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Dégagé cuts ribbon on first of $7.5 million expansion projects

Officials say, new facility will serve over 90,000 meals per year to homeless persons.

Dégagé Ministries cut the ribbon on the first phase of a nearly $8 million expansion Monday, as officials say, the new facility will serve tens of thousands of additional meals to those facing homelessness each year.

Located at the Northwest corner of Sheldon Boulevard and Cherry Street in downtown Grand Rapids, Officials from Dégagé Ministries say the new facility will dramatically increase its efforts to serve the unhoused community.

As part of a $7.5 million expansion, the new community center and dining room area will help Dégagé “provide more wellness activities, expand its workforce development program, and add more beds to its women’s overnight shelter program.”

In addition, the new cafeteria will increase the number of meals served to the homeless each year from 60,000 to 90,000.

Thelma Ensink is Dégagé ’s Executive Director. She says the new facility is an extension of Dégagé ’s mission--to treat the homeless with “dignity and respect.”

We want to make sure that people who are unhoused or are experiencing extreme poverty, just like all of us, have a beautiful space to be in,” Ensink said. “And that is what this place is all about.”

A full meal at the shelter costs $2, however, if someone does not have that, Dégagé will allow them to sign up for a chore to do instead.

Additional renovated sections are scheduled to be completed throughout the remainder of 2022.

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