Dear Friends,
 
We find it hard to say goodbye to summer. Michigan summers often mean late nights, warm breezes and seeing Michigan in its green beauty. But the end of summer also means lots of work, from raking leaves, to making plans for school, and winterizing your home again. There are also some things you can do this season to prepare you and your family for the coming year. 
If your family has school aged children, have you thought of notifying their school of your family's military/veteran status? Perhaps there are some activities the school can do for your child and considerations they can make. If you are working outside the home, does your employer know about your family's military/veteran status? How will that status impact your job this year?  

Fall is a time to plan and prepare for the future, but the end of summer is also a great time to reflect on the seasons and perhaps practice gratitude for the barbecues, vacations, and memories you have made this season.
 
Warmly,
 
Berkley, Erin, Andrea, Jennifer, and Michelle
The HomeFront Strong Team
Skills Reminder: Checking in at Traffic Lights
How many traffic lights have you sat through today? The average traffic light is 60-120 seconds. This is the perfect amount of time to check in with yourself and see where your stress rating is at. Are you a green (little to no stress)? Are you a yellow (some stress that could be worse but could be better)? Are you a red (stress that is building and making it difficult to move forward)? Rating your stress is the first step to realizing you might be stressed.
Where in the Mitten?
We've been busy! Here are a few places we've visited recently to share information about HomeFront Strong:
 
  • Army Reserve Center, Ann Arbor

  • National Guard Armory, Ypsilanti

  • West Michigan Veterans Coalition, Fremont

  • Michigan National Guard Strong Bonds events, Battle Creek and Bellaire

  • Michigan National Guard Yellow Ribbon event, Detroit
  • St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, Chelsea

  • Compass Point Veteran Outreach event, Port Sanilac

  • VetFest, Brighton

Would you like HomeFront Strong to be a part of your next event? Reach out to us! Contact Jennifer at (734) 998-2205 or lambjm@med.umich.edu .
Resource Corner
Take advantage of resources: When is the last time you looked at your workbook or your online modules for HomeFront Strong? Both of these tools include a list of resources for military and veteran families. These resources range from counseling, to financial, to education and are there to be used. This month, we encourage you to find a resource that you would like to use and contact them. Let us know if we can help!
Gearing up for school: If you are a family with children, fall also means Back to School. Here are a few places that offer ways to help service member and veteran families get ready for school with special programs and discounts:

  • Many of your back-to-school shopping places offer military discounts, such as Banana Republic, New York & Co, Old Navy, Payless, and even Tanger outlet malls.

  • School supplies can also be purchased with a military discount at Michaels and Jo-Ann Fabric.
Your child might be eligible for free tutoring: If you are a family with a service member who is full-time/active, deployed, or a wounded veteran, your child could qualify for free tutoring throughout the school year. You can check eligibility at https://military.tutor.com .
Changes in HomeFront Strong!
If you enrolled in HFS over the last two years, chances are that you talked to our former Outreach Coordinator, Rebecca. Rebecca recently decided to spend more time with her young family. We will miss her terribly and wish her all the very best!
Jennifer Lamb, formerly our Program Therapist, was promoted to Program Manager in May. Jennifer now oversees the program and will focus on bringing it to communities across the state of Michigan. 

Berkley French joined HomeFront Strong in July as the Child Team Coordinator and Outreach Specialist. Berkley will lead the child program offered to in-person groups. She will also attend veteran and military events to bring awareness of HFS to communities statewide. Berkley is a recent graduate from the University of Michigan School of Social Work and a native Michigander.
Jennifer Lamb and Berkley French
Erin Sorensen joined HomeFront Strong in August as the Outreach Coordinator. Erin will be the primary point of contact at all veteran and military events and will connect military and veteran partners with the program. As a military spouse, Erin has a unique understanding of the value of programs designed for military and veteran families.

Andrea Broadwater joined the HomeFront Strong team in August as the Program Therapist. She will lead the in-person groups. Andrea has lived in Michigan previously and has recently relocated from Washington state for the opportunity to work for military/veteran families.
Erin Sorensen and Andrea Broadwater
If you would like to learn more about their backgrounds, check out our website at www.m-span.org/about-m-span/our-team . If you see them at an upcoming event, come by and say hi!
Join Us
HomeFront Strong is looking for new participants to join the program! Do you know a military or veteran spouse/partner who could benefit from HomeFront Strong? Have you told them about us ?  
Program Pics
(L-R) Jennifer Lamb, Michelle Kees, and Berkley French spent two days in Traverse City training 24 community providers on the needs of military families and ways to promote resiliency in military and veteran families.
A participant sent us this update picture. Her children planted these flowers as part of the in-person group that they attended with their mom. (Photo published with participant permission.)
HomeFront Strong is part of Military Support Programs and Networks (M-SPAN), a collection of military mental health programs within the University of Michigan Depression Center.
HomeFront Strong
2025 Traverwood Dr., Suite C | Ann Arbor | MI | 48105