Canton Community Foundation Aims to Address Chronic Loneliness

The approach? Finding neighbors a friend.

Jerome Vaughn

Beth Meade is the president of the Canton Community Foundation. She says one day she was working with a woman and asked her what she needed. The woman’s answer broke Meade’s heart. “She said, ‘I need a friend,” Meade recalls.

That put the issue of chronic loneliness in focus for Meade. The foundation developed an initiative known as PORCH (Providing Others Renewed Confidence & Hope). It pairs Canton residents up with neighbors who need a friend.

Meade says PORCH is an opportunity for people to contribute time instead of money. The foundation is looking for volunteers willing to give one free hour a week for 12 weeks. “The first time we’d just like them to make a phone call.” PORCH volunteers might end up helping to run errands, meeting up for coffee, or just sitting on the porch with their new neighbor, Meade says.

Click the audio player above to hear an interview with Meade.

The Canton Community Foundation is seeking PORCH volunteers and Canton neighbors in need of a friend. More information can be found by calling (734) 495-1200.

Why did we choose Canton? Canton was selected as a featured area for Crossing the Lines due to its dramatic economic and developmental growth, as well as its rapidly increasing diversity.


  • Laura Herberg
    Laura Herberg is a Reporter for 101.9 WDET, telling the stories about people inhabiting the Detroit region and the issues that affect us here.