At their January 2021 board meeting, the Steelcase Foundation board of trustees approved a three-year $75,000 grant ($25,000 annually) to increase capacity of the female floor of Covenant House Michigan – Grand Rapids’ facility. The grant funds will assist with hiring and training costs to add a second caseworker and two resident advisors to support additional young women on the 28-bed female floor.
According to the Coalition to End Homelessness data from 2018, 611 youth 18-24 experienced at least one episode of homelessness in Kent County (7.2 percent of the total homeless population), and approximately 200 youth report being homeless or housing insecure each night. Covenant House Michigan – Grand Rapids is the only low barrier residential program serving homeless youth ages 18-24 in Grand Rapids, providing up to 90 days of safe residence as well 24/7 case management, mental and physical health stabilization, and life skills and employment training. Highly trained caseworkers, resident advisors, and employment and education specialists work with youth to secure educational credentials, full-time work, and safe, permanent housing.
Covenant House Michigan – Grand Rapids is also the only residential program in West Michigan specifically addressing the needs of LGBTQ+ youth, allowing individuals to choose their preferred pronouns and identify the appropriate floor where they will live, filling a much-needed gap in the community. By providing homeless young women with the resources, support, and safe space to heal from past trauma they can transition from homelessness to self-sufficiency. We’re excited to support Covenant House Michigan – Grand Rapids over the next three years as it looks to fully operationalize its shelter to support homeless young people in need so they can become thriving members of our community.