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Degage' Ministries Hosts Interactive Exhibit To Raise Awareness About Homelessness

Degage Ministries
Dégagé Ministries

To raise awareness of the homeless situation in Grand Rapids… Degage’ Ministries is taking part in “The World of Winter” event.  This allows local residents an opportunity to see the “personal” side of homelessness… the devastation as well as some of the success.

Degage’ Ministries downtown homeless shelter is hosting “Project Hope.” Officials are working with Downtown Grand Rapids Incorporated’s World of Winter event.

“To be able to spread awareness about homelessness and poverty and we did this by creating a nine-exhibit art installation; and each one of these exhibits features on or two of our patrons.”

That’s Thelma Ensink.  She’s Degage Ministries Executive Director.  She says the exhibition allows residents in Grand Rapids to basically meet if you will, some of their patrons…each of which has a unique story.

“So, you’ll see a full life size cut-out of them and then a QR code you scan on your phone and you’ll get to hear their stories. And these stories are just amazing. And what we want to communicate, is that, yes, homelessness and poverty is so tough. And yes, this pandemic is so tough.  But these stories bring hope, you hear how they’re overcoming the barriers, how they’re meeting their goals.”

Ensink says the exhibits are stationed throughout the city- you can access interactive maps on their Facebook page.

“And there’s two different loops that people can do.  If you just have time on your lunch hour, you can do a quick 17-minute loop, which is about point-8 miles and see some of the exhibits.  And if you have more time, maybe with the family you can go for the full 3.5 mile loop.. it’s about an hour walk, and see all the exhibits.”

The weather, for the most part, has changed for the better to allow you time to get to the exhibits-which will be on display until the end of the month.  Ensink says when people see the stories of some of their patrons-they’re hoping the community will be encouraged to support Degage’ Ministries and it’s mission.