This is a partial listing of the many groups in the Grand Rapids area that are working to assist those in need and to strengthen the community. Some of the descriptions have been taken directly from the groups’ materials. If you would like your group to be included in this list, please send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org with “Grand Rapids Resource” in the subject field. An updated list will be posted on our website: www.americanprogress.org/religion.
ACCESS (All-County Churches Emergency Support System): ACCESS is a network of congregations, individuals and the community-at-large, working together to meet needs in Kent County. ACCESS seeks to provide its 350-member congregations with the knowledge they need to make their resources more effective and to minimize duplication. Among its efforts, ACCESS coordinates food pantries and drives, offers casework services to help congregations assist individuals in need, and sponsors a Holiday Giving Network.
355 Sheldon St. SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Web address: www.accessconnects.org
ACSET (Area Community Services Employment and Training Council): ACSET works to create opportunities for economic self-sufficiency for low-income, economically disadvantaged, elderly, disabled, unemployed and under-employed individuals, and dislocated workers.
144 East Fulton St. Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Web address: www.nwd.org
Christian Reformed Church, Office of Social Justice and Hunger Action: The Office of Social Justice and Hunger Action (OSJHA) is a ministry of the Christian Reformed Church (CRC). Understanding that hunger is always part of a complex web of natural disasters, poverty, oppression, structural injustice and spiritual alienation, the CRC formed the OSJHA to address these root causes. OSJHA educates CRC members, encourages and supports their engagement in social justice issues, and is occasionally involved in direct advocacy. OSJHA provides a wide range of services, from information and education to direct action.
2850 Kalamazoo SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49560
Web address: www.crcna.org/justice
The Delta Strategy: The Delta Strategy serves as a catalyst for social change by fostering community learning and problem-solving. It works to build a community in which all members and sectors are empowered to participate and effectively create a better future for all. The Delta Strategy convenes Dialogue/Action Groups on specific issues each year—literacy is the current focus. It also sponsors volunteer opportunities, fundraising and community-awareness events around these topics.
c/o Grand Rapids Community College 143 Bostwick NE Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Web address: www.deltastrategy.org
Goodwill Industries of West Michigan: The primary mission of Goodwill is to help people attain the skills they need to become successful members of the workforce. It is one of the world’s largest non-profit providers of education, training and career services for people with disadvantages, such as welfare dependency, homelessness, and lack of education or work experience, as well as those with physical, mental and emotional disabilities. Goodwill Industries of West Michigan provides a broad range of employment and training services for those seeking work or the skills necessary to get work. It also provides business services, such as vocational evaluation and recruitment and placement, and multiple Goodwill stores throughout the region.
Goodwill Industries Workforce Development Center 765 West Norton Muskegon, MI 49441 (231) 739-9010
Web address: www.goodwillwm.org
GRACE (Grand Rapids Area Center for Ecumenism): Originally formed as a church council, GRACE is now an independent, non-profit organization. GRACE programs include offering assistance to low-income AIDS patients, working to alleviate poverty, raising money to fight hunger locally and globally, fostering community around issues of faith and race, and promoting public transportation in Grand Rapids.
207 East Fulton, 3rd Floor Grand Rapids, MI 49503-3210
Web address: www.graceoffice.org
GROW (Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women): GROW is a non-profit economic development organization that provides women with opportunities to develop the skills and acquire the knowledge needed to achieve economic independence through self-employment. Focusing on small business, GROW provides the training and ongoing counseling needed to start a business, plus several support services needed to sustain or expand a business. The wide range of training sessions offered by GROW also focuses on developing economic literacy. In addition, GROW offers Individual Development Accounts as a means of building assets.
25 Sheldon SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Web address: www.growbusiness.org
Hispanic Center of Western Michigan: The Hispanic Center of Western Michigan is a non-profit organization serving the needs of the Hispanic and broader community. It works to provide an avenue for education and openness to discuss distinctions and values of different nationalities. The Center also focuses on the common thread that unites all people: a desire for understanding and respect of our differences. The Hispanic Center’s services include interpretation and translation, employment services, cultural activities and education, programs for youth, English as a second language, immigration assistance, domestic violence counseling, food distribution, a secondhand store, and information and referrals.
730 Grandville Ave. SW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Web address: www.hispanic-center.org
Inner City Christian Federation: In response to God’s call to justice, the Inner City Christian Federation provides housing opportunities and services that encourage family responsibility and independence, thereby helping to build stable communities. ICCF’s three main programs focus on emergency housing, long-term affordable rental housing and home ownership opportunities education services. ICCF strives to meet families where they are in their housing needs and to provide the opportunities and encouragement to help them achieve success in realizing their housing goals.
816 Madison Ave. SE Grand Rapids, MI 49507
Web address: www.iccf.org
Kent County Tax Credit Coalition: Kent County Tax Credit Coalition (KCTCC) is comprised of community organizations working cooperatively to utilize the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and other various tax credits as a means to improve financial independence for working, low and moderate income individuals and families. KCTCC provides free income-tax preparation sites in the Grand Rapids area, as well as information about taxes, tax preparation and the EITc=
118 Commerce St. SW Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Progressive Women’s Alliance: The Progressive Women’s Alliance of West Michigan is a non-partisan organization working to revitalize grass-roots involvement in the political process. In order to secure a just and socially responsible society, it supports an efficient and effective government that empowers citizens to achieve success, balances the power of the private sector and assures a reasonable standard of living for all citizens, consistent with human dignity. The Progressive Women’s Alliance meets on the third Wednesday of each month at 5 p.m., at Women’s City Club, 254 E. Fulton St., Grand Rapids.
P.O. Box 1315 Grand Rapids, MI 49501
Web address: www.progressivewomensalliance.org
The Right Place: The Right Place, Inc. is a regional, non-profit economic development organization that is directed by a board of business and community leaders. Its mission is to promote area economic growth through high-quality employment, productivity and technology. To do so, its programs focus on retaining existing jobs, supporting local business growth and attracting new businesses to the greater Grand Rapids area. The Right Place offers a wide range of business-assistance services, providing links to education, government and other businesses for the purposes of workforce development, business and community growth.
161 Ottawa Ave. NW, Suite 400 Grand Rapids, MI 49503-2701 (616) 771-0325 Email: email@example.com
Web address: www.rightplace.org
Salvation Army: The Salvation Army’s mission is “to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name.” The Salvation Army of greater Grand Rapids and Kent County offers programs that assist individuals in need of temporary housing, support families in trouble, and ensure that the children of the community are provided for. Resources include job counseling, family development and parenting classes, and a variety of Sunday services at two locations in the greater Grand Rapids area.
1215 East Fulton
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
The SOURCE: The SOURCE is a not-for-profit employee support organization designed to help employees keep their jobs, receive training to enhance their employment, and help employees move into better positions within or across companies. The SOURCE offers courses for community members in everything from computer skills to home ownership, as well as on-site caseworkers to solve employment- and home-related problems, and other workforce development services.
1409 Buchanan Ave. SW
Grand Rapids, MI 49507
Web address: www.grsource.org
United Way (Heart of West Michigan United Way): The United Way invests donations in the Grand Rapids community by funding hundreds of local programs and services, from child abuse intervention to job counseling to meal delivery for seniors. To connect community members with these services, Heart of West Michigan United Way offers the 2-1-1 service. Dialing 2-1-1 at any time of day, any day of the week provides a free connection to resources, programs and volunteer opportunities.
118 Commerce Ave. SW Grand Rapids, MI 49503-4106
Web address: www.unitedwaycares.com
Urban League: The mission of the Urban League movement is to enable African Americans to secure economic self-reliance, parity, power and civil rights. To achieve these goals, the Urban League focuses on five areas: education and youth empowerment; economic empowerment; health and quality-of-life empowerment to build healthy and safe communities; civic engagement and leadership empowerment to encourage active roles in shaping communities; and civil rights and racial justice empowerment to eradicate all barriers to equal participation in all aspects of American society.
745 Eastern Ave. S.E. Grand Rapids, MI 49503
West Michigan Call to Renewal: Call to Renewal is a national network of churches, faith-based organizations and individuals working to overcome poverty in America. Through local and national partnerships with groups from across the theological and political spectrum, Call to Renewal convenes the broadest table of Christians focused on anti-poverty efforts. It works to influence local and national public policies and priorities, while growing and developing a movement of Christians committed to overcoming poverty.
The Grand Rapids Area Center for Ecumenism (GRACE) 207 East Fulton, 3rd Floor Grand Rapids, MI 49503-3210
(616) 774-2042, ext. 124
West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology (WMCAT): The mission of the West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology is to provide opportunities for people of all ages to seek, learn and grow in an environment that inspires hope and motivates individuals to make positive social change and economic progress in their lives and in the community. WMCAT fosters programs that inspire students to achieve, trains workers for success and builds healthy communities as a result. WMCAT’s student program works with local schools to provide selected students with artistic instruction that will stimulate and improve their academic performance. The adult program trains workers with the technical skills necessary to succeed in industries such as health care.
98 East Fulton, Suite 202 Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Web address: www.wmcat.org
West Michigan Strategic Alliance: The mission of the West Michigan Strategic Alliance is to be a catalyst for regional collaboration to make West Michigan the best place to live, work and play in the Midwest. The Alliance believes that the most successful future will come from regional decisions that balance economic prosperity, environmental integrity and social justice. It has convened committees to conduct research and develop strategies aimed at achieving these goals, focused on six areas: a regional mindset, a prosperous economy, community through diversity, a sustainable environment, urban centers, and tri-plex growth.
44 East 8th St., Suite 400
Holland, MI 49423
Web address: www.wm-alliance.org