A Vision to End Homelessness
in Grand Rapids and Kent County Michigan

The Grand Rapids Area Housing Continuum of Care unveiled Kent County's Vision to End Homelessness in a special observance on February 8th. Philip F. Mangano, Executive Director of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, and local leaders celebrated completion of the drafting of Kent County's ten-year plan in ceremonies at the John F. Donnelly Conference Center at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids.

[Photo: Celebrants pose with copies of ten year plan to end homelessness]
Pictured left to right, Kent County Board Chairman Roger Morgan; Grand Rapids Field Office Director, Louis Berra; Michael DeVos-Executive Director Michigan State Housing Development Authority; Marianne Udow-State Director, Michigan's Dept. of Human Services, Phillip Mangano Director, United States Interagency Council on Homelessness and Grand Rapids Mayor, George Heartwell.

Director Mangano congratulated Mayor Heartwell and Kent County Board Chair Morgan for "the expansive community participation, which crafted a plan that will make visible and measurable changes in the neighborhoods, on the streets, and in the lives of homeless people." Chairman Morgan noted, "Our community has proven that when we work together we can solve difficult problems. I believe that if we work together we can end homelessness and I consider it to be a high priority to our community and the systems represented." Mayor George Heartwell of Grand Rapids, said, "Ending homelessness will require a steadfast commitment to public/private collaboration. I am very pleased with the cooperative spirit that exists between the City of Grand Rapids and Kent County. Together we make a strong and able public."

More than 700 people seek shelter in Kent County's shelter programs on a typical night.

Kent County joins 200 other cities and counties across the nation in preparing a ten-year plan to end homelessness, in response to a call by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Content Archived: July 29, 2011