Hello, neighbor! You’re welcome to jump right into information about our programs. If there’s anything you need from the City, you can call 3-1-1 or check out your options online. Below you’ll find a variety of resources/services. You can also:
- Check the amenities listed on the neighborhood page,
- Call to 2-1-1, the United Way’s First Call for Help, and/or
- If you have Priority Health Medicaid, Molina Medicaid or are uninsured living in Kent County, you can self-refer into HealthNet of West Michigan’s Community Healthcare Access Program (CHAP) by calling Health Net directly at 616-726-8204. CHAP assists adults and children in maintaining their health and understanding how to navigate the healthcare and social service system. The program provides a connection to community resources and case management Monday thru Thursday 8:30 am to 5 pm and Friday 8:30 am to 12:30 pm.
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Income and Employment – Our neighbors at Thierica are always hiring. Down the hill, you might try Gill Industries corporate headquarters or Embassy Suites, and of course our Michigan Street border is home to Grand Rapids’ largest employer, Spectrum Health. If you’re willing to travel a bit further afield, a neighbor recommends JELD-WEN. You can always search MiTalent.org and brush up your skills with Michigan Works.
Housing – If you rent, be sure to check out Tenants and Landlords, A Practical Guide. Both renters and homebuyers can learn from the Fair Housing Center as well as about service animals. Renters can find information for housing vouchers with the Kent County Housing Commission. Owner-occupants can benefit from the City of Grand Rapids’ Housing Rehabilitation Program and Lead Hazard Reduction. More lead-safe information can be found at Get The Lead Out. Learn to do home improvement yourself at Home Repair Services’ free classes and/or receive income-eligible services; if you prefer reading, check out the Home Improvement Reference Center from MeL.org. If you live north or east of Coit Park but west of Lafayette, you are likely in the Neighborhood Enterprise Zone and could apply for an exemption certificate connected with major repairs. The 61st District Court offers an Eviction Prevention Program in partnership with The Salvation Army and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Low-income home owners can file for a Property Tax Poverty Exemption with the City annually.
Education – The elementary schools listed on the neighborhood page are Challenge Scholars schools – students who start at Union High School in 9th grade, remain there through graduation, do not have any 180 day expulsions, and keep their GPA at 2.0 or higher will get up to 2 years of tuition-free college at GRCC (after tuition and fees covered by Pell grants). Other great, free resources to keep learning include visiting the Grand Rapids Public Library’s downtown or Van Belkum branches near the neighborhood, improving your reading or speaking skills at the Literacy Center of West Michigan, and taking online courses through platforms like Coursera or EdX. Of course there are lots more colleges in town, too, including GVSU which has completed its master plan for building a health campus in our neighborhood.
Health – Low-income residents can find quality healthcare just north of the neighborhood at Catherine’s Health Center. Cherry Street Health Services operates a dental center at Belknap Commons. The North End Wellness Coalition e-publishes a bimonthly newsletter of healthy activities taking place in the Belknap and Creston neighborhoods, and arranged for amenities on the North Quarter Pathways.
Early Childhood – It’s never too early to start: Spectrum Health’s Maternal Infant Health Program can help during pregnancy. Camp Fire West Michigan 4C has a broad resource list to use after birth. For child care close to home, Belknap Child Development Center is located at Belknap Commons; GRCC offers care as well.
Food Security – Fresh foods are regularly available outside the ROCK adjacent to Coit Church. You may also wish to visit St. Alphonsus’ Food and Clothing Center just outside the neighborhood. WIC and food stamps are two critical public resources. To find additional programs, we recommend using the online tools compiled by Feeding America West Michigan.
Financial empowerment – Find new articles regularly at MSU Extension; they also offer Dollar Works 2 classes. Similar Money Smart courses are at this link. Inner City Christian Federation offers homebuyer education.
Other – You may want consider resolving disagreements with the Dispute Resolution Center of West Michigan. Hope Network offers services in a number of areas. Seniors can find additional resources through the Area Agency on Aging.