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New center opening to support those impacted by MSU shooting

A photo of Downtown East Lansing south of Grand River Avenue.
Arjun Thakkar
The United Resiliency Center will open along Grand River Avenue next week.

A new facility in East Lansing is offering therapy and support services for individuals affected by the shooting at Michigan State University last year.

The organization Common Ground is opening the United Resiliency Center on Grand River Avenue off-campus. The group previously provided support services after the 2021 shooting at Oxford High School.

Jamie Ayers directs victim services with Common Ground. She said the community might feel heightened stress as the university approaches the one-year anniversary of the incident.

“We want people to hear that if you're starting to experience symptoms again, that that is normal, and we have resources at the center that can help through that,” Ayers said.

Individuals who’ve been impacted by the shooting can visit at no cost. The center is being funded through a partnership with the state of Michigan and a federal grant to support communities that have experienced mass violence incidents.

Ayers said the center will offer access to therapists and other services that could include art classes and book clubs. She said staff plan to see what community members want from the facility.

“It isn't Common Ground coming into East Lansing and telling people this is what you need," Ayers said. "It's us listening to what they need, and then we develop programming based on that.”

The center plans to open its doors for open house sessions on Feb. 20, with an official opening on March 4.

"It's not just for people who are really down and struggling. It's okay to be okay too," Ayers added. "We open as many different pathways to healing as possible. But we also want to invite people to come in and see the center, utilize the services available to them regardless of how they were connected to the tragedy itself."

Arjun Thakkar is WKAR's politics and civics reporter.
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