Nonprofits expand partnership with transitional housing, new hires

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Mackenzie Vilmont Courtesy Family Promise of Grand Rapids

United Methodist Community House and Family Promise of Grand Rapids are further expanding their partnership by providing transitional housing for families who are homeless and hiring two individuals to support family needs.

Family Promise of Grand Raids will operate the transitional housing program in the United Methodist Community House-owned Sheldon House, located on the southeast side of Grand Rapids.

To meet the community’s growing needs, Family Promise hired Mackenzie Vilmont as family and engagement stabilization coordinator to work alongside families and children in United Methodist Community House’s Child Development Center, as well as Rachel Siebert as the “Grandparents Raising Grandchildren” program coordinator to provide tools, resources and support for caregivers.

Rachel Siebert Courtesy Family Promise of Grand Rapids

“With a rapidly changing world and environment for nonprofits like UMCH, it is important to adapt to changing circumstances,” said Carla Moore, COO of United Methodist. “For us to continue to thrive, we need to maintain our commitment to organizational excellence in customer service, personnel and programming. This means working with other nonprofits in the community to fulfill a need outside of our capabilities.”

Sheldon House families share costs associated with maintaining housing, such as rent and utilities, allowing families to work together for the benefit of the entire household. While everyone has their own room, and each family has their own bathroom, they share a kitchen and living space. Doing so helps with costs of living and creates a sense of community. The overall intent of the shared housing program is to create a safe environment that is affordable and convenient. Family Promise and United Methodist said they know housing solutions should meet the unique needs of the families, and shared housing does that.

“UMCH is an incredible partner and a staple in this community. This shared housing not only provides families with a home, but it also keeps affordable housing online in our community,” said Cheryl Schuch, CEO of Family Promise. “Partnering with UMCH is a no-brainer. They do great work with kids and families, and we are excited to assist more families and children in Kent County with a place to call home.”

Additional staff, employed by Family Promise, will work closely with United Methodist staff to add capacity for local families in need of affordable child care and resources to create and maintain a stable family dynamic.

“UMCH remains committed to and believes community collaboration is the only way to thrive and be effective and impactful,” Moore said. “Family Promise’s shared housing program and their support of our family engagement and Grandparents Raising Grandchildren initiatives demonstrate exactly what is possible when community partners work together toward common goals.”

More information about United Methodist and Family Promise is at umchousegr.org and familypromisegr.org.

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