In The Image hosting grand opening for new location

In The Image moved to its location at 4255 Kalamazoo Ave. SE in February. Courtesy In The Image

A 33-year-old nonprofit will celebrate the official opening of its new location in southeast Grand Rapids this week.

In The Image will host a ribbon cutting at 3 p.m. Thursday to celebrate the grand opening of its new location at 4255 Kalamazoo Ave. SE in Grand Rapids, just north of 44th Street.

The in-person event is by invitation only due to COVID-19 restrictions, but all are welcome to watch the livestream on Facebook.

In The Image moved to the new facility in February from its former site at 1823 S. Division Ave. in the Burton Heights neighborhood, where it had been located for two decades.

Its No. 1 goal was to find a location that would ensure it can continue to serve the community in the same way it has since 1988 when it opened its first free store in the Heartside District. Since then, In The Image has continued to provide a free store where members of the community can shop for basic necessities such as personal hygiene items and toiletries, clothing, shoes and housewares.

With funds from the sale of its previous building to the city of Grand Rapids and its Building Hope capital campaign, In The Image designed a space suited to the needs of the community. A new free store, donation center, sustainability room, and community and education spaces will better accommodate all programs currently offered by the nonprofit with room to grow and expand these services in the future, In The Image said.

“Because we were intentional with the design of the new location, this building allows In The Image to continue providing the same services that so many rely on while creating new programs and opportunities necessary to meet the growing needs of the community,” said Elliot Talen, the nonprofit’s board chair. “We are excited to settle into a new home that will allow our organization to experience growth while improving our ability to serve new and existing members in meaningful ways.”

In The Image thanked the community for the ongoing support and generosity that made this move possible.

“Since the beginning, In The Image has always been able to count on the support from our incredible community, and this new endeavor has been no different,” Executive Director Bethann Egan said. “We are extremely grateful for the generosity of the many supporters who partnered with us to ensure that In The Image continues to strengthen our impact on the entire community as we begin to dive deeper into addressing the systemic issues our neighbors in need face each day and walk the journey together in becoming part of the solution.”

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