Published : Friday, 08 Feb 2013, 12:43 PM EST
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - Homelessness can be lethal. It can cut a person's lifespan by an average of 25 years, making it a public health emergency. Well House i s opening its doors to help people who live on the streets to come in out of the cold and have a place of their own to call home. The Well House emphasizes living gently on the earth and with each other. Recycling, gardening, energy conservation, gathering, sharing and respect are all part of the plan. Currently, three Grand Rapids Well House locations are housing more than a dozen people who once had no place to live. The plan is to expand the program with the purchase of more homes where people with no or low income can rent rooms. You can help by volunteering to be part of their gardening program, by helping with home repairs, or by donating blankets and financial gifts to support the program. Executive Director Tami VandenBerg also extends an invitation to everyone to stop by a big event to benefit the Well House Urban Farming Initiative. It's happening on Thursday, February 28 from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. at The Meanwhile , 1005 Wealthy SE in Grand Rapids. Admission to the event is free with 30% of sales from open to close going to support the Well House project. Stop by, raise a glass and help people in need find new homes!