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.

Homeless photo

West Michigan is heading into a deep freeze with temperatures and wind chills dropping into the single digits. Grand Rapids Heartside District and its homeless missions are extending hours and preparing additional accommodations for an influx of patrons. WGVU spoke with Mel Trotter’s Vice President of Programs, Adrienne Goodstal.

Kent County-based Community Rebuilders is one of two dozen national nonprofits receiving a multimillion dollar grant aimed at addressing homelessness. Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos are donating $97.5 million to be shared nationally among 24 nonprofits whose mission is fighting family homelessness. In Kent County, Community Rebuilders is receiving a $5 million grant through the Bezos Day 1 Families Fund. 

Leaders from more than 70 communities across the United States and Canada are expected to attend a conference in Detroit to discuss efforts to end chronic homelessness and homelessness among U.S. military veterans.

National nonprofit Community Solutions is hosting the June 26-27 event at Cobo Center.

Its part of the Built for Zero campaign. Community Solutions says Detroit is one of the cities participating in the campaign.

As a deep freeze sets in across half the country, officials are urging people to help those most vulnerable, especially the homeless and the elderly. Forecasters are warning people to be wary of hypothermia and frostbite from the arctic blast that's gripping a large swath from the Midwest to the Northeast. The prolonged, dangerous cold weather has sent advocates for the homeless scrambling to get people off the streets and to bring in extra beds for them.

Homeless Man
Garry Knight / Homeless by a Wall - Flickr

Partnering to End Homelessness, a collaboration to solve the homeless epidemic in West Michigan. We talk about a most recent campaign with guests from Mel Trotter Ministries and Family Promise.

Brothers collect cans, raise more than $1,500 for homeless

Aug 21, 2017

After collecting pop cans all summer, two brothers raised more than $1,500 to help the homeless in Grand Rapids and host a pizza party. Ten-year-old Caleb Graves and 7-year-old Jacob decided to act after seeing a man panhandling. Their goal was to raise money to buy pizzas for the homeless who are served by Degage Ministries. Peppino's Sports Grille ended up donating 30 pizzas for 100 people Friday, so the money donated by the Graves brothers will be used for birthday parties.

Man, 20, gets life for slaying on Grand Rapids campus

Aug 17, 2017

A 20-year-old man has been sentenced to life in prison without parole for killing a 34-year-old homeless woman on a western Michigan college campus. Marcus Bivins learned his sentence Wednesday after being found guilty of first-degree murder last month in the April 2016 death of 34-year-old Jeanne Huntoon of Muskegon.

Homeless Man
Garry Knight / Homeless by a Wall - Flickr

Partnering to end Homelessness, a conversation with guests  from the community on the topic of homelessness.

Mel Trotter Ministries is opening a youth house with the hopes of helping young men transition out of homelessness, as the Youth House officially opened to tenants April 3rd. Vice President of Programs Adrienne Goodstal says the house will specifically be for troubled youths. 

"We know that one of the fastest growing homeless population is youth, 18 to 24," Goodstal said. "And on any given night there are 200 unaccompanied youth that are experiencing homelessness."