Tri-County TRIAD

By Michelle Jackson, Economic Security Team Member at Elder Law of Michigan

Tri-County TRIAD is a collaboration of seniors, law enforcement, and community members in Eaton, Ingham, and Clinton Counties. TRIAD started in 1980 and continues to improve senior lives today. The founder, Emily Horne, started TRIAD because she felt strongly about helping older adults in the community.

Throughout the years, using education, outreach, and fundraising, TRIAD has grown in members as well as services they provide to older adults.

I have been a member of TRIAD since 2013 and a board member since 2018. I find it very rewarding to help other organizations meet TRIAD’s yearly goals, such as educating seniors and bringing organizations together to fight senior hunger.

TRIAD holds monthly meetings called Coffee with a Purpose. These meetings consist of an hour of education on fraud, scams, identity theft, driving as you age, and local crime trends. In addition, TRIAD members who are local police officers and firefighters perform daily well checkups on local homebound seniors who live alone and have no one to turn to.

TRIAD is a resource for older adults in our community to receive the best care from incredible agencies like Area Agency on Aging, Elder Law of Michigan, and National Center for Elder Abuse. TRIAD is committed to acting as an advocate for seniors who are often forgotten.

Seventeen years ago, Tri-County TRIAD started another great service known as No Senior Without Christmas. This program started giving out paper bags to 20 low income and homebound seniors in Eaton, Ingham, and Clinton County. Today, TRIAD is giving out 350 boxes to seniors in need. Sadly, the number of boxes has grown throughout the years, due to the growth of community need. This extremely important event is held by local law enforcement and hundreds of volunteers every year in December.

Packed boxes consist of necessities such as body wash, shampoo, socks, soap, blankets, and laundry soap, as well as other types of home products. Sadly, this box of necessities is often all those seniors receive at Christmas time. Once a box is packed it is hand-delivered to a senior’s door-step by a local police officer or firefighter.

The first time I volunteered for this incredible event it was heartwarming to see so many people in our community work hard to help homebound seniors. Tri-County TRIAD depends entirely on donations from the community for this event. I hope this information on Tri-County TRIAD helps you understand the importance of becoming involved in programs to serve seniors in our community, who are often forgotten.

For more information on volunteering and becoming involved, please visit TRIAD.

Michelle Jackson is an Economic Security Team Member for MiCAFE as well as a MMAP counselor at Elder Law of Michigan. Michelle has been a member of the Elder Law of Michigan team since March 2013. As an Economic Security Team Member and MMAP counselor, Michelle assists Michigan seniors with benefit applications and serves as an advocate for the health and safety of seniors.