Service and Support
Military Spouses of Michigan is a network of spouses and family members who support each other. We host social and community support projects, ranging from sending care packages for spouses and children whose family members are deployed, gatherings for birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions, social programs ranging from bowling to movie nights, and child care support.
We believe military spouses and families should have access to the rights and protections that are afforded to them under the law. Services we provide to our spouses, free of charge, include legal advice and representation, educational opportunities and access to information about employment and career support in our state. We will also provide information on important state and federal changes or development that affect their rights and benefits as spouses or family members, and encourage them to advocate for legal and policy changes that protect our military community, including our veterans and family members.
- Pro Bono Legal Services: Military spouses, partners and families often need legal counsel or representation as they seek to access their rights or protections promised to them under the law. In addition, many legal problems, some unrelated to military service, may emerge while their service member is deployed or stationed away from their home. MSoM will provide free legal consultation and, if needed, representation for spouses, family members, and veterans. We will review potential legal claims and build a network of attorneys and bar associations who are willing to offer pro bono legal services and other guidance for military spouses, partners and family members.
- Educational and Employment Services: According to the U.S. Department of Defense, 26% of military spouses are unemployed. And experts estimate that 80-to-85 percent of military spouses want to work, but many are restricted by the responsibilities that come with supporting their spouses’ moves and deployments. On top of that, those who are employed earn roughly 25 percent less than their civilian counterparts.
- Social Gatherings: We believe that one of the greatest needs of our Michigan MilSpouse community is also the simplest: building meaningful relationships with each other and our community. Whether through brunches, pot luck dinners, weekly movie nights, bowling outings, or athletic and sports activities, MSoM will host gatherings of spouses to provide social support and connectivity. These gatherings will occur throughout the state, on a regular basis, to provide spouses with an opportunity to build relationships and support one another during the difficulties of deployment, separation, and other challenges.
- Sharing Skills: We know that each member of our community has unique needs and skills. From nurses to teachers to lawyers to social workers, we believe that each military spouse, partner and family member has skills that can be used to support our community. Recognizing this, we will host a private, online forum for member spouses to connect with one another, post requests for help and assistance and also offer to share their skills or expertise to help a fellow milspouses. Whether a spouse paints art, provides legal assistance, offers music lessons, makes clothing, bakes goods or knows someone who does, we will bring spouses together to share their talents with each other.
- Community Support Projects: As military spouses, partners, and families, we believe in giving back to our community and other communities that are facing high unemployment, isolation, and lack of access to important services and support. We will organize several community projects that MSoM can sponsor and spearhead with our partner organizations. Examples of projects are developing care packages for military families, spouses, and kids, and sending cards, letters and packages of support and thanks to members of our community who are coping with the deployment or the death of their service member. We also will provide support programming and opportunities for other organizations, schools, community groups and all Michiganders to show their support for our military spouses and families.
Military Spouses of Michigan is building a network of tools that can help spouses and their families address these disparities. We will host programs on financial literacy, starting a new business or nonprofit, sponsor employment fairs and support career development. We will also host educational programming about legal changes that affect milspouses and their families, and advocate for legal changes and programming that supports our community.