March 29, 2017

Housing First Overview

What is Housing First, and why do people keep talking about it? This great (and short) video gives an excellent overview!  

January 13, 2017

Funding Awarded in 2017

Over $5.5 million dollars have been awarded to continue efforts to end homelessness in Kent County through the 2017-2018 grant cycle. These grants are continued funding to projects already operating within Kent County, including one project initially awarded last year and just beginning its first year of operation, the Rapid Re-Housing Youth Collaborative. Our community […]

December 17, 2016

Baby It’s Cold Outside

It’s the time of year when people think about giving a bit more; it’s also the time of year when those experiencing homelessness are in the most danger.  How many of us are donating a toy, preparing a food basket, or rounding up hats and mittens? These are all thoughtful, caring gifts for which many […]

November 18, 2016

What You Need To Know

This Homelessness Awareness Week we have had several learning opportunities for those of us in the work of ending homelessness and the community at large. At the end of the day, however, learning about big picture ideas or national and local statistics does not tell you what you really need to know. For this post, […]

November 17, 2016

Homelessness: The Tip of the Iceberg

An often forgotten aspect of homelessness, that is critical to understanding it, is how desperately people try to avoid losing their housing. Homelessness rarely, if ever, occurs spontaneously in situations where people were financially stable. In those cases where the primary breadwinner loses their job, or a child became ill, or the car broke down, […]

November 16, 2016

The Cost of Homelessness

I talk about the moral imperative of not allowing any of our people in Kent County live and die on our streets. For some, this call does not resonate. There is still a strong undercurrent of the sense that people get what they deserve in life and that poverty and homelessness are only a result […]

November 15, 2016

An End to Homelessness

I get it, we sound nuts talking about ending homelessness. I mean, the audacity that WE could end this horrible plague on humanity that’s always been with us and always will be, right? And don’t some people choose to be homeless? Well, actually, no. Homelessness as we know it today is actually pretty new in […]

November 14, 2016

Housing First Awareness

If you have followed anything in the news about homelessness recently you’ve probably read about Housing First. Articles with headlines like, “This City Has a Novel Approach to End Homelessness” or “Radical Ideas on Ending Homelessness” grab attention, but Housing First is not as new as you may think. Sixteen years ago Dr. Sam Tsemberis […]

July 8, 2016

Heartside Neighborhood and Doughnut Shops

Arguably the most diverse neighborhood in Grand Rapids (although we know how fast our neighborhoods are changing these days!), Heartside Neighborhood has a unique place in the Grand Rapids landscape. Living in a diverse space can help people to learn about the world outside their own experiences, and it can also make them uncomfortable. I […]

June 29, 2016

Homelessness in the News

Today major news sources in San Francisco will be focused on the issue of homelessness in their city. They are asking other cities around the country to band with them and raise awareness about homelessness in their own cities. We aren’t going to do that here. First, we will not spend today talking about homelessness in […]