“New Heights: Restoring a City”

The documentary looks back at the heyday of Muskegon Heights, the many factors that led to the city’s decline and the good things that are happening as the community rallies together to create a hopeful future.

Currently, approximately 45 percent of Muskegon Heights residents live under the poverty level. There is no grocery store in the city, making it a food desert. The school district has gone through a state takeover and private management in the past few years, costing many students and programs.

The community often appears in regional headlines only when violent crime occurs.

However, many positive things are happening in Muskegon Heights.

From the reopening of the farmer's market to new athletic programs for the community's youth to clean-up efforts across the city, leaders and citizens alike are working to shape a brighter course for the Heights.

Related: After 15 years, Little League returns to Muskegon Heights

WZZM 13 wants to highlight the ways Muskegon Heights is trying to chart a new path for itself and help begin to change the way West Michigan sees a community of nearly 10,000 people who are often forgotten unless police lights are flashing.

In the documentary, Mayor Kim Sims, Police Chief Joseph Thomas, Jr., Muskegon County Commissioner Rillastine Wilkins, Superintendent Alena Zachery-Ross, historian James Jackson and other residents of Muskegon Heights help us understand the past and present of Muskegon Heights and how the community is coming together to change the city's image.

More: Muskegon Heights to get fresh produce for sale at market

If you want to donate to help bring back the Muskegon Heights band, please contact Catherine Behrendt at catherinebehrendt@wzzm13.com.