Samaritas wins grant for senior housing project

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A $100,000 grant will help fund the development of Samaritas' 53-unit affordable living residence located at 600 Burton St. SE. Courtesy Samaritas

Samaritas recently received a $100,000 grant from the Grand Rapids Community Foundation to help fund the development of a 53-unit affordable living residence located at 600 Burton St. SE, the former site of St. Joseph Seminary Campus.

The faith-based nonprofit’s new affordable senior living community — featuring a unique blend of residences and amenities — aligns with the Community Foundation’s commitment to ensuring affordable housing options are available across Grand Rapids.

The facility will be housed in a historic building that stood vacant for years before Samartias’s acquisition. Recognized by the National Park Service, the 100-year-old building is being restored by Samaritas with historical elements preserved per federal regulations.

The residence is part of the organization’s new West Michigan Campus, which will serve children in foster care, those awaiting adoption, refugees and families facing substance use disorders.

“We are thankful for this generous grant from the Grand Rapids Community Foundation and to all who support the most vulnerable within the communities we are privileged to serve,” said Sam Beals, CEO of Samaritas. “As a key part of our new West Michigan Campus, the affordable living residence will help meet the increased needs of our city’s aging population.”

Despite COVID-19 halting many construction projects throughout the state, Grand Rapids City Manager Mark Washington recognized the demand for affordable housing, allowing Samaritas to continue construction and building restoration during the crisis. The project, which broke ground in November 2019, is on track to be completed in December 2020.

“This development is an excellent opportunity to provide seniors with what they need to thrive-housing and supports,” said Eugene Sueing, Community Foundation program director. “It’s imperative to help ensure seniors have access to quality affordable housing in the southeast side of Grand Rapids, one of our most diverse neighborhoods. With amenities such as a community room with a full kitchen and family dining area, community garden, and gathering space for classes and programs, the facility provides opportunities to build community and bring families together.”

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