Family Promise of Grand Rapids
is hosting a press conference and ribbon cutting celebration Thursday, November 5 at 10 a.m. to celebrate their new location at 516 Cherry St. SE and to announce their $2 million fundraiser.
Cheryl Schuch, executive director, says the new facility is a needed step forward for the organization to keep up with the increased problem of homelessness among families with children in Kent County. "The old facility was rented and expensive. It did not allow us to serve individuals with disabilities and there were no spaces for private meetings with families or respite spaces for young children‚" she says.
Schuch says the fundraiser is designed to pay off the new building's mortgage and to support and grow the three key programs serving their mission: Pathway Home, an innovative shelter program in partnership with Mel Trotter, where existing space was repurposed into family space; Partners in Housing, a "mini-habitat" program, where manufactured homes are rehabbed and used by families with housing needs; and the continuing development of their After Care program, where Family Promise staff work to stabilize families and keep them in their homes (and schools) long term.
The fundraiser is chaired by community leaders Laurie Beard (Grand Rapids Region President, Old National Bank) and Carl Jandernoa (Vice President, 42 North Partners).
Schuch says that in 2009, they were servicing five homeless families at one time and now they are providing service to 60 families at the same time. She says there were almost 3000 students in Kent County schools who were homeless last year and with a successful campaign there will be a 200% increase in shelter capacity.
To learn more about Family Promise, you can visit their site here.
Writer: John Rumery, Innovation and Jobs News Editor.