Family Rehousing Partner
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The Salvation Army Social Services

Family Rehousing Partner

You’ll build a relationship with a family who has recently experienced homelessness and is now in permanent housing. You’ll connect with the family at least once per month, usually with a phone call or visit, or maybe inviting them along to a church picnic or neighborhood event. You’ll celebrate the family’s successes and support them in achieving their goals, helping them problem-solve as challenges arrive along the way.

There is no set schedule or time you need to be with the family, so you’ll coordinate a time that works best for you and the family. You and a friend can team together to provide relational support so that you can alternate visits or tag-team each connection or visit.

The Salvation Army connects volunteers, often from faith communities, with families who have recently experienced homelessness as they regain housing stability. This rapid re-housing program provides assistance in identifying a rental unit in Kent County, short-term rental assistance, and short-term case management services.

Every family you work with will be different; some may be more engaged than others. Working with volunteers like you isn’t a requirement of the family receiving assistance; it’s simply a benefit offered to them if they’d like to use it. The depth of the relationship will depend on what the family in the program is looking for.

Show me how to get started
Commitment
3-5 hours per month for approximately 6 months, as you and the family are available
Requirements
18+; pass a background check
Neighborhood
Varies
Location
Varies

Is This the Right Fit for Me?

You like getting to meet new people and learn about them, listening well and hearing their story. You’re patient and flexible when things don’t work out quite as you’d expect. You’re comfortable working with people who may be different from you or experiencing a different set of challenges than you’ve faced yourself. This isn’t about providing a service and leaving; it’s more nuanced and subjective than that. You understand each family will have different levels of engagement and needs.

About The Salvation Army Social Services

The Salvation Army supports Kent County residents to meet their urgent food and housing needs, access basic health care, enhance their life skills, and achieve greater stability and well-being. The Salvation Army is an international non-profit Christian organization whose mission is to meet human needs without discrimination; it has been operating in the greater Grand Rapids/Kent County area since 1883.

What Others are Saying

"I liked the idea of helping a family work through their housing crisis to the point where they become self sufficient. Quite honestly, I was a little uneasy about working with a family of a different culture, as I have had little exposure to other cultures. However, I have grown so close to this family that our relationship has continued beyond the term of the program. They have become family to me and I care very deeply for them! For the most part, volunteering with this program really was not challenging at all! It's very rewarding and you get to see the results of your efforts and the difference you make. The best part is developing a long lasting relationship with the family you work with."

Deborah

Contact the Organization

If you’re ready to ask some questions and get started, contact the The Salvation Army Social Services directly.

Lynne Bosma Congregational Partnership Program Coordinator 616-454-5840 ext. 3030

What to Expect

Reach out to Lynnel, and she’ll schedule you for a one-hour orientation. You’ll learn how this program fits within a bigger system trying to end homelessness, a family’s journey through the program, and the strengths-based model. There is an additional 30-minute online training about protecting children.

When you first meet a family, you’ll attend an introductory meeting with Salvation Army staff, the caseworker, and the family. You’ll discuss the main goals for the family and set an upcoming time to connect with them. Lynne will stay in touch with you throughout the six months, including another group meeting at the halfway point.