Children walking in cultural outfit

The Change

Together we thrive.

With a deeply resonating, unified community voice Montanans told us long-term success in improving the health of our communities begins with addressing the underlying issues that keep people unhealthy.

In our corner of the world, some families live in cars, children are exposed to high levels of violence and trauma early in life and working people struggle to find warm houses to live in. There are children who are, more often than not, hungry. In Western Montana, too many people struggle in the grips of addiction, and young men and women commit suicide at a staggering rate.

Montanans told us these situations are the result of deeper problems in their communities. But they also told us that together we could change the downward trends facing our state, that by working together Montanans can thrive.

Because when children get enough to eat, they sit cross-legged on colorful carpet squares in kindergarten ready to learn. When their parents have a safe job where they feel valued and are fairly compensated, they are better equipped to parent. When young mothers have good, affordable childcare they are able to concentrate on their studies that may pull their families out of poverty. When families have a warm house to sleep in, reliable transportation, clean water to drink and fresh food to eat, they arrive at work and school on time and ready to contribute. When families and children have healthy, inclusive friendships and relationships free of violence, they have a sense of security.

When all of their basic needs are met, families and children live healthier lives. They thrive.