Where to Begin… {homelessness in Kent County and a Wish List}

Most of us cannot even begin to imagine the horror of becoming homeless. What if we had children with no place to call home for rest and protection? The numbers of homeless are climbing right here in Kent County due to many circumstances. You might be surprised about the lack of affordable housing and when combined with unemployment, family break up, lack of education and or domestic violence losing a home is quick to become a reality.

I want to tell you about Family Promise of Grand Rapids. Family Promise has helped over 1,400 children and 800 families build a strong foundation for their family’s future through providing emergency services, permanent housing, case management, mentoring and furniture donation services.  Do yourself a favor and check out their website.  One arm of their ministry is Partners in Housing.  For as little as $6500 manufactured homes can be restored so that they can become affordable places for a family to live. This opportunity takes a family out of homeless and into ownership in as little as six months and Family Promise volunteers are there to walk with them every step of the way.

Changing the life of an entire family is easier than you might think. Our family has had the honor of walking alongside good friends who have taken this challenge by storm. They have taken on the full renovations of this manufactured home.


Now they have skills on top of skills and have done some major work with many donated items such as cabinets, appliances, carpet and furniture, but not every manufactured home is in need of quite so much work. What has been fun to watch is how quickly networking seems to get the job done.  A home on someone’s block will soon be torn down and they have relatively new carpet they were willing to donate. In fact they even allowed the kitchen cabinets and toilets to be reused.  The point is you can do as much or as little as you wish to make this dream a reality for a family. It would be a great project for a small group or a neighborhood or even an extended family.


It is such a cool program designed to restore dignity, purpose and pride.  And isn’t that what supporting one another should look like?  We take our resources and our talents and we pay them forward to enrich the life of another.  So as this project rolls into the final week of renovation I have a BIG favor to ask. Here is the wish list of items still needed to make the house feel like a home when the family arrives. They have been living in host churches, part of Interfaith Hospitality Network, also a Family Promise Program for several months and will be arriving with the clothes on their backs. Their family unit is intact and the Father is working full time.  There are two boys in the family and we look forward to knowing that soon they will have a place to call home.

Here is the wish list and we are happy to help with pick up:

2 twin bed frames, mattress’ and box springs

small TV and stand

porch furniture such a table and four chairs or a few chairs for sitting

8 glasses


2 fans

small white shelves for small space in bathroom

small white bathmat

2 twin mattress pads

basic tools and outdoor

gardening tools

small grill

Thank you for caring and sharing any items you might have. We are happy to accept both new and used items and we can be available to come pick them up if needed. Otherwise feel free to leave items on my front porch and I will get them to the home.

Peace and Grace,