FPGR will operate the program in the UMCH-owned Sheldon House, located on the SE side of Grand Rapids. To meet the community’s growing need Family Promise added a Family Engagement Specialist to work alongside families and children in UMCH’s Child Development Center (CDC) as well as a Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Coordinator to provide tools, resources and support for caregivers.
“With a rapidly changing world and environment for non-profits like UMCH, it is important to adapt to changing circumstances,” said Carla Moore, UMCH Chief Operating Officer. “For us to continue to thrive, we need to maintain our commitment to organizational excellence in customer service, personnel, and programming. This means working with other nonprofits in the community to fulfill a need outside of our capabilities.”
Sheldon House families share costs associated with maintaining housing such as rent and utilities. Allowing families to work together for the benefit of the entire household. While everyone has their own room, and each family has their own bathroom, they share a kitchen and living space.
Doing so helps with costs of living and creates a sense of community. The overall intent of the shared housing program is to create a safe environment that is not only affordable, but convenient. Both FPGR and UMCH know that housing solutions need to meet the unique needs of the families and shared housing meets those needs.
“UMCH is an incredible partner and a staple in this community. This shared housing not only provides families with a home, but it also keeps affordable housing online in our community,” said Cheryl Schuch, CEO of Family Promise. “Partnering with UMCH is a no-brainer. They do great work with kids and families and we are excited to assist more families and children in Kent County with a place to call home!”
Additional staff, employed by FPGR, will work closely with UMCH staff to add capacity for local families in need of affordable childcare and resources to create and maintain a stable family dynamic.
“UMCH remains committed to and believes community collaboration is the only way to thrive and be effective and impactful. Family Promise’s shared housing program and their support of our Family Engagement and Grandparents Raising Grandchildren initiatives demonstrate exactly what is possible when community partners work together toward common goals,” said Moore.