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The Stand - “When they take away our responsibility, they take away our soul”

Patrick Thompson | Michigan, United States

Organization: Pat ApPaul Photography

With nothing out of the ordinary setting this house aside from the others, apart from a small, letter-sized sign nailed above the porch that reads “The Lemonade Stand of Muskegon”, this house is nothing but ordinary, it is an oasis for many in the community who struggle with mental health and/or addiction issues, who not only are looking for support but who also wish to be the support that others may need.

On a quiet street in Muskegon, MI, sits an unassuming house. Like many others in this rustbelt town, this house has seen both love and neglect. But unknown to many in the community, for the last 20 years, this house has been home to hundreds of neighbors needing family and support. With nothing out of the ordinary setting this house aside, apart from a letter-sized sign nailed above the porch that reads “The Lemonade Stand of Muskegon”, this house is an oasis for many in the community who struggle with mental health and/or addiction issues, who not only are looking for support but who wish to be the support that others may need. All members are staff, and responsibility for each other is shared. Judie, founder of the Stand shared, “A member told me about the negative approach many other programs take, he said “when they take away our responsibility, they take away our soul”, and those words have always haunted me. I wanted to give responsibility back, and if they don't have it at home, they have it here.”

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