Grand Rapids Community Assistance

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Where to Start

  • 2-1-1 -- This directory of Kent County community services and beyond is also available as a 24-hour telephone hotline. Dial 2-1-1. Toll-free call 1-800-887-1107. Download the app or live chat HWMUW.ORG/211.

Services include: Housing Information Legal Services Public Safety Mental Health Substance Abuse Services. In addition to crisis need, transportation, medical services, food and employment are also addressed. 211 gives access to the arts, education, and recreation. “The 2-1-1 database is updated daily as changes in local services and resources occur.”Se habla español.

  • Family Resource Guide -- This site is dedicated providing access to up-to-date community resources for families, social service providers, and professionals who work with children and families in Kent County.

The Family Resource Center is an uncomplicated site with a rich assortment of services. Using keyword, age, and interest filters you can generate a list of current local resources in seconds. A calendar of events exists to locate services in a specific time frame. R 362.9774 F21 at the Grand Rapids Public Library and in many area libraries.

  • Grand Rapids Housing Commission -- -Serving more than 3,900 West Michigan families. The Grand Rapids Housing Commission (GRHC) provides housing assistance to low-income residents of Grand Rapids, Michigan. In addition to the previously mentioned services, GRHC operates seven low-income housing developments, including family housing and apartments for seniors and disabled persons. GRHC administers federal Section 8 rental subsidy programs, home ownership and a transitional housing programs.
  • Helping Hand -- Helping Hand aids Michigan citizens facing economic hardship find the services they need. They focus their efforts on jobs and training, unemployment benefits, health care, family support and housing.

Helping Hand offers a variety of services to those who seek employment. Unique to their offering is the bonding to obtain employment, job fairs, college to career support, veteran's employment services and assistance in writing resumes and cover letters.


  • All addresses are for Grand Rapids, MI and all phone numbers are (616), unless otherwise specified.

Places To Stay

Drop-In Centers

Degage Ministries

144 S. Division 49503 | 454-1661

Printable list of services

  • For men and women. A shelter for women only is also available.

Heartside Ministry

54 S. Division 49503 | 235-7211

List of available programs.

Mel Trotter Day Center

225 Commerce Ave SW

Hours: 7am to 5 PM

  • Offers laundry facilities, computers, and iternet


YWCA Shelter

25 Sheldon Blvd. SE | 459-4681

24/7 Crisis Hotline 451-2744

Crisis hotline provides emergency and short-term support for domestic violence survivors and their dependent children including intervention, referrals, safety planning, and emergency shelter.

For all other YWCA Domestic Violence Services call 616-459-4652 (business hours only). Supportive services include transitional and long-term housing, help in finding employment, advocacy, and referrals for legal assistance.

Men's Shelters

Guiding Light Mission

255 S. Division | 451-0236

  • Back-to-Work Program provides a short-term stay for men who are employed or are seeking full-time employment
  • Provides 24 hour shelter during severe weather

Mel Trotter's Men's Shelter

225 Commerce SW | 588-8756

  • Check-in 4:30 pm-6:45 pm
  • Out by 7 am
  • Dinner served at 4:30-5:45 pm
  • Provides clothing, showers, toiletries, and resources for employment.


322 Front Ave SW | 242-9130

  • A transitional housing facility for men facing homelessness, including military veterans and men who have been in prison
  • Provides housing, counseling, employment assistance, 3 meals a day, mentoring

Women's Shelters/Missions

Degage's Open Door

144 S. Division | 454-1661

Open from 7:00pm-7:45am

  • Limited to women 18+
  • Drug testing completed on intake and randomly going forward
  • Reservations required and can be made by coming to the 2nd floor Life Enrichment Center at Degage during open hours (8:00-11:30am and 1:00-3:00pm Monday – Friday)

Mel Trotter's Women's Shelter

225 Commerce SW | 588-8788

  • Dinner is served at 5 pm.
  • Women and Children only.
  • Enter at the door with the ramp leading up to it.

Family Shelters/Missions

I.C.C.F. Family Haven Shelter

920 Cherry St SE | 336-9333

  • Emergency Housing 30 day shelter

Pathway Home

Mel Trotter and Family Promise teamed up to offer Pathway Home

225 Commerce Ave SW | 454-8249

  • Mel Trotter dedicated 22 rooms to homeless families and Family Promise provides the staff to help secure permanent housing and employment.

Family Promise of Grand Rapids

516 Cherry St SE | Grand Rapids, MI 49503 | 475-5227

Arbor Circle

1115 Ball Ave NE | 456-6571

  • Available to youth ages 16 to 20 who are experiencing homelessness and/or are without safe or stable housing. The length of service is up to 21 months. Youth staying/residing in the Counties of Kent, Ottawa, Montcalm, or Ionia may participate, and services are free.



Dwelling Place Main Office

101 Sheldon Ave SE, Suite #2 | 454-0928

Including homes, apartments, supportive housing, and transitional housing.

United Methodist Community House

904 Sheldon Ave SE | 452-3226

  • Transitional housing restricted to victims of prostitution and substance use/abuse.
  • Must be willing and serious about leaving the street, drug, and prostitution lifestyle.
  • For ages 18+
  • Lobby open from 7am-6pm
  • Provides treatment plans, mentors, social workers, and support groups

Y.W.C.A. West Central Michigan

25 Sheldon Blvd SE | 459-4681

Community Rebuilders

1120 Monroe NW, Ste. 220 | 458-5102

  • Assistance for veterans, persons with disabilities, low-income families and the chronically homeless
  • HOPWA program provides housing for persons with HIV/AIDS
  • Non-subsidized, affordable rentals available. Must complete application

Home Repair Services

1100 S. Division Ave | 241-2601

  • Free hands-on training in home repair skills
  • Affordable kitchen cabinets for remodeling projects
  • Emergency repairs when health or safety is at risk
  • Financial counseling for homeowners
  • Wheelchair ramps for those with mobility impairments
  • Practical energy saving assistance
  • To qualify for services, one must own home or be purchasing home, and meet an income restriction

Income Restriction Guidelines

Westown Jubilee Housing

724 W. Fulton St | 458-4841

  • Provides affordable permanent housing to low-income families on the West side.
  • Trains and coaches local homeowners on home repair and maintenance.
  • Helps low income families purchase their first home, using local banks, local craftsmen, and local products
  • Provides affordable rentals for low-income families

List of Available Properties

Guiding Light Mission

255 S. Division | 451-0236

  • Male only
  • Iron House program provides transitional housing ideal for those that have completed the Guiding Light Recovery Program
  • Typical rent is $400/month


In the Image

1823 S. Division Ave | 456-6150

  • A free thrift store for people in crisis needing basic clothing and houseware items. No documentation required.
  • Walk-ins welcome, but appointments preferred and are required after initial visit.

St. Andrews Clothing Center

267 Sheldon S.E. 49503 | 456-1454

  • September through June - Tuesdays & Thursdays 9:30-11:30a. Free.



Food Stamp Hotline for Michigan: 1-800-481-4989 Find out if you qualify.

Street Light Ministries-Burger Night

Street Light Ministries |745-1107

515 Division Ave.

  • Every 2nd and 4th Saturday of Each Month 6-7:30 pm
  • Street Light offers a free burger and music for anyone looking to be fed.
  • They also offer ministry and worship.

Street Light Ministries- Hannah's House

Street Light Ministries | 745-1107

515 Division Ave.

  • Every 2nd and 4th Friday of Each Month 5:30-8 PM
  • A place where women can find comfort through building relationships with other women and realizing their potential in Christ.
  • Women only, Children are welcome to accompany.
  • Serves dinner and includes praise and worship

Westminster Presbyterian Church

47 Jefferson SE 49503 | 456-1456

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:30a-2:30p

Degage Ministries

144 S Division Ave | 454-1661

  • Made-to-order meals for breakfast and dinner are available seven days a week at a low cost.

God's Kitchen

303 S. Division Ave 49503 | 454-4110

Mel Trotter Food Pantry

  • The food pantry is open every Thursday, from 10 am – 1:45 pm.
  • The entrance is at 47 Williams Street.
  • First time guests: please bring an ID for everyone in the household and a recent piece of mail.
  • For more information please call Stephen McVittie at (616)588-8728 or email


Health Services

Clinics & Hospitals

Spectrum Health – Blodgett

1840 Wealthy St. SE | 774-7444 or (866)989-7999

Emergency Care: Blodgett Hospital Prearrival Notification: 888.936.0005
Blodgett Hospital Emergency Department: 616.774.7740

St. Mary’s Hospital

200 Jefferson Ave SE | 685-5000 (General Information)
685-6000 (Patient Information)
685-6789 (Emergency Department)

Cherry Street Health Services

100 Cherry St. SE | 965-8200 or 965-8308 for Central Registration

St. Mary's Heartside Clinic

359 S. Division Ave | 685-3800 (Appointment Required)

  • Monday-Friday 6:50a-3:30p
  • Medical services are not free.

Kent County Health Department

Four Public Health Clinics Services Provided (Not all Services available at all clinics)

  • Free HIV and STI screening and counseling
  • Free TB and Hepatitis B & C screening and counseling
  • Free Immunizations and Vaccinations with a minor charge for administration (sliding scale)

Appointments for all Four Clinics: 616-623-7200

All Four Clinics Have the Same Hours

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday 8:00am - 11:30am, 12:45pm - 4:45pm

1st/3rd/5th Thursdays of the Month 12:45pm - 4:45pm

2nd/4th Thursdays 10:00am - 12:30pm, 1:45pm - 6:45pm

Main Location: 700 Fuller Ave NE 616-632-7020

South Clinic: 4700 Kalamazoo Ave SE 616-632-7025

North County Clinic: 4388 14 Mile Rd. NE 616-866-0632

Sheldon Clinic: 121 Franklin ST SE, Suite 130 616-336-3914

Mercy Health Infectious Disease

310 Lafayette SE, Suite 410 | 685-8200 or 888-800-7010

  • Provides counseling and case management for individuals with HIV or AIDS

St. Mary's Mercy Medical Center (multiple locations and services)

200 Jefferson Ave SE | 685-5000

Free Hygiene Supplies

Hygiene Supplies for organizations depend on availability: Days, times, restrictions, availability subject to change.

Degage Ministries

144 S. Division Ave | 454-1661

  • Personal care bags are distributed each week with items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, and lotion
  • Free private showers available - the only place in the neighborhood where this is offered
  • Laundry, underclothes, and rentable lockers are available for a low cost

St. Andrews Outreach

267 Sheldon Ave SE | 456-1454

  • September through June - Tuesdays & Thursdays 9:30-11:30a. Free.


Mental Health

Network 180 - Kent County's public mental health system.

They contract with more than 25 local human service agencies that specialize in providing care to children and families, teens, adults, and seniors who are experiencing mental health or substance abuse problems, or living with a developmental disability.

790 Fuller Ave. NE | 336-3909 or (800)749-7720

  • 24/7 Crisis and/or suicide prevention lifeline (800)273-TALK, (800)273-8255

Heartside Ministry

54 S. Division Ave | 235-7211

  • Counseling available - open to all, but with a Heartside Neighborhood focus.

Servants Center800 Monroe Ave NW #202 | (616) 456-8512 |

  • Provides street outreach and support services to the mentally ill, poor and homeless people.
  • Provides crisis management,support to keep clients stable and educates the public on how to respond to the mentally ill poor and homeless.
  • Collaborate with local agencies, ministries and providers for the best care of their clients. 

Catholic Charities of West Michigan/ Social Services

40 Jefferson Ave SE | 456-1443

Roman Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids

360 S. Division Ave | 243-0491

Degage Ministries

144 S. Division Ave | 454-1661

  • Bible Study: Monday 1:00-2:00pm
  • Women's Support Group: Friday 9:15am
  • AA: Tuesday & Thursday 10:30am
  • Men's Support Group: Friday 10:30am

Family Outreach

1939 S. Division Ave | 247-3815

  • Jail Mental Health Services for Kent County Correctional Facilities, Recovery Management (addiction and co-occuring mental instability), and Outpatient Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Program

United Methodist Community House

904 Sheldon Ave SE | 452-3226

  • Transitional housing restricted to victims of prostitution and substance use/abuse.
  • Must be willing and serious about leaving the street, drug, and prostitution lifestyle.
  • For ages 18+
  • Lobby open from 7am-6pm
  • Provides treatment plans, mentors, social workers, and support groups

Western Michigan University / Center for Counseling and Psychological Services

200 Ionia Ave SW | 771-4171 (Appointment Required)

  • Monday-Thursday 9am-9pm
  • Friday 9am-5pm
  • For individuals, couples, and families


25 Sheldon Blvd SE | 459-4681 (Main Office)
or 459-4652 (Counseling Center)

  • Programs and classes for domestic violence, abuse, and sexual assault

Street Light Ministries- CHICS Program

515 S. Division Ave | 745-1107 CHICS stands for Christian Helpers Inspiring Communities

  • C.H.I.C.s is support group for young women to serve our community and each other.
  • The Group meets every Thursday from 6-8 pm. All meetings are confidential.


Dental Services

Cherry Health Services

100 Cherry St. SE | 965-8200 or 965-8308 for Central Registration

Kent County Health Department

South Clinic 4700 Kalamazoo Ave SE 632-7200 for an appointment

Kent County Health Department partners with My Community Dental Centers

  • Accepts Medicaid Insurance for Dental Procedures
  • Offers discounted services for people who are uninsured or underinsured.


The Meijer pharmacy helps reduce health care costs by offering select free antibiotic prescriptions. You must present your doctor's prescription, to receive your maximum 14 day supply of normal oral dosages. Prescriptions that are part of the program are free regardless of insurance or co-pay. The program does not include extended release formulations. Prescription must be picked up at store in person.

Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy

  • No longer in business

Senior Services

Porter Hills

4450 Cascade Road | 949-4975

  • Variety of programs available including in-home care and assisted living

Visiting Angels

1514 Wealthy St SE Suite 270 | 243-7080

  • Home care services, companion care, personal care

Senior Neighbors

333 Division Ave S, Suite 100 | 459-3040

  • Helping seniors to remain at home and independent


Substance Abuse

Grand Rapids Narcotics Anonymous

  • Hotline 1-800-230-4085
  • Addiction and recovery services
  • Updated list of meeting locations for Greater Grand Rapids Area

Sanford House

  • 540 Cherry Street SE | 288-6970
  • Drug and alcohol rehab and recovery center for women

Network 180 -- Kent County's public mental health system

790 Fuller Ave NE 49503 | 336-3909 or 1-800-749-7720

  • 24 hour Help Line: 1-800-273-8255

Family Outreach Center

1939 S. Division Ave | 247-3815

  • Adult services for substance abuse

Cherry St. Heart of the City Health Center

  • Out-Patient Counseling available at their Leonard St. Office (1400 Leonard St. NE)
  • If unsure of what services a patron needs, instruct them to call their central registration department and they will help them narrow down which services they require.

Leonard Street Office: 954-1991
Central Registration Department: 965-8308

Salvation Army Turning Point

1215 Fulton St E | 742-0351

  • Sub-Acute Medical detox, available 24/7. Call ahead - need ID.
  • Restricted to 18 years and older
  • Short-term Residential Treatment (must be 72 hours drug and alcohol free).

Grand Rapids Alcoholics Anonymous

Kent County Central Office of Alcoholics Anonymous

4920 Plainfield Ave NE Suite 19 | 913-9216 (office) & 913-9149 (24-hr hotline)

  • Website lists all group meetings in GR area.

Arbor Circle

1115 Ball Ave NE | 456-6571

  • Counseling and treatment planning for those recovering from alcohol and drugs

Veteran's Services

Healthcare for Homeless Vets

620 Century Ave SW #120 | (616) 356-1746

  • Department of Veterans Affairs provides an extensive website of services.
  • Provides heath care, benefits, GI Bill, loans, insurance, survivor benefits, burials and memorials, resources for jobs, and special events.


322 Front Ave SW | 242-9130

  • A transitional housing facility for men facing homelessness, including military veterans and men who have been in prison
  • Provides housing, counseling, employment assistance, 3 meals a day, mentoring


Jobs & Financial Counseling

Michigan Works! (State of Michigan)

121 Franklin SE, Suite 120 | 336-4040 or (888)779-7774

215 Straight Ave NW | 336-4460 or (888)779-7774

  • Monday - Friday 8:00a-6:00p
  • Employment and training services. Unemployment compensation.

Community Literacy Directory

1120 Monroe Avenue NW, Suite 240 | Grand Rapids, MI 49503 | 459-5151

  • Operated by the Literacy Center of West Michigan
  • Connecting people of all ages to education and literacy services in West Michigan
  • Topics include: literacy, GED, ESL, job training, computer, citizenship, Spanish, etc.
  • Search area agencies for services and programs


322 Front Ave SW | 242-9130

  • A transitional housing facility for men facing homelessness, including military veterans and men who have been in prison
  • WorkReady: includes a generic job application, Careeer Ready101, and the National Career Readiness Certificate
  • WorkKeys Ready: includes additional training to receive the National Career Readiness Certificate

First United Methodist Church:

227 E. Fulton St 49503 | 451-2879 ext.125 |

  • Sign up on Tuesdays only at 7:00am. Bring photo ID. Work 2 hours for $15.

Goodwill Employment Center

3777 Sparks Dr SE | 451-8800 ext. 1177

  • Open from 8:00a to 4:00p
  • One-on-one assistance, resume development, access to community resources, bilingual services, and various employment service programs.
  • Computer lab and phone access available
  • Free computer education courses: Introduction to Computers, Internet, Word, Excel and PowerPoint

M-TECH Service Center - Grand Rapids Community College

622 Godfrey SW 49503 | 234-3800 (phone)

Women's Resource Center (WRC)

678 Front Ave. NW Suite 180, 49504 | 458-5443

  • Assessment, testing, counseling, training programs, and resume assistance for women.


Legal Assistance Center -- Located on the 5th Floor of the Kent Count Courthouse

180 Ottawa NW, Suite 5100, 49503 | 632-6000

Legal Aid of Western Michigan

89 Ionia NW, Suite 400, 49503 | 774-0672

  • CIVIL LAW ONLY; no criminal cases, no divorce.
  • Free services for low income (at or slightly over poverty guidelines) and seniors.
  • Legal Resource Library

Resources for Ex-Offenders

Legal Aid of Western Michigan's Finding Your Way in Kent County


322 Front Ave SW, 49504 | 242-9130

  • A transitional housing facility for men facing homelessness, including military veterans and men who have been in prison
  • Provides housing, counseling, employment assistance, 3 meals a day, mentoring

Project Rehab Residential Reentry Services -- Project Rehab Community Alternatives Program

801 College Ave SE, 49507 | 776-0891 x265

Jobs for Felons

  • This site is specifically for ex-offenders re-entering the work force
  • Provides updated listings of felon friendly employers and employment


Fish For My People

207 E. Fulton St | 774-2045

  • Call one day in advance, 9am - 3pm. Does not run all days.
  • For doctor's and other necessary appointments for the handicapped and elderly.

American Red Cross of Greater Grand Rapids

1050 Fuller Ave NE, 49503 | 454-7433

  • American Red Cross drivers take senior citizens, low-income and disabled individuals to medical, mental health and social service appointments.
  • Call Monday - Friday, 8:30a - 4:00p
  • Some emergency funds for transportation may be available.


144 Division Ave S | 454-1661

  • Provide Daily Bus passes with proof of a job/job interview
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