Partner Story

Grand Rapids Nehemiah Project

Grant Recipient

Grand Rapids Nehemiah Project

Awarded Amount


In July, the Grand Rapids Nehemiah Project received a $100,000 grant to support its Ignite the Movement Vision Campaign, which will help Nehemiah to secure its permanent home at the Grand Rapids Center for Community Transformation (GRCCT), and transform the building to become a hub for community and economic development in the Madison Square neighborhood.

The 33,000 sq. ft. building will house Grand Rapids Nehemiah Project and its social enterprises Rising Grinds Café and Building Bridges Professional Services, as well as its collaborative partners NAACP-GR and Bethany Christian Services’ Youth Services, and offer meeting and event space for up to 300 people. Building Bridges will assist with the renovation and ongoing maintenance of the building, and Rising Grinds will expand its breadth to include catering and event services for guests. Together the renovated building and its collaborative partners will focus on job creation, holistic development, community advocacy, equity, economic development, and workforce preparedness, bringing job opportunities, training, and economic prosperity to the neighborhood.

With its partners, Nehemiah has developed a strategic plan to renovate GRCCT into a space of sustainable equity-focused collaboration through its commitment to quadruple bottom line (people, planet, profit, purpose). Its efforts will include:

  • The building space will facilitate collaboration among GRCCT partners and employ 37 full-time and 27 part-time staff in the Madison Square neighborhood, generating nearly $3.5 million annually for the local economy.
  • GRCCT will seek local buy-in and community ownership through neighborhood education and volunteer days, engaging 500 individuals and serving as a catalyst to draw additional economic activity into the neighborhood.
  • Building activities will increase employment connections and support a trained workforce through GED completion, mentorship, support services, and employment training in construction, landscaping, small engine repair, and hospitality and food services for over 500 youth and neighborhood residents annually.

We’re excited to follow Grand Rapids Nehemiah Project’s progress through its efforts to renovate and rebrand GRCCT into a community hub and driver of economic prosperity for the Madison Square neighborhood. To learn more about the project and its collaborative partners, check out the Ignite the Vision Campaign website here.