A new shelter in Grand Rapids is hoping to address a growing problem in the city: there is simply not enough room for the number of homeless families who need help. One official told me it’s heartbreaking…the lack of beds means, many shelters are having to turn women and children away, even when temperatures have plunged far below freezing overnight.
For local non-profit Family Promise, they’ve had a wait list over 100 families long, but now, with the new Fulton Manor Emergency Family Shelter opening in Grand Rapids, that wait list will drop to zero by next week.
Sheryl Schuch is the executive director at Family Promise.
“The homeless problem for families with kids especially is pretty significant in our community right now. The housing and rental housing situation has caused many families who thought they would never experience homelessness to find themselves homeless,” Schuch said. “About 70 percent of families that come through shelter for all our locations are single mom headed households. And we are hoping by having that space we can keep families together, by having that space. It is the most important thing we can do when they experience homelessness.”
Schuch says, families who stay there receive food, clothing and diapers, and help from staff in finding permanent housing.