Help end family homelessness in West Michigan

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV) – Families are one of the fastest growing homeless populations in our city. You can be a part of making sure your neighbors don’t end up homeless.

“They helped me with things like bus passes, gas money and connections for jobs. And they helped me with finding day care. I appreciate how helpful everybody was.” — Ashlie, a Pathway Home mom

THE PROBLEM

The greater Grand Rapids housing crisis is forcing hundreds of families into homelessness. Rapidly increasing rental costs are making it extremely difficult for hard working families find affordable housing. Some who were already living paycheck to paycheck don’t have the extra margin in their budget to keep up with huge leaps in rental costs. They end up living on the streets or in their cars with their children, continuing to work but not knowing if they’ll be able to provide a home for their families for the holidays. Last year more than 2,098 school aged children were reported to be homeless by the Kent Intermediate School District – and that number doesn’t include their siblings who aren’t in school yet.

THE SOLUTION

Through the Pathway Home program, a collaboration between Mel Trotter Ministries and Family Promise of Grand Rapids, both organizations offer emergency shelter, rehousing options and aftercare for families experiencing homelessness in our community. Hardworking parents and their children have a safe place to sleep, warm meals, clothing and other supportive services like bible studies and access to medical care. The Pathway Home team continues to work with families to help them find a place to call home, and walks alongside them to ensure they don’t fall back into homelessness. Since its inception, 141 families have successfully transitioned into permanent housing. Your support of the Pathway Home program today will help give even more families a home for the holidays for years to come.

Step 1: Intake

When a family with children reaches Pathway Home, the team works with the family to ensure their basic needs are met. This can include hygiene products, clothing, a hot shower, warm meal, a hug and a safe place to sleep.

Step 2: Case management and support services

While in shelter, families work with the Pathway Home team to find a place to call home. Families create a housing plan to help them obtain their goals, and have access to a computer lab, financial counseling, and other supportive services.

Step 3: Home

Once a family moves home, the Pathway Home team walks along-side them with aftercare services. The team will provide services to a family for up to nine months helping to stabilize them and ensure they never become homeless again.

Together, Mel Trotter Ministries and Family Promise of Grand Rapids walk alongside the families for a greater impact and to ensure they never become homeless again, but it takes a community to support ending homelessness.

Do you know someone who is on the verge of homelessness in your community?

Call 211 and ask for resources. Let the individual or family know they are not alone. They could be offered financial or food support to help prevent them from entering into homelessness.

Get involved.

Invest in helping people find a pathway home for the holidays. Donate at: www.givetopathwayhome.org Volunteer in the Kidz Korner area or other areas of the Mission and show the love and compassion of Jesus to people who are struggling. Go to: www.meltrotter.org/volunteer for a complete list of opportunities.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s