Our Model


Imagine what it must feel like to leave the comfort of your home and move half-way around the world -- where everything is new. You’d quickly realize how much of your personal identity had been rooted in the confidence you drew from work well done, relationships you held dear and the personal security you once knew. Through our truly unique, research-developed model, Treetops Collective is providing opportunities for refugee women to find their place in West Michigan, reclaim their identity and build new relationships. We’ve created a space where they can utilize their skills, gifts, and ambitions to flourish in their new home.

 

 

We Build Social Fabric

Every person needs a place to belong -- and when you find your place, you discover community, identity and support. At Treetops, we focus specifically on three key areas of relationships:

Between refugee women. Refugee women need a safe place to let down their guard, speak their first language, and share the challenges of resettlement with other women who are experiencing the same things.

Between refugee and non-refugee women. We have a lot to learn from each other. For instance, non-refugee women can learn about other cultures, other parts of the world, and gain new friendships who can help to expand their worldview. Refugee women have the opportunity to learn new things that only come from living here for a longer time. This includes questions like how do I buy a house? Where should I shop for quality, affordable produce? How do I pronounce this word in English? How do I send my child to college?

Between refugee women and our city's institutions and processes. To truly flourish, refugee women need someone to help them understand how to engage the civic institutions and processes that can have a direct effect on improving the quality of life for their family and community. This includes things like public services, banking, transit, political processes, education and more.

We Grow Jobs

We help to grow jobs by bridging the gap between strategic partners who are actively creating jobs within the textile industry, and talented artisans who have resettled here, bringing with them years of sewing experience. A practical way you can get involved is by supporting our partners directly--shop their products or contract with them for cut-and-sew services.

Treetops is starting a pilot program in 2017 to invest in refugee women with young children by providing them flexible sewing work, career counseling, and connecting them with people and opportunities based on their dreams.

We Create a More Welcoming Community

We are changing the narrative around refugees by sharing stories about the gifts they bring to our community and providing opportunities for residents of Grand Rapids to meet their newest neighbors.