Growing up in Baltimore, I can remember walking past homes that were boarded up and unoccupied. Vacant homes have become a common backdrop in our city. They’re oftentimes a reminder of the lost American dreams of those who can no longer afford the place they once loved to call home.
They can also be quite dangerous as vacant house fires are a sad reality.
As easy as it is for us to walk by these once forgotten homes — and not think twice about it — I think it’s so awesome there are organizations, like Well House, who are helping to rediscover their hidden potential.
Check out some of the before and after photos of our new home at 856 Geneva! This home will house two families that were at risk of separation if permanent housing was not found. The families will be moving in this week. Thank you to the Kent County Land Bank Authority, The WK Kellogg Foundation, The Grand Rapids Community Foundation and all of our volunteers, staff, tenants, contractors and donors who made this happen!
The Grand Rapids non-profit is not only helping the homeless find their way off the streets, but is also providing a new chance at life with immediate access to affordable housing — and social services — that empower them to take charge of their lives.
Focused on providing housing without preconditions, the Well House purchases vacant homes, makes the necessary renovations, and fills them with the city’s most destitute and poverty-stricken individuals and families. Rent is very affordable, and tenants are able to stay long term and have access to employment opportunities — including work on unoccupied houses to help pay it forward.
With hundreds off the streets in a few years, and most never having to call the streets home again, the Well House seems to be doing amazing work that will only strengthen communities.
As they say,
The solution to homelessness is housing.
Image via Well House/Facebook