from everyday struggles to big challenges. It goes beyond having a safety net during tough times, because it comes from within. It is our internal resolve, like a compass guiding us to prevent, withstand, or adjust quickly from hard times or unhealthy situations. 
 
Resilience is at the heart of Arbor Circle’s work. We believe everyone should have the opportunity to discover their inner strengths, build support networks, and learn new skills. Learn how we guide people in West Michigan to do just that. 
 

Why does resilience matter?

Resilience is a skill that we all need for life’s journey. There is no guarantee that hard times and tough choices will go away -- what can define a person, shapes families, and affects our community is how we respond in those moments. 
 
And the good news is that when we build resilience in ourselves, we often share it with others -- whether we know it or not! Parents share it with their children when they guide their family through a tough time or model healthy practices. People recovering from substance use coach others who are beginning their journey to recovery. Kids can even be an example for each other as they face homelessness or other struggles. 
 
The resilience of one can become the resilience of many, making it just as important to our community as it is to individuals. Learn more about the impact of resilience.