Grand Rapids, Michigan, DATE – Guiding Light has received a $10,000 grant from the Consumers Energy Foundation supporting the temporary emergency shelter at 250 Ionia Ave. SW in downtown Grand Rapids for residents experiencing homelessness.
The grant helps offset the extra costs Guiding Light incurred to help open the temporary shelter this past winter through a coalition with Mel Trotter Ministries, the City of Grand Rapids and Kris Elliott of Evergreen Companies. In light of the global COVID-19 pandemic, these organizations recognized the need for additional shelter space where guests would have appropriate physical distancing.
Guiding Light contributed financial support for rent, utilities and refurbishment to transform the 30,000 square-foot facility into a safe and secure warming center and overnight shelter, in addition to providing clothing, shoes, food and personal care items.
“Compassionate community partners like the Consumers Energy Foundation and our generous donors make it possible for us step in to care for those living at the margins of society when help is needed most,” said Stuart P. Ray, executive director of Guiding Light. “The temporary emergency shelter helped ensure all residents had access to a warm, safe place to sleep in winter, in addition to nutritious food to eat and the ability to better safeguard themselves from COVID-19.”
This past winter, the facility hit capacity for men utilizing the space, with 225 seeking shelter there many nights. The average number of guests was 80, including men, women and couples.
About Guiding Light
Founded in 1929 as the West Fulton St. Mission, Guiding Light has grown into a robust recovery and re-engagement community designed to help those living at society’s margins fulfill their God-given potential. The nonprofit has been building on a near century of compassion and celebrated more than 90 years of serving Grand Rapids. Through its Back to Work, Recovery and Iron House programs, Guiding Light works with men struggling with addiction and homelessness to return to society. Since 2017, Guiding Light has earned a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar, which underscores our commitment to accountability and transparency. For more information, visit guidinglightworks.org.
About the Consumers Energy Foundation
The Consumers Energy Foundation is the charitable arm of Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest energy provider. The Consumers Energy Foundation enables communities to thrive and grow by investing in what’s most important to Michigan – its people, our planet and Michigan’s prosperity. In 2020, the Consumers Energy Foundation, Consumers Energy and its employees and retirees contributed over $20 million to Michigan nonprofits. For more information about the Consumers Energy Foundation, visit www.ConsumersEnergy.com/foundation.