GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — This week’s Connecting with Community Awards finalist is working towards housing justice and helping individuals find a place that they can call their home.
Inner City Christian Federation has been an established non-profit in the Grand Rapids community for more than 40 years. Their mission is reflected on a personal level in the people they assist in finding forever homes. ICCF provides temporary housing through Family Haven for individuals in a crisis and that leads into finding them an affordable home to rent and eventually, home ownership. ICCF does not stop there as they invest into people’s lives by educating them with classes to add life skills to their knowledge.
Michelle Covington, ICCF’s vice president of advancement, tells Brian’s story of triumph after he was evicted from his home in 2018. From there, he was placed in temporary housing at Family Haven. Through the Community Housing Initiative program, Brian was recently able to move into his newly renovated home.
“If we can move people from homelessness to a rental property and eventually to home ownership, that’s beautiful. It’s the way it should all work together,” Covington said.
That’s exactly how it’s working out for Brian.
Ryan VerWys, president & CEO of ICCF, believes the most exciting part of the Community Homes Initiative has been the partnership with local churches that help renovate the homes. ICCF does a lot of the hard construction and remodeling, but the churches make a house a beautiful place to come home to.
For Brian, working with ICCF on finding housing since his eviction has been a phenomenal experience.
“They do everything to help you help yourself in the long run and that’s amazing,” he said.
There are eight Connecting with Community Awards finalists in the 11th year of the program. Inner City Christian Federation is the eighth and final finalist to be announced. The winner will be announced at the Connecting with Community Awards on Wednesday, May 22, 2019.