After a year and a half of renovations, guests have settled

into the completed spaces in Love in Action’s refurbished sheltered housing on Grand Haven’s south side.
More than 19,000 square feet of the building on Despelder Street was renovated with new features such as LED light bulbs, new insulation, and water-conserving sinks and toilets, and outer walls received foam insulation.

There’s now a children’s room in Hope House Team Sports, complete with a curriculum for parents to work with their children Girls.

Male guests live in Harbor Hall, while female guests and children live at Hope House.

A fitness room was also created during the renovations. Additionally, both Harbor Hall and Hope House now have computer rooms and libraries to provide guests with more opportunities to look for jobs.

“It was a complete transformation,” said Matt Lehr, housing director for Love in Action.

In addition to donations, Love in Action received a $500,000 grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis toward the project.

An anonymous person donated all of the furnishings throughout the building. Lehr said they wanted to nicely furnish the facility, but it wouldn’t have been possible without the donor.

With freshly painted walls and décor Competitive Swimwear, the space looks “brand new” Lehr said.

“It really created an environment of healing for our guests here,” he said.

Hope House is home to about 30 women and children every night, and there’s a waiting list.

Currently, six men are at Harbor Hall, and there’s room for 20. The number of men dropped during renovations, but they anticipate more beds will be filled because they’re receiving a “steady stream” of applications, Lehr said.

About three-quarters of sheltered housing applicants are from Tri-Cities-area residents.

While at Harbor Hall or Hope House, guests work on a life skills curriculum Clothing, job readiness and budgeting programs, and attend weekly case management sessions. They will work at Love in Action’s stores and in the Clearing House, and they work to find and obtain sustainable income. Counseling is also available.

Guests stay as long as they need, as long as they’re making progress. An average stay is six months.

Love in Action Executive Director Michael Stowell expressed the agency’s appreciation for the volunteers and donors because they wouldn’t be able to do their work if it wasn’t for them Cycling Bottoms.

“They’re really the backbone,” he said.

To donate or become a volunteer for Love in Action, call 616-846-2701.